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Personal Stories from the River: Lou Ann Pacocha

Tue Jun 29, 2010 / Sierra Gladfelter


Usually when I see Blue Heron I know it is a healthy water system & the return of the eagles tells me there is a food supply for them to exist. I’ve paddled the Susquehanna River, both branches. Just like the Schuylkill it had similar problems due to the coal industry in the area. Am I comfortable with the cleanliness & clarity of the Schuylkill? Yes, I could see fresh water clams all the way down river...we also saw a beaver, turtles, frogs, Baltimore Oriole, and other bird life. They are thriving in this environment. I did see a discarded tire, water bottle, child's ball along the way...nothing shocking....One day I paddled a section of the Susquehanna River and the guide pointed out remains of old canal walls, a Blue Heron flew over & I thought ...this is sooooooooo beautiful ! Why do I put myself through the trouble of going around the world on vacation? Now, I'm all into backyard adventures. I did the Schuylkill Sojourn the year they partnered with Stroud Water. They were constantly testing water quality along the way. Also the SKIP Schuylkill Keep It Pretty organization does a great job in keeping the area clean. The Schuylkill River...It's a treasure! For both recreational & historic reasons. Having traveled to places like Kenya where the tribesmen dig in a dried up riverbed to try to hit water or the Philippines where water is collected in tanks on the roof & you make use of a bucket & scoop in the shower to rinse off without wasting more water. I realize it is very important to conserve & protect what water we do have.


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