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Personal Stories from the River: Steven Clemson

Tue Jun 29, 2010 / Sierra Gladfelter

EPA’s Office of Wetlands,Oceans and Watersheds Sustainable Communities Healthy Watersheds 2009 Annual Report (840R09001)

As a paddler, I believe that I have a better sense of the health of the rivers and streams that I am traveling in. If there is a problem with the river, it is much easier to see when on the river than observing it from a car or while walking on a road. The experience of paddling helps one realize the effects that certain actions have on the river’s health.

At certain points in the Sojourn I was surprised at how clear the water was because of prior experience on this river. It seems as though people are starting to realize that they need to change the way they treat the environment in and around the Schuylkill. I remember last year as we were paddling we came upon an oil spill in the river and it was very disappointing to see this happening in the water. When we stopped for lunch the program guides who were testing the water called DEP and by the end of the trip cleanup had begun. This action has given me hope that the future of this river and others will be in good hands because of people like this who care so much. The people you meet on the Sojourn are very passionate about what they are doing and really want to make a change for the better in our environment.


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