People encouraged to get involved via feedback, resouces as we gear up for a full slate scheduled in 2024
A year ago, I shared a column about water testing in which I shared a story about a young boy drinking a glass of water from a tap moments before I collected a residential well sample.
Shortly after, the results showed the treatment system in the family's basement wasn't working, that a variety of contaminants were streaming through the water in the home.
While we were able to fix the problem, the column suggested that among our goals for 2023 would be an emphasis on water sampling. While that has been the case -- in fact, I am working on some concerning numbers from the lab right now involving samples taken a few weeks ago -- I'd love to see a much more sampling (residential, surface water and beyond) as we head into yet another new year soon.
The reality is that water sampling is expensive, especially when factoring in panels of some of the newer emerging contaminants (microplastics, PFAS, etc.). This is just one of many hurdles we face as we strive to protect and promote the health and vibrancy of the Susquehanna River, its tributaries and the aquatic ecosystem that depends on these resources across an 11,000 square-mile watershed.
Riverkeeper note: The following is a press release from the Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance. We will be following up with more info on this update soon, including ways people can get involved with the important work being done by the SCRA.
Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance (SCRA) has received notification of a grant selection by the Biden-Harris Administration through the US Environmental Protection Agency. These grants address environmental justice projects across Pennsylvania as part of the Investing in America Agenda. SCRA served as the grant applicant; partners are FAR Better Together and Shamokin Community Gardens and Pocket Parks. The maximum award of $500,000 was requested and granted. The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) program intentionally targeted small, non-profit organizations that historically struggle to receive federal funding.
The local award will establish a brick-and-mortar presence in the Shamokin Area and provide a full-time community coordinator position. Area non-profits will be invited to participate in the pooling of resources, volunteers, and services.
Citing the pre-pandemic town hall meeting held in February 2020, organizers recognized the need for grass roots revitalization efforts in the community. As a result, several groups were formed with the goal of improving life in the greater Shamokin area.
Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper is hiring two new positions: Assistant Director & Vernal School Supervisor
The Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association (MSRKA), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization headquartered in Sunbury, PA, tasked with protecting and promoting the health and vibrancy of the Susquehanna River, its tributaries and clean water resources across an 11,000-square-mile watershed is looking for applicants for two new full-time positions.
One will be an assistant director/deputy riverkeeper to work directly with current Executive Director/Riverkeeper John Zaktansky in expanding the association's efforts to better protect clean water resources and engage/educate/empower individuals, groups and communities across the greater watershed to make realistic, long-standing improvements.
The other will be to help oversee and coordinate environmental education programs via the new Vernal School Environmental Education Partnership connected to the Montour Preserve in coordination with the MSRKA and more than 20 other local community partners.
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.