The Board of Directors and spouses at the Cioppa's farewell Get together


TWCWC Annual Photo Contest for 2017 winners announced. For more details, click here.



Help protect our pristine streams, forests and wetland habitats. Speak out now and in the coming days to urge the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to Reopen the Docket for Tennessee Gas's Northeast Upgrade Pipeline Project.







What is the Twin and Walker Lakes Watershed?


The Twin and Walker Creeks Watershed is located in northeast Pennsylvania within Pike County The 11.5 square-mile watershed consists of approximately 11 miles of streams as well as three glacial lakes – Big Twin Lake, Little Twin Lake, and Walker Lake.  Each of the lakes is a significant natural, aesthetic, and recreational resource that is highly valued by the residents of the several residential communities that surround the lakes.


The Twin and Walker Creeks Watershed Conservancy is comprised of a group of concerned citizens that, in some cases, have been working to protect and enhance the water quality of Twin and Walker Lakes for 20 years or more. This group has assumed as its primary function the long-term stewardship of the watershed.  

The Conservancy recently received the Twin/Walker Creeks Lake & Watershed Assessment Study from our consultant FX Browne.  The study used lake water quality monitoring to determine the current trophic or nutrient rich level of Big Twin Lake, Little Twin Lake and Walker Lake.  The study also included a stream monitoring program that was used to quantify nutrient and sediment loadings to each of the three lakes.  A comparison of the Secchi depth-based Carlson Trophic State Index for the period 1994-2002 indicates that both Big Twin Lake and Walker Lake trophic index values are increasing and thus are being impacted by nutrient pollution.  Both Big Twin Lake and Walker Lake require a substantial reduction in phosphorus loading to reduce eutrophication.  

One source of nutrient loading to the Twin/Walker Creeks Watershed is non-point source pollution problem areas including stormwater management and roadside erosion problems. The watershed assessment study included a comprehensive inventory of non-point source pollution problem areas and the development of a management plan for the water resources of the Twin/Walker Creeks Watershed. Specific management objectives of the study were the reduction of non-point source pollution within the direct drainage areas to Walker Lake and Big Twin Lake. Several problem areas were identified that are likely transporting significant quantities of sediment and phosphorus into Walker Lake and Big Twin Lake.

To address these non-point source pollution areas, the Conservancy is looking at external sources of funding i.e. grants or local funding through the community associations. However, the Conservancy Growing Greener Watershed Restoration Grant application for 2004 was not funded by the PA Department of Environmental Protection. The next round of funding has just been announced and the Conservancy will be submitting an application to assist us in addressing non-point stormwater runoff in our watershed. The Conservancy is exploring all funding opportunities to address the non-point stormwater pollution issue.

Another possible source of non-point nutrient loading to the watershed is malfunctioning septic systems. The Conservancy has received a grant from the Canaan Valley Institute to conduct an educational outreach program for homeowners on how septic systems work and how to maintain them to work properly and not pollute our water resources.

The first step of the grant was the development of a septic system fact sheet and maintenance checklist. The fact sheet has been mailed to all residents of the watershed. In addition, a copy of the fact sheet can be downloaded at our web site on the doing your part section. The maintenance checklist can be downloaded at that section as well.

The grant is helping to fund a survey to identify the location and status of on-lot septic systems and oil storage tanks in the watershed. These survey results will be mapped on a Geographic Information System and entered into an Excel database. A survey has been mailed to all residents of the watershed. The Conservancy is analyzing the survey results and will be completing a report on the results. A summary of the survey results will be provided to all residents as well as published on our web site.

For those of you who haven't completed a survey, you can still complete a survey and provide it to us from the "Doing your part" section of the website.





Letter to the Editor, June 8, 2010:

Dear Editor:

The mission of the Twin & Walker Creeks Watershed Conservancy is to promote a better understanding of our watershed and its ecosystems and to protect, restore and enhance the watershed through proper management and watershed stewardship.

We have nearly three hundred members representing the fifteen hundred households in our watershed who live here and remain here because of the pristine nature of the environment.

We are concerned about the issue of gas drilling in our watershed.    

