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SAN Connections
Spring 2015
SAN Connections Spring Header

Schuylkill Scrub Expanded: 

Schuylkill Scrub header 2The Schuylkill Scrub, a watershed-wide cleanup initiative, now runs a month longer from March 1 to May 31. Registered cleanups have access to free supplies, such as trash bags, vests, gloves, and free or reduced trash pickup through Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful's Great American Cleanup of PA. Those who register cleanups can win gift certificates for kayaking, tubing, and more along the Schuylkill River!

Register your cleanup now. OR Find a cleanup near you.

Sly Fox's Schuylkill River Trail (SRT) Ale: Beer Benefiting the Trail
Sly Fox Brewing Company has partnered with the Schuylkill River Heritage Area to create the Schuylkill River Trail Ale. A portion of the sales from the beer will go toward improving and maintaining the 130-mile Schuylkill River Trail. 

Explore the trail and try out the new beer during the Schuylkill River Trail Spree from Friday, April 17th to Wednesday, April 22nd. There are also daily cleanups registered with the Schuylkill Scrub. 

For more information, click here.

Over $35,000 Awarded to the Schuylkill Action Students Program

Through Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Growing Greener grant, over $35,000 was awarded to three schools through the Schuylkill Action Students program. The Schuylkill Action Students program works to improve stormwater management on school campuses through environmental education and hands-on learning. The three schools projects are listed below.
  • West Vincent Elementary School will naturalize an existing stormwater basin with native vegetation to reduce runoff into the French Creek.
  • Phoenixville Area Middle School will reduce stormwater runoff pollution from entering the Pickering Creek by installing a 2,000 square foot bioswale.
  • The Montessori School will install four rain barrels and three downspout planters, improving water quality in the Pine Run Creek. Additionally, the school will develop a master plan to address stormwater flooding on campus.

Penn State Undergrads Develop What Will be the Largest Mine Treatment Facility in PA

AMD - image from Penn State
Abandoned mines have the greatest impact on water quality in the headwaters of the Schuylkill Watershed. They release heavy metals and extremely low (acidic) pH water into streams, creating an inhabitable environment for fish and other aquatic life.

Remember, headwater streams are the beginning of a watershed. Water flows downstream from headwaters, so what happens upstream (in the headwaters) has a great impact downstream.

Penn State undergrads are working to combat this issue by developing what will become the largest mine water treatment facility in the state. The treatment facility will address mine drainage from the Oak Hill Collieries and the Pine Knot Complex, the two largest sources of acid mine drainage in the Schuylkill River.

For more on this story from PSU News, click here.

Artists Paint with Abandoned Mine Sludge

You briefly learned about the problems with abandoned mines releasing heavy metals into streams and what Penn State students are doing to address this issue. Although not in the Schuylkill, Guy Riefler, a professor at Ohio University, has a completely new idea to clean up streams from abandoned mines - using the pigments from sludge to create paint for artists. Pigments from iron oxide were used in ancient cave paintings, but this is the first time pigments would be used to fight pollution.

For more on the story, click here.

Schuylkill Acts & Impacts

schuylkill acts and impacts
The Schuylkill Headwaters Association is partnering with the Fairmount Water Works and Take It Outdoors Adventure for the 2nd annual Schuylkill Act & Impacts from July 11-17, 2015. Schuylkill Acts & Impacts is a program for high school students that provides hands-on learning about the Schuylkill River and Watershed through traveling the entire 120-mile length of the Schuylkill River, from the headwaters in Schuylkill County to the Schuylkill River's confluence with the Delaware River in Philadelphia. Students learn about the issues that impact the Schuylkill River through their expedition, including abandoned mines, agriculture, stormwater, and the role of land preservation on watershed health. 

To apply for Schuylkill Acts & Impacts 2015, click here
Applications are due on Friday, April 10th!

Upcoming Events and Reminders:

NEW! 2015 SAN Progress Report

CoverFrom treating abandoned mines in the headwaters, to managing manure on agricultural lands, to installing stormwater BMPs on school campuses, and much much more, the Schuylkill Action Network members have been hard at work this past year!

DOWNLOAD the progress report to learn more.

$15 Million Invested in the Delaware River Watershed Through the New Regional Conservation Partnership Program

Through the new USDA's Regional Conservation Partnership Program, funds will be awarded to installing conservation practices on agricultural and forest lands to improve water and soil quality, and restore fish and wildlife habitat. For more on the story, click here.

Philadelphia: 3rd Top Place to Visit in the WORLD 

gswach1 (instagram) - Schuylkill Banks BoardwalkThe NY Times ranks Philadelphia as the third top place to visit in the entire world in 2015. One reason why? The beautiful view of the Schuylkill River from the new Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk. But there's many more! For the full list of top places to visit, click here.

Schuylkill Water Stewards Volunteer Monitoring Program

TDA_5395Learn more about streams, water quality, and aquatic life in the Schuylkill Watershed by joining the Schuylkill Water Stewards volunteer monitoring program. After five fun and engaging training sessions, you will monitor and protect streams by observing habitat, wildlife, stormwater, and measuring water quality. Applications are due March 31st. 

Contact Us:

Tom Davidock, 
SAN Coordinator

Virginia Vassalotti, 
SAN Fellow

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