Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper John Zaktansky was named to the City & State Magazine's 2022 Pennsylvania Nonprofit Power 100, a list developed to "recognize the nonprofit leaders serving the most vulnerable people in Pennsylvania," according to the magazine.
In its introduction to the piece, City & State lists numerous hurdles that nonprofits have needed to navigate over the past few years, adding: "The organizations featured in our 2022 Nonprofit Power 100 have triumphed in their efforts to provide everything from cash assistance to legal representation, food deliveries to waterways protection despite the constraint on fundraisers, reduced government funding and declining philanthropic support."
Zaktansky joins Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Ted Evgeniadis and Delaware Riverkeeper Network's Maya van Rossum on the list.
Zaktansky took over as Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper and executive director for the association in February of 2020. Since then, the MSRKA has been involved in numerous initiatives to help protect clean water resources and engage, educate and empower a new generation of potential stewards.
This effort has included a March 2021 settlement agreement with Talen Energy concerning coal ash concerns in Montour County. The agreement has created new water sampling data, as well as residential well testing at homes in the region and new water treatment systems for wells that had high levels of various contaminants.
The initiatives have also included the development and implementation of the HERYN (Helping Engage the River's Youth with Nature) Program, which has helped connect more than 100 young people with kayaking and fishing skills, a presentation on watersheds and pollution and a discussion on how each person can be a better steward for the river.
Zaktansky has also developed a growing blog feed of hundreds of articles, investigative reports, columns and podcast episodes on issues facing the Susquehanna and the people who share a passion for the river's resources.
"Inclusion on this list was completely unexpected, especially when considering all the amazing nonprofits that do incredible things with tight resources across just our watershed alone," said Zaktansky. "This isn't a job you do for the recognition, but if being on this list helps raise more awareness for the numerous issues facing the Susquehanna and provides more leverage to better confront those issues, then it is definitely worth it."
To see City & State's 2022 Pennsylvania Nonprofit Power 100, click here.
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.