About the Center

Our Mission: To advance knowledge and stewardship of fresh water systems through global research, education, and restoration

Interview with Director Bernard Sweeney. Video courtesy of ContentDelaware.org

Driven by the philosophy that understanding the science of fresh water is fundamental to our ability to protect the integrity of this finite and vital resource, the Center seeks to disseminate its research findings to its peers in the scientific and educational communities, as well as businesses, landowners, policy makers and individuals, to enable informed decision making that affects water quality and availability in our local communities and the world around us.

We accomplish our goals through our pursuit of both basic and applied scientific research, as well as through educational programs, which serve audiences ranging in age from elementary school children to adults in continuing education programs.

Stroud Water Research Center undertakes applied research projects for public agencies and private corporations in an effort to provide solutions to water resource problems throughout the world.

Fresh Water is Our Only Focus

Since 1967, the Stroud Water Research Center’s internationally acclaimed scientists and educators have been focused on one thing — fresh water.

While our research concentrates on streams and rivers — including how they function as a whole and the complex web of life that inhabits them — there’s a much larger story behind our efforts. The health of these freshwater ecosystems is our first line of defense in preserving clean water — and clean water is essential to all life.

Only through knowing how healthy streams and rivers work, and what happens when they become polluted, can we determine how to protect and preserve this vital resource now and for generations to come.

Science Without Bias

We’re not an advocacy group. We practice science without bias.

Our scientific rigor ensures the research integrity that is critical to building trust in the preventative and prescriptive measures that we recommend for water conservation and watershed stewardship.

Businesses, government policy makers, landowners, and community volunteers alike use the Center’s research findings to make informed decisions about issues that affect water quality and availability — from land use planning and storm water management to water treatment and conservation.

Groundbreaking Research

“Stroud has been at the forefront of the most groundbreaking and critical stream research over the past four decades and many of these discoveries now provide the basic assumptions of stream research.” ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR. CHAIRMAN, WATERKEEPER ALLIANCE

At the heart of the organization is an interdisciplinary team of scientists whose research efforts are dedicated to understanding the ecology of streams, rivers and their watersheds — both pristine and polluted.

Driven by the philosophy that understanding the science of fresh water is fundamental to our ability to protect this finite and vital resource, Stroud scientists apply their unique, interdisciplinary approach to the critical questions that affect water quality and availability around the world.

While the Center’s research is done in streams, rivers and watersheds across the globe, our sites near White Clay Creek in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and the Maritza Biological Station in the Guanacaste Conservation Area of Costa Rica are ideal natural laboratories for studying temperate and tropical freshwater ecosystems in areas protected from manmade disturbances. This unique advantage and our time tested approach to the science of fresh water set us apart and enable the pioneering research for which we are known.

To the Center’s credit are a host of internationally recognized concepts and paradigms describing fresh water ecosystems that are being leveraged today — and which provide the foundation on which innovative and collaborative research begins anew.

Leaf packs supply most of the energy for the aquatic organisms that serve as our first line of defense in ensuring clean water. They also provide the cornerstone of our successful educational programs and the Leaf Pack Network®. The leaf pack underscores the interconnectedness of all species and the critical role each plays in protecting our most vital resource — water.

Acclaimed Educational Programs

Of equal importance to the science is our ability to make the Center’s research findings accessible to a broad audience of teachers, students, policy makers and others, with the goal of cultivating the public understanding necessary to protect, preserve and restore watersheds everywhere.

Through a combination of field and classroom instruction, as well as packaged curricula such as the Leaf Pack Network® program, the Center’s educators use the watershed as the theme around which to discuss science, build stewardship and affect public policy.

A variety of programs and public lecture series for students, teachers, watershed associations and conservation groups allows our educators and scientists to serve audiences ranging from elementary school children to adults.

Help Spread the Word

The information contained on this page is available in a downloadable brochure.