Water quality has been a hot topic in Philadelphia from the beginning. Early promotional materials for William Penn’s new city hyped the many streams that would carry away waste, and in the 1730s the likes of Benjamin Franklin tried to regulate industry to clean up the horribly polluted Dock Creek. (These efforts failed, and later in the century the noisome waterway was capped by a brick arch.)
The Science History Institute’s “Downstream” exhibit has won a PA Museums Institutional Achievement Award. “Downstream” explores 200 years of water analysis and protection in the United States. Visitors can follow how the work of scientists has led to policy efforts to protect water as they trace water’s journey through the Delaware watershed.
“Downstream” is on view through July 31. Admission to the museum is free.