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.
- 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 is currently initiating major projects in the "Heartland" area of Pennsylvania, which includes 77 miles of the Lower West Branch Susquehanna River, the North Branch, and the confluence at Sunbury. Major initiatives planned or underway include:
- Monitoring of water quality in the Susquehanna River Lower West Branch and major tributaries, including 17 testing locations between Lock Haven and Sunbury
- Assessment of the effectiveness of riparian buffers to reduce Non-point Source Pollution in Chillisquaque Creek
SRHCES, in cooperation with Bucknell University, mantains two permanent water monitoring meters for continuous water quliaty at Danville (on the North Branch) and Milton (on the West Branch). Click here to view real time data.
The Coalition also publishes an annual Pulse of the Heartland Report and has done so since 2007. These reports are accessible below:
For additional information, please contact Dr. Mel Zimmerman, PhD.
PA Environmental Digest Article on SRHCES
Geisinger Center for Health and Rural Advocacy