Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies

The Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies (SRHCES) is a nascent watershed organization whose geographic focus is the entire Susquehanna River West Branch watershed in Pennsylvania. The West Branch Susquehanna watershed drains an area of approximately 4,466 million acres, just under 7,000 square miles. At present, SRHCES partners include representatives from six academic institutions (Bloomsburg University, Susquehanna University, Bucknell University, Lock Haven University, Kings College, and Lycoming College), the PA Department of Environmental Protection, the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, SEDA-COG, Forum-for-the-Future, and the Geisinger Health System.

SRHCES Mission:

  • Promote collaborative community-based research opportunities between local organizations and colleges and universities.
  • Create multi-disciplinary educational opportunities for undergraduates interested in the natural and cultural resources of the Susquehanna River.
  • Develop shared environmental education curriculums that would involve the partner colleges and universities.
  • Design and promote a Susquehanna River website to be used by the college and university partners, area K-12 teachers, and other community partners that would act as a resource fro current and historical educational and community-based research projects.
  • Design and implement K-12 teacher-training programs using local community-based organizations and colleges and universities.
  • Create a model for other states by creating a multi-institution and multi-disciplinary education collaboration that connects undergraduates attending institutions in the Lower Susquehanna region with local communities and environmental organizations.

SRHCES Projects:

SRHCES is currently initiating major projects on the Lower West Branch, which extends approximately 77 miles from Lock Haven to Sunbury, Pennsylvania. Major initiatives planned or underway include:

  • Monitoring of water quality in the Susquehanna River Lower West Branch at 17 sites between Lock Haven and Sunbury.
  • Assessment of the effectiveness of riparian buffers to reduce Non-point Source Pollution in the Chillisquaque Creek at PPL's Montour Preserve.
  • An annual "BioBlitz" to identify all biological resources in a geographic area.
  • The development of a field station and a mobile education and research center.
  • Assessment of the status of an endangered Lamp Mussel in White Deer Creek.

For additional information, please contact Mel Zimmerman.

PA Environmental Digest Article on SRHCES

Geisinger Center for Health and Rural Advocacy