About Us

Mission Statement

To provide the tools, training, education and resources that empower community watershed organization leaders and volunteers to protect and restore rivers and streams, advocate for sound water resource management and policies, and facilitate stewardship and enjoyment of Pennsylvania’s waterways.


Pennsylvania’s community watershed organizations are effective in their efforts to restore, conserve, and promote the enjoyment of the Commonwealth’s waterways and are well-informed advocates for sound management and policies for healthy streams, watersheds, and communities.

By continuing in the tradition of Pennsylvania’s environmental pioneers and the visionary Environmental Rights Amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution (Article 1, Section 27), POWR will:

  • Ensure Pennsylvania watershed associations are healthy, locally supported, and a benefit to their communities
  • Ensure the citizen champions of Pennsylvania’s rivers and watersheds are educated and aware of the value of our abundant water resources and the importance of their management
  • Ensure access to educational training resources including informational publications and websites, dynamic workshops and trainings, networking and capacity building conferences, regional outreach, and meaningful and engaging activities connecting people to resources
  • Support efforts of volunteers and staff of watershed organizations and key partners in working towards of the goal that all of Pennsylvania’s waters meet 1972 Clean Water Act standards
  • Ensure a healthy, holistic, inclusive, and equitable environment that recognizes our far-reaching connections up and downstream

Through passionate determination, POWR will honor the voice of the rivers as they beckon us to ensure their enduring legacy for generations to embrace and enjoy.

Core Values

Stewardship, Resourcefulness, Expertise, Passion, Integrity, Courage, Diversity

Meet Our Board

Richard Sheldon joined POWR’s Board in July 2020. Rich joined Willis Towers Watson in January 2004. He is currently responsible for managing insurance carrier relations for several of the company’s largest trading partners. Rich has over 30 years of environmental consulting, and insurance underwriting, management, and brokerage experience.  He has served as a project manager performing field investigations of potential Superfund sites under the direction of the USEPA, and performed and managed Phase I and II environmental site investigations for various industries.

Rich is a part of the Greater-Philadelphia regional WTW Workplace Engagement network, serving as a mentor for the Community Outreach subcommittee, and is trained internally to conduct WTW’s Unconscious Bias and Inclusion & Diversity workshops across offices in North America. Rich received a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Science and Geology from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science Degree in Business Administration from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, with a concentration in Environmental Health.

A few thoughts from Rich about POWR and what he hopes to bring to the table:

Why are you excited about serving on the POWR board?

As a long-time supporter of PEC and its members (and a recent “empty nester”), I’m excited to share my time and expertise, and look forward to learning from the experiences of other Board members so that we can collectively serve the POWR community.  But ultimately, I’m thrilled to be a part of an organization that is dedicated to the preservation of our State’s most precious natural resources.

Why is the vision and mission of POWR important to you?

I believe that outreach and education are cornerstones to effecting positive outcomes.  And these also happen to be two elements of POWR’s core mission.  Working to bring volunteers and supporters together, and providing them with knowledge and the opportunity to all be more directly involved, is critical to achieving any team goal.  POWR already has a great team to support their mission, and I look forward to being a part of it and expanding it!

Do you have any professional ties related to POWR’s mission/goals and partners? How else would you like to contribute to the advancing the mission?

I think that I have a somewhat unique combination of skills/experiences that can hopefully be beneficial to POWR.  Both my education and early career were grounded in environmental science and geology, including some time as a USEPA contractor investigating potential Superfund sites.  But I ultimately moved into a specialty field of insurance that focused on environmental liability.  This not only gave me exposure to the broader state and local environmental regulatory community, but it also provided me with experience relative to the business aspect of the environmental industry.  Given the importance of insurance for our POWR members and their waterways, I hope to be able to translate those experiences into the support they may need in from an environmental risk management standpoint.

What outdoor activities do you enjoy participating in? What other hobbies do you have?

I enjoy riding my bike on the roads and abundant paths of the area.  I also like to golf as much as time allows!  When the weather doesn’t lend to those activities, I enjoy listening to music and repairing/restoring vintage audio equipment.   Long live vinyl!

Jim Lang joined the POWR Board of Directors in early 2019. Jim currently serves as Vice President of French Creek Valley Conservancy (FCVC) after serving 12 years as Board President. He was Vice President of Procurement at Ainsworth for 25 years and a partner until the sale of the company to J.M. Smucker in 2018. Jim is also a member of the PEC Board and lends his talents to the Program Committee.

When asked why he has committed so much time and effort to leading FCVC, Jim shared that FCVC is an “organization people trust; it is the local organization that a person in the region first thinks of when considering a land donation. It’s happened because FCVC has treated people and partners with respect. They’ve worked hard to demonstrate long term financial sustainability with high-quality, knowledgeable staff with the right skill set.” He adds that FCVC is successful because the staff and leadership focus on “adding value,” and people will support an organization that they perceive as adding value within their community.

Jim brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to POWR to help steer it on a similar course of success and to ensure that POWR “adds value” in the approaches it takes to support watershed organizations across Pennsylvania.