Gas drilling has the potential to destroy our ability to live in an area that is considered unique in its purity. Gas drilling can create many dangers to our environment that will confront our households with the possibilities of additional dust, smog, residual burning, new temporary and unpaved roads, undrinkable water, polluted streams and lakes, reduced ground water levels, and dry wells. These negative effects would result in reduced property values and reduced tax revenues to the townships.

The past history of the drilling companies is poor. They are not well regulated and can operate without appropriate regard for protecting our environment.  They are able to inject toxic chemicals into the water used to smash apart the shale rock infrastructure to great depths and lateral lengths to free the gas.  This process is known as fracking.  The drilling produces noise pollution and burning gases twenty-four hours a day. The companies have no capability to treat the recovered polluted water produced by the fracking process on site. It must be held in huge holding ponds before it can either be shipped out by trucks with tremendous increased use of our roads by the very heavy vehicles or injected into our ground water systems. Pike County's water is from underground aquifers. No one can absolutely say that this water supply would not be negatively affected. The gas produced is sent away by pipeline to be sold to the highest bidder, which might include foreign nations, with no guarantees that it would positively affect our local or national gas supplies.

Those in favor of fracking will argue that our area needs the economic "benefits" that gas drilling will provide.  The truth is that the gas companies will employ experienced workers from gas drilling operations in other areas.  Some transportation jobs may be available and some additional monies will be spent in our areas but those effects will be limited. Proponents also state that larger land owners should opt to frack instead of selling their land to developers. They claim this option will be better for our environment because otherwise these properties would be filled with additional housing.."urban sprawl". Zoning issues can be solved by our municipalities.  The amount of tax revenues provided by large development is always less that than the amount of money a municipality must spend to service these homes and schools.  Our townships can zone out this type of development.

The benefits, economic or otherwise, of gas drilling are not worth the possible environmental damage.  We must have and retain our pure water supply.

Therefore, T&WCWC is opposed to gas drilling in our area, which we believe is an imminent threat to our environment.  We are in favor of the United States Congress passing HR 7231, which repeals the exemption for hydraulic fracking under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Dr. Ralph Cioppa, President





Letter to the Delaware River Basin Commission, December 9, 2008:

December 9, 2008
Delaware River Basin Commission
25 State Police Drive, P.O. Box 7360
West Trenton, NJ 08628-0360
609-883-9500

Dear Commissioners:

The mission of the Twin & Walker Creeks Watershed Conservancy is to promote a better understanding of our watershed and its ecosystems and to protect, restore and enhance the watershed through proper management and watershed stewardship.

We have nearly three hundred members representing the fifteen hundred households in our watershed who live here and remain here because of the pristine nature of the environment.

We are concerned about the issue of gas drilling in our watershed.    

Gas drilling has the potential to destroy our ability to live in an area that is considered unique in its purity. Gas drilling can create many dangers to our environment that will confront our households with the possibility of additional dust, smog, residual burning, new temporary and unpaved roads, undrinkable water, polluted streams and lakes, reduced ground water levels, and dry wells.  

All these negative effects will result in reduced property values and tax revenues to the townships.

The past history of the drilling companies is poor. They are not well regulated and can operate without appropriate regard for protecting our environment.  They are able to inject toxic chemicals into the water used to smash apart the shale rock infrastructure to great depths and lateral lengths to free the gas.  This process is known as fracking.  The wells produce noise pollution and burning gases twenty-four hours a day. The companies have no capability to treat the recovered polluted water produced by the fracking process on site. It must be held in huge holding ponds before it can either be shipped out by trucks or injected into our ground water systems. The gas produced is sent away by pipeline to be sold to the highest bidder, which may include foreign nations.

Therefore, T&WCWC is opposed to gas drilling in our area, which is an imminent threat to our environment. We are in favor of the United States Congress passing HR 7231, which repeals the exemption for hydraulic fracking under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Dr. Ralph Cioppa, President





Natural Gas Leasing

If you are a resident of Pike County, you might have heard about the "Marcellus Shale." This geologic formation that underlies Pike County has attracted natural gas companies because of higher energy prices and new drilling technologies that could recover significant supplies of natural gas. All of the talk and activity surrounding natural gas reserves in Pennsylvania can be exciting as well as confusing for landowners. Penn State Cooperative Extension has been conducting natural gas educational programs as well as developing facts sheets to try and lessen the confusion. Several Penn State Cooperative Extension fact sheets include Gas Well Drilling and Your Private Water Supply and Natural Gas Exploration: A Landowner's Guide to Leasing Land in Pennsylvania.

