About the Chapter

The Izaak Walton League of America was founded in 1922 by 54 conservationists in Chicago, Illinois, to preserve the outdoor of America for future generations. The League’s founders, who were avid anglers, named the organization after Izaak Walton, the 17th century author of The Compleat Angler, a classic book about the art and spirit of fishing. As one of the nation’s earliest conservation groups, the IWLA has worked protect the land, water, and air to by restoring watersheds, promoting clean energy, protecting wildlife habitats, and instill a conservation ethic within outdoor recreationists. As of 2020, the IWLA now has more than 48,000 members nationwide, with chapters across 25 states, including Pennsylvania – the overwhelming majority of which are located in rural areas.

Founding members of the Allegheny County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America

In 2016-2017, a number of environmental activists in this area began working with, and joined, the Greene County Chapter of the IWLA, because of the chapter’s consistent activism in monitoring, protecting and cleaning up the streams in Washington and Greene Counties, which flow into the Monongahela River and thus become the drinking water for tens of thousands of citizens across Southwestern Pennsylvania.

These concerned citizens formed the Allegheny County Chapter of the IWLA in October 2018 to protect the soil, air, woods, waters, and wildlife – as well as human health – in our county and region. We are a volunteer-based conservation group working to human to improve the lives of everyone in our community.

Our chapter goals include:

  • Water Quality Testing: We are organizing individuals, families, and community organizations to test water quality in streams, rivers, and other waterways across the county for fracking-related impacts and other pollution. We will train all volunteer stream monitors on how to test for these pollutants – and how to use their monitoring results to drive action.
  • Education and Outreach: We mounted an educational campaign around the serious environmental problems confronting our county and are working with local citizens to find solutions. Cancer-causing chemicals have been documented in our local rivers and streams, but state and local water quality standards do not require testing for these chemicals (including bromide, radiation, and dioxin). This also means that no one is tracking the health effects of these chemicals in our drinking water supplies.
  • Policy Platform: There are dozens of active environmental groups in the county. However, few are working together on public policy issues. We are working with others in the local environmental movement to create a platform around which all our groups can unite. This platform includes raising water quality testing standards and restoring Pennsylvania’s “Right To Know” law so every citizen is informed about the chemicals we are breathing, drinking, and eating.
  • Bridging the Urban-Rural Divide: Through joint conservation efforts, recreational activities, and educational campaigns with the Harry Enstrom Chapter in Greene County, we will work closely with IWLA members and other citizens in the rural areas of our state around common goals.

With your help, we can accomplish these goals – and much more!

Mission of the Izaak Walton Leauge of America

To conserve, maintain, protect, and restore the soil, forest, water, and other natural resources of the United States and other lands; to promote means and opportunities for the education of the public with respect to such resources and their enjoyment and wholesome utilization.

Membership Pledge of the Izaak Walton League of America

To strive for the purity of water, the clarity of air, and the wise stewardship of the land and its resources; to know the beauty and understanding of nature and the value of wildlife, woodlands, and open space; to the preservation of this heritage and to man’s sharing in it. I pledge myself as a member of the Izaak Walton League of America

Article I Section 27 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.

Article I, § 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution