Eight reasons you should take your family or other group to the Oct. 15 Clean Water Celebraton in Lewisburg
The Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association's Clean Water Celebration (sponsored by the 1994 Charles B. Degenstein Foundation) on Oct. 15 in Lewisburg, PA, will feature two distinct segments.
From 10 a.m. to noon in Hufnagle Park, there will be a free community focused set of programs including tables from different associations and agencies with hands-on activities for all ages along with two group presentations.
Starting at 12:45 p.m. at the Campus Theatre, we will show the new documentary "American River" with filmmaker Scott Morris followed by a panel discussion that will review the film and issues that tie into what we are facing on the Susquehanna River. Cost for this portion of the day is $10 per ticket.
Why should you carve out some time to attend this event with your family, church group, Scout troop, school class or just by yourself? Here are eight important reasons to participate:
1. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act
The mission of the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association is to promote and protect the health and vibrancy of the Susquehanna River, its resources and the greater watershed. We strive to shelter all creatures -- from the tiniest tadpoles to communities of all sizes throughout our watershed -- while championing clean water efforts.
Fifty years ago, on Oct. 18, 1972, the federal government enacted the Clean Water Act -- a massive overhaul of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948. Among the many new standards it created were restrictions for any person to dump pollution from a point source directly into navigable waters without a permit, permissions for the Environmental Protection Agency to oversee pollution protection measures and wastewater standards, clear water quality benchmarks for all major contaminants and numerous other standards that still help us better protect our resources to this day. Learn more about the history of the Clean Water Act here.
The Clean Water Celebration is an opportunity for us to mark the achievements made possible by the Clean Water Act while looking ahead at what is next via discussions throughout the event on Oct. 15, culminating in our panel discussion after the "American River" film screening.
2. Exclusive screening of the "American River" documentary
Approaching its first anniversary since its world premiere, and with just a limited number of showings since it was released, you can be one of the first to experience the "American River" documentary which ties in very well with the issues we are facing on the Susquehanna River.
Running 86 minutes, the film follows aquatic ecologist and author Mary Bruno and her guide, Carl Alderson, on a four-day kayaking trip down the length of the Passaic River in northern New Jersey. Along the way, we meet all sorts of unique people who depend on the river and who strive to protect it from a long list of potential threats.
Filmmaker Scott Morris will be on hand during the showing and available for comments and questions, and recently shared the following comments on the power of the film beyond the regional appeal:
“A goal of this project was to portray positive aspects of the river despite the environmental hurdles it faces and show those elements in a cinematic experience. You realize as you watch it that this isn’t a film about some localized river, but really a story about all rivers. As people watch this documentary, they are telling us they are inspired to learn more about their own hometown river. There isn’t this feeling that there’s too many environmental problems, or there’s no hope, but more of looking at things in a new way and wanting to get involved and do something about improving our rivers.”
Riverkeeper John Zaktansky recently shared this full review of the film and why everyone should check it out as a way to start vital discussions about our river-based resources.
The film begins with an intro at 12:45 p.m. on Oct. 15 at the Campus Theatre in Lewisburg. Tickets are $10 each for the film and discussion afterward. You can purchase your tickets below. If the cost is an issue, please email Riverkeeper John Zaktansky at firstname.lastname@example.org about scholarship opportunities.
After cost is covered, proceeds from this event help the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association with efforts to better meet its mission to promote and protect our resources.
3. Unique collection of panelists to discuss film and threats facing Susquehanna River
Immediately after the screening of "American River," a special panel discussion will cover important topics addressed in the film and how they connect to threats on the Susquehanna River.
The panel discussion, moderated by Riverkeeper John Zaktansky, will feature a unique collection of experts that you can't hear together anywhere else. That includes filmmaker Scott Morris (from northern New Jersey), Lycoming College Clean Water Institute's Leslie Rieck, Susquehanna University Freshwater Research Institute's Matt Wilson, Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (EPCAMR)'s executive director Bobby Hughes, Susquehanna Greenway Partnership communication and outreach director Alana Jajko and Susquehanna River Basin Commission manager of monitoring and detection James Shallenberger.
