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Personal Stories from the River: Shawn Gemmell & Cody Gemmell

Tue Jun 29, 2010 / Sierra Gladfelter

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


Living and growing up in Schuylkill County, you always hear about the river being polluted, from mining, industry, and sewage. You don't think of the Schuylkill as a river to enjoy. However, now as paddlers, we are more aware and appreciate the health of rivers and streams. This is because we not only enjoy paddling, but also fishing as well. In the recent past, we paddled the West Branch of the Schuylkill from Pottsville to Cressona. Here the water is orange, full of debris, with alot of run-off areas. When we paddled the sojourn from Schuylkill Haven to Port Clinton, we immediately noticed the water is not orange, but clearer, with less garbage. There were two giant wire spools in the Haven area we noticed in the water, and were curious as to how and why they were there. Overall, the water was much clearer than we expected, and we thought it would be full of garbage and debris. When we are on the rivers and streams, we take all steps to keep the waters clean, by not polluting. As residents of Schuylkill County, we are proud to say we participated in the sojourn and look forward to spending more time paddling on our river.

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