More than 100 Scouts, leaders join in River Ecology Day with trash pickup, aquatic education with Riverkeeper
Ninety-eight registered Scouts and additional young people curious about Scouting attended the Scout River Ecology Day on Aug. 19, 2023, at the Shikellamy State Park near Sunbury.
The program, a collaboration between the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association, Susquehanna Council BSA and the Shikellamy State Park, ran from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and included a morning trash pickup service project followed by a rotation through eight stations about various elements of the aquatic ecosystem and how they interact with each other.
Fifty-five join Floating Classroom on bird calls and ways they can be used to help monitor waterway health
The Aug. 22, 2023, Floating Classroom aboard the Hiawatha Paddleboat near Williamsport drew a wide variety of people for sessions on identifying various types of bird calls and learning how those calls may be used to better monitor stream health.
Dr. Mary Morrison, of Lycoming College, and Bonalyn Mosteller, both representing the Lycoming College Audubon Society, ran the upstairs presentation on common bird calls and how to identify them.
The lower-level discussion was led by Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper John Zaktansky and Assistant Research Professor at Penn State, Brandon Forsythe, on the association's Birdnet project.
Study: Coal waste in foundation of 'legacy' island on Susquehanna River a reminder of our long-term impact
Deep within core samples taken this summer from an unnamed Susquehanna River island near Beach Haven (just north of Berwick in Luzerne County), Dr. Jennifer Elick and two of her Susquehanna University students discovered an unexpected cocktail of components.
In addition to some minerals likely delivered by glaciers, they found anthracite coal, hematite, shale chips, coke, magnetic glass and iron oxyhydroxide – elements found regularly in coal waste.
“The magnetic glass is the kind of thing that forms inside of furnaces associated with burning coal. Iron oxyhydroxide are the little chips that form as a precipitate from acid mine drainage – that material is ripped up during floods and transported downstream,” said Elick. “All of that along with magnetite and metal from industrial waste – it was all mixed into this sand and gave us a new perspective as to the sources of the sediment and composition of the island itself.”
August 8 Floating Classroom on the Hiawatha covers Native American artifacts & region's logging history
Fifty people participated in the Artifacts and Logging History Floating Classroom aboard the Hiawatha Paddleboat near Williamsport on Tuesday, August 8, 2023.
Kim Mattern, an advocational archeologist and curator of the Snyder County Museum, presented on the lower level about Native American artifacts and culture along the Susquehanna River basin.
Nineteen middle schoolers involved in a summertime CSIU STEM camp attended an OTTERS (Observational Tours To Explore River Systems) Riverwalk along the Susquehanna at the Sunbury Boat Launch on Friday, July 14.
“It’s a been a lot of fun getting into the water,” said 12-year-old Rachel Roslevich, of Turbotville, in an article by The Daily Item about the event. “I might be looking for a chance to do this more.”
"It’s been a lot of fun exploring the water and the wood," added 11-year-old Kennedy Moore, of Watsontown. "I’ve never got to go out and do stuff like this.”
Riverkeeper Assoc. raises awareness about river and the issues it faces at Williamsport Crosscutters game
The Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association was the featured nonprofit organization for the Williamsport Crosscutters' Aug. 1 Charitable Tuesday home baseball game.
This included having an informational table in the stadium concourse, a pregame interview announced throughout the complex and on the Jumbotron, ability to throw out the ceremonial first pitch and a $500 donation from Miele Manufacturing.
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.