Lake Erie

By expanding into Erie with the “Our Water, Our Future” campaign, PennFuture seeks to expand and amplify the voices for the environment and citizens of Erie by developing a coalition of existing organizations dedicated to protecting our most important asset: our water.

Erie’s abundant aquatic resources provide drinking water to more than 200,000 people, but they also provide recreation for residents and tourists alike, directly and indirectly supporting thousands of jobs across the region.

Of the great waters that define Pennsylvania’s remarkable natural and outdoor recreation heritage, Lake Erie is cherished by citizens of Pennsylvania, but often from a distance. Threats to its water quality are often overlooked, as well as opportunities to leverage the lake as an economic asset because of its geography, tucked up in the northwest corner of our state.

By bringing PennFuture’s resources and expertise into a new set of conversations about the lake and its watershed, we are hoping to close the distance gap between the lake, and the halls of decision making in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C., where the lake needs stronger advocacy. We hope through our engagement of local communities, groups and elected officials, we will also be creating new capacity to address emerging threats to Erie’s environment.

The initial goal for PennFuture in Erie is to bring together organizations to develop a Common Agenda for Clean Water. This agenda will serve as a guideline for local and state policymakers to implement clean water and other projects that will protect, conserve and support Erie’s aquatic resources.

On Dec. 3, PennFuture and 12 partner organizations released the Common Agenda. To read the report, please click here. If you'd like to watch a recording of the virtual press conference announcing the document's release, please click here. 

In addition, please read this blog by our new Erie staff member Sarah Bennett, and be sure to read her Op Ed that was published in June in the Erie Times-News.

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