Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Day 5 on the river sojourn!

"Any day on the river is a good day" - -> overheard from a Sojourner in the rain. But...we were glad for a break from the rain yesterday. We enjoyed a calm day paddling from Pottstown to  Royersford for lunch, then onto Lock 60 near Phoenixeville. 

The colorful rows of kayaks at all of our landing sites truly announce that the Sojourn has arrived in town! 

We were excited for burgers and sunshine at lunch, and we heard from some people who do amazing work!

We heard about stewardship of the river from several levels. Secretary Dunn from DCNR, and Secretary Richards from PennDOT joined us to paddle for the day, and reminded us of the importance of speaking up for how much we value our natural heritage areas so we can address river and landscape protection on the state, regional, and local level. 

The enormity of the problem of stormwater run- off is overwhelming. But, seeing the extent and scope of the work being done all down the river, across the watershed, is truly incredible. 

 Ryan Beltz of the Perkiomen Watershed Association spoke about the work they do on the community level to protect and restore the Schuylkill's largest tributary! 

He shared about the annual Stream Clean- up that, this year, 700 people were involved with across 50 sites! And, the watershed association has developed an app where residents can geotag locations of trash, and then a crew can come clean it up. 

The Perkiomen Watershed Association also spends the summers doing environmental education and fighting the battle against invasive plants. Then in the fall season, they plant native plants and trees. Ryan shared with us their plans to plant 5,000 native plants in riparian buffers this fall! Riparian buffers are areas along streams that are wooded and shrubby, providing habitat, slowing flooding, cooling the water, and stabilizing banks to prevent erosion.

After lunch, we paddled on to Lock 60, the Schuylkill's last working lock! So very cool to see a piece of regional history in action thanks to our gracious hosts. 

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