Topics of discussion will include an overview of the film's creation from Morris along with issues such as urban and agricultural runoff, sewage treatment, dams and blockage of migrating fish species, industrial effluent, acid mine drainage, plastics and littering and lack of public access to river resources. Questions from the audience will be welcome during the discussion as well. Panel will wrap up no later than 3:30 p.m.
4. Special presentation about innovative restoration of Bull Run in Lewisburg
As part of a special free two-hour slate of events in the morning of our Clean Water Celebration (running 10 a.m. to noon), Brian Auman, landscape architect of the redesigned Kidsburg Park and Bull Run in Lewisburg will offer a group presentation at the park at 10: 15 a.m.
The recently completed park restores the floodplain while giving better access to the waterway in an effort to elicit more natural play experiences and spark a better appreciation of the waterway. This presentation is slated for 10:15 a.m. in the nature play area of Kidsburg and should last 40-45 minutes.
Following the presentation, the Lewisburg Scout Troop will be holding a special scavenger hunt activity for kids in the nature play area of the Kidsburg park.
For background on Auman and the project, check out his presentation from our June 28 Floating Classroom aboard the Hiawatha Paddleboat in this review video.
Susquehanna University Freshwater Research Institute students Danielle Tryon and Morgan Thomas (inset photo), who both served as interns and current student board members with the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association, will offer a group presentation on trout habitat at the Clean Water Celebration.
5. Special presentation on brook trout habitat and how we can make a difference
At 11 a.m. in the gazebo of Lewisburg's Hufnagle Park, Susquehanna University Freshwater Research Institute students Danielle Tryon and Morgan Thomas will offer a presentation about trout habitat and important research surrounding it.
Tryon and Thomas, who were interns with the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association in the summer of 2021 and currently serve as student board members of the association, will specifically discuss brook trout, analyzing their needs (food, habitat, conditions) and how humans have affected their habitat. Discussion will include how people can make an impact and better our watershed. The presentation is estimated to run about 45 minutes.
6. Hands-on activities and free information via partner booths
Throughout the free morning community session in Hufnagle Park (near the gazebo), a growing number of partner associations and other groups will have tables with information and hands-on activities on a wide variety of topics. So far, they include:
7. Education and awareness for the whole family
Our Clean Water Celebration was developed with activities for all ages in mind, and with a full scope of opportunities throughout the full day. While some may choose to attend only the morning (10 a.m. to noon) or afternoon film and panel (12:45-3:30 p.m.) sessions, we encourage families -- as well as other groups -- to come for the full day.
There are few opportunities for families (and other groups) to explore and learn together, and we strive to offer this sort of environment for all ages. We are hoping the full experience will help open new lines of dialogue not only about our aquatic resources and the importance of clean water, but also what needs to happen moving forward to evolve protections of the Clean Water Act of 1972 into something that can make realistic improvements for generations to come.
Please provide feedback on ways we can best achieve this goal by connecting with Riverkeeper John Zaktansky at email@example.com
8. Exclusive first access to new Riverkeeper line of T-shirts, other gift ideas
If nothing else, we encourage everyone to stop out and help support the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association (MSRKA) via our new line of T-shirts, which will be offered for the first time at this event.
The shirts come in three different designs -- river doodle on aqua, brook trout on maroon and hellbender on forest green -- that were specifically designed by association student board member Morgan Thomas. Shirts come in a variety of sizes and will cost only $15 each, with all proceeds going directly back to the MSRKA.
Other unique gift options that will be available at the Clean Water Celebration will include our Susquehanna Sentinels: Volume 1 paperback book, Songs of the Susquehanna CD compilations of original river-inspired music by local artists (both Volume 1 and Volume 2), neck gaiters, hats and an assortment of decals and patches.
For more information about this event, contact Riverkeeper John Zaktansky directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-768-6300
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John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.