Gas Well Drilling and Your Private Water Supply - Gas well drilling can occasionally impact groundwater resources that provide water for many residents of Pennsylvania. A single gas well can produce hundreds of thousands of gallons of waste fluids during drilling and during years of gas production. Landowners need to know what they can do to protect their groundwater from gas well activity.

A Landowner's Guide to Leasing Land in Pennsylvania - This guide is meant to be a tool for property owners, covering the basics of what you need to know, answering some common questions about natural gas exploration in Pennsylvania and directing you where to go for further information. The guide outlines what the gas resource is, how and why landowners are likely to be contacted, how a gas lease works, and what to consider when making decisions about gas leasing.

For copies of these publications or to find out the date and location of future Extension programs on natural gas contact the Pike County Cooperative Extension office at 570 296 3400.

By Peter Wulfhorst




Below are two fact sheets regarding Natural Gas Exploration from Penn State (large files in PDF format).

Penn State Fact Sheet: "Gas Well Drilling and Your Private Water Supply" (1Mb)

Natural Gas Exploration: A Landowners Guide to Leasing Land in Pennsylvania (2Mb)






August 5, 2008: update regarding PPL's Susquehanna- Roseland Transmission line

PPL has just announced that Route B has been selected for the powerline upgrade. Route A would have impacted our watershed.

Thanks to everyone who placed signs or wrote letters expressing their concern for the need to protect the Twin & Walker Creeks Watershed.








A small sample of TWCWC's previous public events are highlighted below.






Twin/Walker Creeks Watershed Conservancy Annual Meeting -
Keeping Rain Water Where it Falls - Saturday, October 27 (2007)

As residential and commercial development increases in the Twin/Walker Creeks watershed as well as Pike County, the volume of water running across the land into our streams and lakes increases.  This water is known as stormwater runoff.   In order to reduce this stormwater runoff, communities and homeowners can address the amount of impervious surfaces associated with stormwater runoff.  

The Twin/Walker Creeks Watershed Conservancy "Keeping Rain Water Where it Falls" on Saturday, October 27, 2007, a program on designing, installing and caring for landscapes that benefit our local environment by keeping the rain water on site and allowing it to seep into the ground. The water gets cleansed as it trickles through the ground and replenishes our drinking water supply. The result is also less stormwater carrying pollutants to waterways and causing flooding along the way.

The program covered how impervious surfaces are affecting our watershed and the water quality of our streams, how to design and install a Rain Garden to capture runoff from your home and community, how riparian buffers can prevent nutrients and other pollutants from entering our streams and lakes, and what plantings are better alternatives to grass in reducing impervious coverage.

"Keeping Rain Water Where it Falls" was presented at 10 am on October 27 at the Walker Lake Clubhouse.  The speaker was Vincent Cotrone, Penn State Cooperative Extension Educator for 12 years.






Below is a photo of the presentation by Peter Pinchot on Conservation of Open Space Lands in Pike County at 2004's annual meeting, Saturday, November 13th, 2004.



The Twin/Walker Creeks Watershed Conservancy is a 501 3 non-profit organization that was started in 2000 by a group of local residents who joined together to protect and enhance the water resources of the Twin/Walker Creeks watershed.

The mission of the Conservancy is to promote a better understanding of the Twin/Walker Creeks watershed and its ecosystems and to protect, restore and enhance the watershed through proper management and watershed stewardship. Conservancy activities consist of 1) Water Quality Monitoring by a trained group of volunteers that collect and analyze the water chemistry and biological data at different locations in the watershed, 2) Educational programs and newsletters that inform watershed residents of watershed planning and protection efforts as well as a better understanding of the watershed and 3) Soliciting both financial support of residents as well as volunteer support.

The Twin/Walker Creek watershed is 11.5 square miles consisting of approximately 11 miles of streams as well as 3 lakes - Big Twin Lake, Little Twin Lake and Walker Lake. Each of the lakes is a significant natural, aesthetic and recreational resource that is highly valued by residents of the several residential communities that surround the lakes.

For more information on what you can do to help protect the quality and quantify of water resources within the Twin/Walker Creeks watershed, contact the Conservancy and explore our website.