Tuesday, May 29, 2007

UNIS XVI...best ever

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Been too busy to write an account of the 16th Annual United Nations International School trip through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. A few photos will have to do for now.Link

Saturday, May 19, 2007

UN Trip Year 15

#1) We have lots of FUN. Gene Berliner tries to figure out how to get to his canoe, which was suspended from a tree overnight, and surrounded by poison ivy. Prior year Berliner organized a group that put Walter's canoe on top of the portapottie.

#2) Getting set for the United Nations International School canoe trip.


This week I'll be canoeing in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area with 120 thirteen year old students from the United Nations International School. I organized this trip 15 years ago for the school on behalf of Delaware Riverkeeper, and it has become the right-of-passage for students entering the 9th grade.

We typically have about 34 nationalities represented each year. 120 kids means 60 canoes to monitor, instruct, rescue etc. (not including the 8 teachers). Forty-five miles in three days and two nights camping in bear country! (Dingmans Ferry to Portland PA.)

I say we because there are about 8 teachers and perhaps 16 safety personnel. Two of us (Gene Beliner and me) have been on the trip 14 out of 15 times since it began in 1992. It was my first major task when I came to work for Delaware Riverkeeper.

Sometime before the end of May I will be posting a story.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Falling Waters...

Photo courtesy of Leona Fluck depicting a dumpster in the river near Minisink Island.

According to the Riegelsville gage the river has fallen to 4.57, about normal for May 14. Tributaries like the Musconetcong River and Tohickon Creek are running at or just below normal.

This is all good. Flood threats are over but the topic is still hot all along the river valley from Hancock to Trenton.

The Delaware River Basin Commission has a new publication called "Water Supply Reservoirs and Flood Protection" available online that is purported to debunk the myths that have been accepted as truth about why the last three floods occured (the reservoirs did it). I haven't had time to read through it, but then I already know that these homespun theories being spun by self-described river rats are BS. One of these days I will write the definitive one page myth debunking piece. ONE OF THESE DAYS.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Trash Reconnaisance on the Delaware...

#1) Wally heads to the left bank of the Delaware River to check out a typical collection of trash. #2) Eric gazes up at an untypical construction fence. Similar materials can be found 30 feet up in sycamore trees.


Eric, Wally, Jennifer and Jonathan join Sharon and me for the 10-mile stretch of river betwen Phillipsburg and Riegelsville. Main purpose was to get a feel for how the recent high water has changed the location and degree of trashiness along the river.

The Almost Flood of April '07 swept away some of the eddy trash, which has presumably lodged in trees and shrubs somewhere between Riegelsville and Cape May. Many areas are still blighted by all things plastic, from shopping bags to water bottles. We'll do a second recon of this river segment to make more detailed plans. One focus will be the sand and gravel islands below the Rt. 78 bridge.

Although this trip had a serious purpose, it was a releaxing and beautiful run, despite the occasional 25 mph winds. It was Arkansas native(s) Jennifer and Jonathan's first trip on the Delaware and that made it all the more more rewarding for the teacher in me.