"Pennsylvania has 86,000 miles of rivers, streams and creeks — a total length eclipsed only by the vast wilderness in Alaska.
And, according to Pennsylvania conservationist Jeff Ripple, nearly two-thirds of those waters are potentially in jeopardy as longstanding protections from the federal Clean Water Act have come under fire over the past decade.
'Of those 86,000 miles, 64 percent are considered headwater streams,' Ripple said. 'And those waters are important to the downstream networks they connect to … along with fisherman, and of course the economy.'
Ripple is a land surveyor based in Berlin, Somerset County, about 70 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. He also owns his own fly fishing touring company and keeps a close eye on political developments in Washington, D.C. that, he says, could affect the nation’s headwaters and wetlands."