John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge Stormwater Management Techniques


The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is the last remaining freshwater tidal wetland in Pennsylvania. It has significant environmental value as a wildlife refuge, providing a resting and feeding area for more than 280 species of birds, and nesting site for 80 bird species. The wetlands ecosystem of the sanctuary also supports fox, deer, muskrat, turtles, fish, frogs and a wide variety of wildflowers and plants.

Stormwater BMPs were added to the site in 2002, to reflect the Refuge’s commitment to environmental stewardship and to minimize the effects of development of a new Environmental Education Center. A porous pavement parking lot was installed, and is underlain by a groundwater recharge trench that is designed to infiltrate captured runoff. Constructed wetland beds also receive and treat runoff. These BMPs serve to reduce the overall peak volume and rate of runoff flowing into local streams, which helps alleviate the risk of flooding.

The project also incorporates an eco-machine, which treats sewage through bioremediation by way of a wetland enclosed in a greenhouse attached to the Education Center.


County: Philadelphia
Watershed: Schuylkill River


Andropogon Associates
Cahill Associates 


US Fish and Wildlife Service: approximately $200,000 for parking lot
Costs for other BMPs are unavailable


Andrew Potts, PE
Cahill Associates
104 S. High Street
West Chester, PA 19382

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