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A watershed is a large basin where all precipitation that reaches the ground travels across the topography to the lowest drainage point. We are working to keep our streams and rivers healthy by making improvements throughout the watersheds in Clarion County that have been impacted by acid mine drainage and non-point source pollution.

Why are so many streams in Clarion County orange? 

Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) is formed when pyrite, an iron sulfide, is exposed and reacts with air and water to form sulfuric acid and dissolved iron. Some or all of this iron can precipitate to form the red, orange, or yellow sediments in the bottom of streams containing mine drainage. The acid runoff further dissolves heavy metals such as copper, lead, mercury into ground or surface water. (USGS)

Project Highlights 


CCD received a Growing Greener grant to overhaul the passive treatment system at the Clarion County Park near Shippenville. The buried bed of limestone was replaced in 2019 and the settling ponds were constructed in 2022 and 2023.


Thank you to all of our partners on this project! We would not have completed it without your support! 

  • Hedin Environmental

  • County of Clarion 

  • Department of Environmental Protection

  • Foundation for PA Watersheds

  • Western PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation

  • The Hager family


An AMD passive treatment system on Little Hefren Run in Cook Forest State Park was constructed in 2000; 20 years later CCD received a Growing Greener grant to maintain the system. Fresh limestone was added to the ALD, the ponds were cleaned of the iron oxide sludge, and the stream crossing to access the system was reconstructed. 


Our partners on this project included: 

  • Hedin Environmental

  • PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

  • Trout Unlimited

The Paint Creek watershed has a long history of mining which severely degraded the water. CCD was awarded a Growing Greener grant to conduct a full watershed assessment in 2022 through 2024. The assessment will serve as a guide for future projects in the watershed to treat AMD. 

Paint Creek Discharge UNT 12.jpg

Little Coon Run in northern Clarion County is another site for an AMD passive treatment system. This system was finished in 2007 on State Game Lands 24. CCD received a Growing Greener grant for maintenance of this system in 2022, construction is planned for 2023. 

LC20D system photo_edited.jpg

Leisure Run: Watershed Assessment


In partnership with Penn West Clarion University, CCD conducted an assessment of Leisure Run in southern Clarion County. We conducted a bio-assessment as well as assessed both in stream and riparian habitat. The results of this study will directly support future projects within the watershed aimed at reducing the impacts of flood events, mitigating erosion, and replacing dated and ecologically unsound stream road crossings. The assessment has been completed and can be viewed below: 

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