The Christina Watersheds Municipal Partnership (CWMP), a collaborative of 38 municipalities in the Brandywine, Red Clay, and White Clay watersheds, began in 2003 with 20 municipalities joining to address collectively several requirements of the Pennsylvania MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) mandate. The MS4 program required municipalities to provide education and outreach to their residents as well as a public participation program. Brandywine Red Clay Alliance, then the Brandywine Valley Association, developed plans for public education and participation as well as coordinating public awareness projects that promoted stormwater management techniques. Those early efforts included articles and advertisements in local newspapers noting the water quality effects of unmanaged stormwater runoff, school poster contests, informational flyers, and displays at municipal events.
By 2010, with the municipalities facing deadlines for developing TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) plans, the group became the Christina TMDL Implementation Plan (CTIP). It had grown to 30 municipalities and spent the next two years developing the TMDL plans required by PADEP. By partnering the group was able to take advantage of a template in creating their plans, which were submitted in 2012. Review of the plans by PADEP and the resulting revisions required took the CTIP group into 2015. At that point PADEP issued notices that the municipalities were required to submit a TMDL plan showing how each would meet state mandated reductions of sediment and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) in streams within the municipal boundaries. CTIP continued to coordinate the municipal group in the effort to meet new PADEP requirements, changing the P in CTIP to Partnership, and in 2017, became the Christina Watersheds Municipal Partnership (CWMP) to emphasize the municipal aspect of the partnership.
Through a grant to the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance pilot projects are being developed in the Brandywine and White Clay watersheds. The pilot projects will test the concept of a multi-municipal approach to meeting TMDL limits. The organizations involved in the pilot projects are Brandywine Conservancy, Brandywine Red Clay Alliance, Chester County Water Resources Authority, Chester County Conservation District, White Clay Wild and Scenic Rivers Program, Stroud Water Research Center, Water Resources Center at the University of Delaware, the Delaware Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the Environmental Finance Center, and Gaadt Perspectives.
Three different landscapes have been selected to pilot a multi-municipal collaborative concept to meet the requirements for TMDL planning in Pennsylvania. The landscapes represent different land uses and degrees of impervious surface
The Agricultural Pilot, which includes Honey Brook Borough and Honey Brook Township, is largely rural with dairy farming the dominant activity. This landscape allows for a variety of BMPs (Best Management Practices) that can help meet TMDL requirements for sediment and nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorous) reduction. Within this pilot is the urbanized Honey Brook Borough with a high percentage of impervious surface and little opportunity for stormwater BMPs. This combination of adjacent urbanized and rural landscapes can lead to cooperative projects that will reduce sediment and nutrients in the west branch Brandywine.
- Project update: The Brandywine Conservancy is coordinating this pilot characterized by a primarily agricultural landscape (Honey Brook Township) surrounding Honey Brook Borough, which is urbanized. Most of the agricultural land is in dairy farming with pasture and cropland most prevalent. Both municipalities are required to submit a plan to PADEP for stormwater management by September 16, 2017. This pilot group has begun mapping the storm sewer systems which will then be used to identify storm sewersheds and planning areas. By the end of February mapping was well underway and meetings planned to continue delineating the planning areas so that selection and location of BMPs (Best Management Practices) could begin. By working together, both municipalities can benefit from reductions in sediment and nutrients that BMPs will produce. As maps are developed, these will be added to this page.
The Urban Pilot of Coatesville, South Coatesville, Modena, Valley and Caln is largely developed with residential, commercial, and industrial land uses. As such, there is a high percentage of impervious surfaces and low opportunity for BMP locations. Valley Township has the largest undeveloped areas, which could be opportunities for cooperative BMP projects among the pilot members. Improvements in stormwater management by this pilot group will benefit Sucker Run and the west branch of the Brandywine.
- Project update: Brandywine Red Clay Alliance is coordinating the Urban pilot which is characterized by more highly urbanized landscape. Coatesville, South Coatesville, and Modena are densely populated with a high percentage of impervious surface and limited opportunities for stormwater BMPs within the municipal boundaries. Valley Township has a mix of more urbanized areas, suburban residential, and some open spaces which offer opportunities for stormwater BMPs. A small part of Caln Township, the western edge, is in this pilot and drains to the west branch Brandywine. That area is at the headwaters of small streams and offers limited BMP options.
The Suburban Pilot is in the east branch of the White Clay Creek and includes Avondale and West Grove Boroughs and the townships of London Grove, New Garden, Franklin, and London Britain. This is a suburban landscape with two boroughs, offering opportunities for mutual BMPs in the more open areas that will reduce sediment and nutrients and benefit the White Clay Creek.
- Project update: This pilot, coordinated by the White Clay Wild and Scenic Rivers Program, is largely suburban residential with the boroughs of Avondale and West Grove included. The landscape is a mix of the higher impervious surfaces in the two boroughs and more open residential area in the four townships. This pilot offers opportunities for collaborative BMPs between the boroughs where space is limited and the townships where BMP locations are more available.
The pilot municipalities have completed most of the mapping work for the storm sewer systems and are delineating storm sewersheds and then planning areas where BMPs could be located.
CWMP Project Funders:
- Choose “Watershed Protection” (located under “what we fund”.)
- Delaware River Restoration Fund
CWMP Contact Information:
For more information on this project, please contact Bob Struble, BRC’s Watershed Conservation Director.