Blacklick Creek Watershed Association (BCWA) is an independent, non-profit organization formed in 1993, providing a structure and focal point to improve the quality of the Blacklick Creek Watershed.
The Blacklick Creek watershed encompasses 420 square miles in Indiana and Cambria counties of southwestern Pennsylvania. In addition to the main stem of Blacklick Creek, the major sub-basins include South Branch Blacklick Creek, North Branch Blacklick Creek, Two Lick Creek, and Yellow Creek, which is a sub-basin of Two Lick. Blacklick Creek drains to the Conemaugh River, entering the river in the pool of the Conemaugh River Lake, a flood control and electric power generating project operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Blacklick Creek provides thirty percent of the flow of the entire Conemaugh River basin, thus having a significant influence on the quality of the lower Conemaugh as well as on the Kiskiminetas River further downstream. Some upper stream segments of the Blacklick basin are of excellent quality, serving as potable water supply sources and recreational destinations. Other segments, mostly in the middle of the basin, have been rapidly improving in quality and now support fish and other aquatic life after being devoid of life for decades. The lower sections of Yellow Creek, Two Lick Creek, and the main stem remain substantially degraded by abandoned mine drainage and siltation and provide significant opportunities for water quality improvement projects.
The Association’s objectives are to:
- Improve water quality throughout the watershed.
- Conduct scientific investigations to document watershed conditions.
- Collect data and produce reports to help direct financial resources toward implementing watershed improvements.
- Construct and maintain passive treatment systems where appropriate.
- Support and partner with governmental agencies, individuals, businesses, and other groups in their efforts to improve watershed conditions.
- Support governmental programs and policies that improve water quality and overall environmental conditions in the watershed.
- Serve as an informational and educational resource about the watershed.
- Support recreational and environmental enhancements within the watershed.