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News Releases from Region 03

EPA Exhibit at 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show Highlights Healthy Headwaters

Contact Information: 
David Sternberg (sternberg.david@epa.gov)

PHILADELPHIA (February 27, 2018) - This year’s Philadelphia Flower Show showcases the Wonders of Water and the USEPA’s exhibit is no exception.  By demonstrating the connection between headwater streams and wetlands, and the vital role they play in the overall health of downstream waters, the exhibit highlights the connection between healthy watersheds and healthy drinking water sources - and shows how the integrity of our drinking water supply begins far away from the kitchen faucet. 

“The beauty of the native plants displayed in the exhibit’s headwater stream and bog wetland areas highlight the need to protect and enhance these aquatic resources,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio.  “Conserving and enhancing these aquatic ecosystems in our gardens promotes clean and healthy water, while serving as a sustainable landscaping practice in our own backyards.” 

The exhibit illustrates how clean drinking water begins at the very tops of watersheds in small streams and wetlands which capture and transport water through our environment to larger downstream resources; ultimately being withdrawn for drinking water.  Two-thirds of our drinking water comes from these downstream surface waters (rivers and streams) like the Delaware River, which supplies drinking water to the city of Philadelphia. 

EPA’s exhibit begins with a small headwater stream shaded with beautiful native trees such as magnolia, fringe tree, flowering dogwood, and the sweet fragrance of azaleas.  The exhibit also includes a bog that is teaming with wild and unique botanical beauty such as the carnivorous pitcher plant, exquisite swamp pinks, and magical fairy wands.    

The native plants displayed in the exhibit will show how they grow in the wild and how to incorporate them in home gardens.  The environmental benefits of these native plants include providing buffers for aquatic resources that help naturally manage stormwater, which can directly improve or maintain healthy water quality. 

Exhibit volunteers will engage with the public on the connection between healthy aquatic resources and drinking water, as well as provide visitors with information on the benefits of using native plants, sustainable landscaping, and stormwater management practices to instill positive ways of protecting our water.    

The objective of EPA’s exhibit is to foster the continued appreciation of the multi-faceted benefits of these aquatic resources to help ensure the Wonders of Water for generations to come.

EPA websites also include information on promoting healthy water through sustainable landscaping, and how to get started.  Photographs of sustainable landscaping practices used in residential settings are featured here: 

https://www.epa.gov/green-infrastructure or https://www.epa.gov/soakuptherain.

EPA’s flower show team, along with all the other exhibitors, are setting up the exhibit at the Philadelphia Convention Center this week.  The Philadelphia Flower Show opens to the public, on March 3, and will run through March 11.