Saturday, June 17, 2006

Welcome to the Delaware River Journal

By way of introduction, the Delaware River Journal (DRJ) is an open-ended discussion of the widest possible range of topics related the RIVER. The DRJ is dedicated to all the many people who care about the Delaware River and its tributaries, especially the legions of activists who work in their own communities and watersheds to protect environmental quality around the 13,539 square mile river basin.

There are so many people out there who have an abiding respect and affection for the Delaware River. These relationships between people and the river take on many forms. For some it is the fishing boat and lure of landing a small mouth bass or shad, for others the view at sunset from the bridge or back porch, the canoe paddle carving a path through the current, or the refreshing plunge from the rope swing or pontoon boat.

In my case it was love at first sight, although I have since come to know this river on so many different levels. The relationship was born out of a deep affinity for and professional work on behalf of moving water environments -- mainly creeks, rivers and their watersheds.

Nearly twenty-five years ago I moved into a log cabin situated in a mature floodplain forest along the Perkiomen Creek, largest tributary to the Schuylkill River, itself being the largest Delaware River tributary. That nearly eight year chapter in my life began a total immersion in the infinite array of topics having to do with moving water.

When I came to work for Delaware Riverkeeper Network in 1992 the learning curve accelerated. That job and subsequent positions working on behalf of Delaware River tributaries such as the Musconetcong, Tohickon, Lackawaxen, and Wickecheoke to name a few, put me in touch with so many dedicated people who give so much more than they take.

The frequency of new posts to this Journal will be dictated by how much time is available to write, and by the condition of the river and urgency of issues surrounding it. I welcome your comments and hope this will be a catalyst for others who share an interest in the river and its tributaries.

Naturally, much of what is written here will come from my frequent trips down the river, the View From the Canoe will rule.

Speaking of which, yesterday I paddled a great stretch of river between Raubs Island and the Indian Rock Inn,
which is nestled in the lower end of the Nockamixon Palisades. The "IR" is one of my favorite haunts, a friendly country inn with great food and live music. It is a lovely way to end a canoe trip, except for the difficulty of taking out at a poison ivy and nettle infested steep path.

This stretch of the river cuts through the Reading Prong (Highlands), passing some fine limestone streams including the Pohatcong Creek, Musconetcong River, and Cooks Creek. Then the river enters the red Triassic rock of the Piedmont region, which is wonderfully displayed by the aformentioned bluffs and further downstream on the NJ side, the Milford Bluffs. One of the great things about living in this region is one can always determine the local geology by looking at the houses, barns, canal walls and churches built from local stone. Stand at the head of any island in the lower Delaware and one can see every type of rock found upstream in the watershed.

The river was running at around 4.60' at the Riegelsville gauge, a nice flow that is about a foot higher than the daily mean. The water clarity is coming back and the short range forecast suggests that the river will continue to fall to seasonal levels. Observed a mature bald eagle flying above the tree tops at Traugers Farm Market.

See you on the water.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey JB - nice blog!

I'll check in from time to time and give you a heads up on any interesting news about the river.