Background Materials — Forces Shaping our Future
How we Protect

Of the county's 1,394 miles of streams 69% are impaired, according to Environmental Protection Agency water quality standards. Impairments are due to a variety of causes from both urban and rural sources.

Over 80% of the county's municipalities have wetland and woodland protection ordinances. 60% of the municipalities have riparian corridor regulations.

All floodplains in Chester County are under municipal floodplain regulation and almost all municipalities have steep slope ordinances.

100% of the county's municipalities have adopted the county-wide Act 167 Stormwater Management Plan Ordinances.

The annual environmental benefits provided by the 73,000 acre Hopewell Big Woods area in Chester and Berks counties were valued at $46.5 million in 2011.

The county has 169 Natural Heritage Areas representing a wide range of species and natural areas of concern.

Hopewell Big Woods

Serpentine Barrens

Woodland Areas

In 2015, approximately 26% of the county was wooded, compared to nearly 30% in 1995. Woodlands greater than 25 acres can provide contiguous habitat for animals sensitive to fragmenting features such as highways, active railroads, and utility rights-of-way.

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