The Cooks Creek Watershed Association, the not-for-profit environmental advocacy group that oversees Cooks Creek and its tributaries in Upper Bucks County, has named Springfield Township resident and volunteer Rose Strong to its board of directors.
Strong, a freelance writer for a local newspaper, has followed the association for the past 11 years in her reporting for the northern portion of the county, which also serves as her home.
Located in Upper Bucks County, the watershed is a direct tributary to the Delaware River. About 40 miles of stream corridor and 30 miles of terrain lie within the Watershed’s boundaries.
Cooks Creek Watershed Association is an all-volunteer community group that works in coordination with the townships of Springfield, Durham, Lower Saucon and other area municipalities to maintain the creek’s exceptional value status. The group directs educational and advocacy efforts, as well as water quality monitoring and planning within the watershed.
“I respect the work the association has done in trying to control development in the area that would otherwise strip our township of its natural resources,” said Strong. “They also provide helpful information, support and assistance to our neighboring watersheds, because this group cares deeply about the land we all share.”
In 2013, the association celebrated its 40th year serving as the steward of the watershed. While activity has waxed and waned over those four decades, the group was revived about 15 years ago by some strong-minded environmentalists who realized the value of the creek to the rural area and its vulnerability to development and exploitation. The organization currently has about 100 members.
In addition to being the driving force behind the Cooks Creek Watershed Protection Plan in 2002, CCWA members actively have worked with Springtown and Durham townships to update comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances to better protect the creek. They have worked hand in hand with the Springtown Water Authority to ensure that both aquifers and surface waters that provide drinking water remain clean and healthy through the establishment of the Springtown Sourcewater Protection Plan.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has designated the Cooks Creek Watershed as an “exceptional value watershed.” The label confers the highest level of protection available in the commonwealth. While this protection is helpful, the responsibility to maintain that status falls to some extent on the members of the association.
Today, the watershed is recognized around the region for its pristine wooded areas, riparian wetlands, and Class A wild brown trout population. It also is the only remaining home in the region for Pennsylvania’s state fish, the brook trout, and nurtures numerous endangered plants and animals. Protection of the watershed’s environmental treasures is a significant task for such a small organization, but the passionate members shoulder the responsibility gladly.