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Countywide Action Plans

Forty-three of Pennsylvania’s counties contain waterways that drain to either the Susquehanna or the Potomac rivers, which flow into the Chesapeake Bay. Clean water efforts at the county level are the foundation of Pennsylvania’s Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan (Phase 3 WIP). Of these, 34 counties are currently in the process of implementing Countywide Action Plans (CAPs).

CAP implementation looks different for each county, but all have common needs for committed partners and effective communication. The Community Clean Water Action Plan Coordinator continues to play a critical role in implementing the CAPs. In order to meet the 2025 deadline identified by EPA, rapid implementation of Best Management Practices is needed.

To support this rapid implementation, DEP developed the Chesapeake Bay CAP Implementation Block Grant. The purpose of this program is to provide a mechanism to fund the implementation of CAPs developed at the county level to maximize specified nutrient and sediment reduction goals established as part of Pennsylvania’s Phase 3 WIP. During the development of the Phase 3 WIP, one of the main barriers or challenges the counties identified was the multiple application processes that had to be followed to receive state or federal funds. Through this Block Grant, multiple state and federal funding sources can be focused through one agreement to a lead county agency to implement the CAP.

County Action Plan Map

Phase 1 – Pilot and Tier 2 Counties

 Accordion ‭[1]‬

Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version

Phase 2 – Tier 3 and 4 Counties

 Accordion ‭[2]‬

Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version

Countywide Action Plan Useful Tools


Used for inputting of monthly and annual progress of the CAP. This planning optimization tool tracks and reports annual progress and milestones to DEP.


Used for reporting conservation plans, BMPs, E&S plans, nutrient management plans, watershed plans, complaints, DEP ag inspection reports and data exports to DEP.

Join In

York County Master Watershed Stewards.jpgAll residents who care about local waters and their community are welcome to get involved in their Countywide Action Plans! We have a particular need for thoughtful input from: 

  • Streamside property owners
  • Leaders in sectors with strong connections to waterways, such as local government, agriculture, forestry, construction, and water and wastewater treatment
  • Local environmental organizations, such as watershed associations, garden clubs, Master Watershed Stewards/Naturalists, etc. 
  •  Outdoor organizations, such as Trout Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Alliance for the Bay, etc.
  • Civic groups such as Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Boy/Girl Scouts, etc.

How to join in

DEP’s Bureau of Watershed Restoration and Nonpoint Source Management (BWRNSM) staff are responsible for the statewide leadership, coordination, and support of CAP implementation. The below map identifies the CAP Project Advisor and Watershed Manager who are the main point of contact for CAP support.



The best way to join your Countywide Action Plan is to reach out to the county coordinator. Just click on your county below to get the contact information for him or her. 

Phase 1 – Pilot and Tier 2 Counties

 Accordion ‭[3]‬

Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version

Phase 2 – Tier 3 and 4 Counties

 Accordion ‭[4]‬

Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version

Why join in?

A creek in Franklin CountyImproving the health of local streams, rivers, and lakes benefits residents, farmers, business owners, and municipalities across the watershed.


  • Have safer drinking water supplies
  • Enjoy the water recreation opportunities that make Pennsylvania special
  • Lessen your flooding risk
  • Avoid higher water treatment costs
  • Save your land--reduce land loss due to erosion
  • Avoid new or expanded federal regulations 


  • Improved soil health and retention 
  • Increased profitability for farms
  • Learn about new or additional funding opportunities
  • Increased farm sustainability due to reduced erosion and increased livestock health due to cleaner water sources
  • Reduced tillage costs
  • Credit for existing BMPs
  • Avoid potential higher costs for compliance
  • Stronger voice in environmental planning
  • Positive public perception
  • Avoid increased regulation and governmental oversight on farms

Local government leaders

  • You retain control of your agenda for local water resources
  • You identify new pollution and flood reduction solutions
  • You identify previously unknown grant and cost-share opportunities
  • This planning can help your community solve local problems while meeting its share of the state’s goals. 
  • Developers and construction companies
  • A predictable regulatory and permit program, managed by state and local officials
  • Increased access to technical and cost share assistance for stormwater controls
  • Avoid stepped up federal enforcement of stormwater permits
  • Avoid stricter water quality standards in areas where streams run to the Potomac or Susquehanna rivers

Environmental organizations 

  • Local stakeholders renew their commitment to do their part 
  • Cleaner water sooner
  • Partners achieve shared goals
  • Your supporters see success for your efforts
  • Increased awareness of funding opportunities
“Healthier streams and rivers mean clean drinking water in the county, recreational opportunities, the protection of animal and plant life in streams, plus the overall improved quality of life for people that a healthy environment brings.” York County team