A few more thoughts from Jim:

Why are you excited about serving on the POWR board?

I believe POWR can and should help fill the “white space” of a statewide collaboration of small, more localized watershed organizations dedicated to improving their streams and rivers. These organizations will benefit from the existence of this group which can help disseminate “best practices” and provide additional resources to the “boots on the ground efforts.”

Why is the vision and mission of POWR important to you?

I believe the best conservation work happens when local, passionate people act at the local level. These groups can benefit from the guidance, advice, and resources better available through a larger, statewide-focused organization. POWR has the ability to play that role.

What outdoor activities do you enjoy participating in? What other hobbies do you have?Fishing, hunting, paddling, SCUBA diving, and golf.

Branden Diehl graduated from Juniata College in 2001 with a BS degree in geology, environmental studies, and surface water hydrology, with an additional minor in politics. He has an extensive background in project development, financing, grant writing and project management. In 2001, Branden formed Earth Wise Consulting. Diehl serves as the grant and project consultant for the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds (FPW)  where he manages the organization’s grant program.

We asked Branden:

Why are you excited about serving on the POWR board?

POWR was once a voice for the state’s waterways, and a resource for those who sought to protect and use them. It is my hope that with some listening, creativity, and hard work we can create a one-stop shop for those interested in our vast water resources. With a new Board and dedicated staff assisting in this mission, I’m optimistic and excited about the opportunity to assist with creating the next evolution of POWR.

Why is the vision and mission of POWR important to you?

As an environmental consultant, I am most often working to restore degraded waterways. I feel that we don’t always do enough to protect our water resources that aren’t polluted. With nearly 86,000 miles of waterways in the Commonwealth, most citizens view water as disposable. A mentality of “we have plenty of it” seems popular among residents. However, many of those miles are already polluted to the point of being impaired. With recent increased rainfall and flooding, water is increasingly viewed as a nuisance. As someone with a surface water hydrology background, it is clear to me that the nuisance is often human’s meddling with nature, altered stream channels, urban sprawl, unsustainable development, clearcutting, and a host of other examples could be provided. POWR’s partnership with DCNR relating to sojourns and the River of the Year designations, are tangible examples of highlighting our water resources while drawing attention to their needs, and providing an understanding of why they need our protection and advocacy.

Do you have any professional ties related to POWR’s mission/goals and partners? How else would you like to contribute to the advancing the mission?

As a consultant to the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds (FPW), I interact with more than 350 different environmental groups, and nearly 250 different partnering organizations and agencies. In interacting with these dedicated individuals, I hear their challenges relating to funding, policies, permits, and recruiting volunteers to name a few. It is my hope that I can provide a voice for these groups, and assist them with their work of ensuring there is enough clean water for future generations.

What outdoor activities do you enjoy participating in? What other hobbies do you have?

I enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, and lounging. I also enjoy nature photography, and environmental remediation planning. I am the Public Information Officer for the Saxton Volunteer Fire Company, were I am also a Trustee, a Pro-Board Certified Firefighter II, and certified in Basic Vehicle Rescue Technician.

Jane O. Rowan

Ms. Rowan is a wetland ecologist and restoration specialist.  She provides services related to wetlands and water resources and Clean Water Act related compliance services to clients in the private and public sectors. She has been nationally recognized for advancing policies for the integrated management of water resources.

We asked Jane:

Why are you excited about serving on the POWR board?

I am always excited when I think about scientific research and monitoring.  I am also very excited when I have the opportunity to combine my interest in people and watersheds with enhancing scientific data collection that will be used to improve water quality and quantity and restore habitats within the aquatic ecosystem and in the riparian zone of streams, rivers and lakes.  There is a natural inner desire to steward the environment, and helping to bring this desire out in people who are already interested and invested in their watershed, makes me excited.

Why is the vision and mission of POWR important to you?

I think what is most exciting is the opportunity to facilitate, encourage and educate people who are already excited about watershed hydrology and water quality.  In my opinion, it is a privilege to teach others to wisely use and restore their watersheds, especially those who live in that watershed and invest regularly in improving its value to wildlife and humans.  Teaching watershed managers what to focus on in watershed management, and providing them with the tools and knowledge to stay focused on investing in watershed restoration is what I see is most important.

Do you have any professional ties related to POWR’s mission/goals and partners? How else would you like to contribute to the advancing the mission?

My professional work as a wetland scientist and restoration ecologist is definitely tied to POWR’s mission, and I hope that I can help others learn the techniques and skills I have learned throughout my career.  These skills include both an understanding of wildland and wetland hydrology, soils, watershed management, ecological plant communities, fisheries and benthic communities, as well as endangered species, special aquatic sites, the federal and state regulatory programs and restoration of wetlands, streams and lakes.

What outdoor activities do you enjoy participating in? What other hobbies do you have?

I love to hike, especially in wetlands and salt marshes, along the beach and in the deep woods.  I enjoy identifying plants and bird watching, and observing pristine ecological communities—although there are very few left.  I am a bike rider, and I like to golf (although I need a lot of improvement), I garden and like to read.