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To All First Time Visitors

I've noticed a significant increase in the number of first time visitors in the past 30 days.

First & foremost: Welcome!

As a brief intro; I've been blogging since 1999. I have a degree in Earth & Environmental Science, and have twice taken the Susquehanna River to the #1 spot on American Rivers annual "Most Endangered" list; first in 2005 and again in 2011. I stopped counting when I hit the 2,000 mile mark paddling on the Susquehanna.

When it comes to my favorite river and the environmental challenges it continues to face, I've forgotten more than most of the newly-ordained "experts" out there. To that end, I've scaled back my public activism over the past few years out of sheer frustration at the (mostly) clueless cacophony coming from the new crop of wannabes seeking their 15 seconds of...whatever.

Unfortunately, I'm getting restless again.

Stay tuned.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Radioactive Tritium in Groundwater...

...is not a health concern.
That is, according to officials from Exelon and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 
Read more here.
Anyone who actually buys their lies is clueless. 
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Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
-Dylan Thomas

Monday, June 22, 2015

Kayaker rescued by Hovercraft

"None of the three kayakers, who were in their mid-20s, were wearing their life preservers."
Read more about it here.
I still don't understand why people go out on the water, especially a big river, without wearing PFD's. Moving water is one of the most powerful forces on this planet. A pleasant afternoon outing can turn into a life-and-death struggle in a matter of seconds.
No one gets in any of my kayaks without one.
Enough said.
My daughters (with PFDs) on the Susquehanna.
A safe ( and happy ) kayaker.
My sister garbed in a stylish (?) PFD.
The Blogfather himself wearing a monster PFD.

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Sorry to have missed paddling on the Susquehanna this weekend.

Looks like Saturday's trip was a success.
Today would have been doable, at least for the kayaks & canoes. 

Looking forward to getting out on the river on July 11th.
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.
Miss mine...
 ~Christmas 1955.
January 2012
October 2012

November 2012

Friday, June 19, 2015

Buttons and Timelines

Two ( or 2.5 ) quick thoughts for the day:

1). The sale of SOS buttons has topped $3,000. I will be adding my $10.00 this weekend.

 "Once we raise that first $100,000 we’ll start doing projects and I’m hopeful we’ll get to the point where we can say the river is recovered."
Unfortunately, the PFBC has a long way to go...a very long way, and I'm not referring to money.
2). I've read several estimates that 95% of the "old growth" redwood forests along the CA/ Pacific coastal region have been cut down over the last ~150 years or so. 95%.  Since many of those trees were well over 1,000 years old at the time, it would take - with no intervention by man - roughly 1,000 years to return those same regions to their former state.
Fact is...we've been slowly but continuously altering the Susquehanna's watershed since the late 1700's; 200 years or more
And how long will it be before we ( the PFBC ) can say the river is recovered? A few years?
Guess again.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

RiverFest 2015: 2 of 3 Paddling Trips Cancelled

Due to high/unsafe water conditions.
I know from prior years that the 6' stage @ Wilkes-Barre was the cut-off point for paddling. Unless there is more rain upstream, the river should drop below that level in the next ~24 hours or so.
Sorry I won't be able to paddle on Sunday, but hopefully for all who registered, Saturday's events will go off without a hitch.
I am definitely planning to make the rescheduled trip on July 11th.
Hope to see everyone then.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Conewago Chemical Spill: No impact?!?

Conewago: "At the rapids"
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The folks at our DEP never cease to dumbfound me.
"So far, more than 21 miles of aquatic life have been destroyed, according to the commission, but the DEP said the contaminated water is not expected to have a negative impact on the wildlife in the Susquehanna."
For those that haven't ben following what's happening in the lower Susquehanna River watershed, take a few minutes to read this.
"At least 10,000 fish have been killed in a section of the Conewago Creek near the location of a massive chemical-plant fire in Adams County, according to two state spokesmen, and the public is being warned not to be on or in the water."
So imagine my reaction when this headline hit yesterday.
21 miles of aquatic life destroyed.
10,000+ fish killed.
No visible impact, eh? 
Hang loose for a little. In nature, things take time.

Gee...I wonder how the bottom of the food chain in the Susquehanna River downstream of Conewago Creek is faring right about now?
Susquehanna Artwork by Paul Barretto in 1998

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Buttons & T-Shirts

Just passing this along as an FYI from the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper website. 
Smallmouth are dying again this year- Rare cancer found.
Help us pressure the politicians to focus on the Susquehanna by buying this awesome SOS- Save Our Smallmouth T-Shirt.  Some of the fishermen set up this great fundraiser for us. Buy a SAVE OUR SMALLMOUTH shirt, and 20% of the cost comes to us to pressure the politicians into taking action, and working with the scientists to find the right solutions. Please buy a shirt today. They’ve already raised over $200 for us! Thanks, Chris Gorsuch, Jeff Little, John Stygler and friends!


Monday, June 8, 2015

Two Weeks Away: RiverFest 2015

Rain or shine...hope to see everyone there.

Pics from years gone by...
 "Take me to the one they call Zorcong!"

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Around the Next Bend

My earliest memory of the Susquehanna River is walking over the Market Street bridge in the mid-60's and my Mom pointing out how low the river was due to "the drought". Many years later when doing some research on the Susquehanna's historical stream flow...there it was.
And my fascination with and connection to this river has never ended.
I have dozens, if not hundreds, of similar articles and Op/Eds like the one below where one politician or another put forth their grand plan to clean up the Susquehanna River.

Of course, most of their grand plans went nowhere. 
Even though I've helped the Susquehanna be named as America's Most Endangered river twice, in 2005 and 2011, and was actively involved in getting an inflatable dam from being built...I know my work is not over.
Trust me on that one.
“The Susquehanna is one of the most ancient rivers on Earth. In its current state, it is a far cry from the pristine and primeval watershed that existed only a few centuries ago. The threat posed by the natural gas industry and horizontal hydrofracturing will eclipse the environmental legacy of the lumber and coal-mining industries combined, and as a long-time advocate for the protection of the Susquehanna, I believe we must call for an immediate moratorium on all water withdrawals and all natural gas drilling until the technology and legislation catches up with the desire and need to exploit these fossil-fuel resources,”
-said Don Williams, Susquehanna River Sentinel.
Got a beautiful day brewing outside...think I'll step away and enjoy it.
Catch you later.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Susquehanna Clean-Up: Billion$ and Centuries

Over a decade ago, when I was in the midst of fighting the proposed inflatable dam on the Susquehanna River, there was a "high level" public meeting/hearing held in Wilkes-Barre to talk about plans/proposals to clean up the Susquehanna as part of former U.S. Congressman Paul Kanjorski's frantic push to get additional support for his pet project.
As it was on a weekday and I could not attend, I emailed a question to one of the folks organizing the meeting and asked that it be presented to the panel of "experts" in attendance. I'm not going to spend time looking for the actual email, which I'm guessing has long since been deleted or recycled, but I remember it fairly well and it went something like this:
"If unlimited funds were available, please provide your best estimate as to how long it would take and how much it would cost to clean up the Susquehanna to the level of water quality that existed in the 1700's?"
To sum up their answer as best I recall:
Billion$ and centuries.  
Anything that raises awareness about the Sad State of the Susquehanna is, in my opinion, a good thing.
However, pardoning my cynicism, the PFBC's approach lacks the imagination and energy needed to turn this thing around. 
What they need...is the freedom and vision to dream.
And, of course, unlimited funding.
More in a few.
“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”