Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fight for Clean Water Act

The never ending struggle to ensure that the Federal Clean Water Act is implemented and enforced took another hit, this time from the Supremes, who upheld the Bush-Cheney rule allowing industries to dump toxic waste into the water. They left us with a legacy of degradation, deterioration and destruction. Read about it here. And here.

Obama has an opportunity to reverse the Bush-Cheney rules.

Friday, June 19, 2009

National Paddlesports Conference...

Anyone who is serious about canoeing, kayaking and rafting will want to consider registering for and participating in the National Paddlesports Conference to be held October 23-25 in Fredericksburg, VA.

There will be many instruction opportunities and some fun paddling on the pretty Rappahanock River. F-burg is a really attractive small college town. Getting there from here (Philly-NY) by car require an unpleasant trip down I-95, but with careful timing and some luck it's not too bad. It can also be reached via Amtrak, which would preclude taking the Howler or whatever boat you are paddling.

See the above link for more info and/or go to the American Canoe Association website to register.

The Delaware River at Riegelsville Gage shows the river flatlining just under 11' and it might come a little bit more pending the outcome of the next round of storms tomorrow. The Musconetcong and many other small streams are running strong and good paddling levels.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rising rivers...

Obama inherited a huge budget deficit from Bush and our region inherited a big precipitation deficit from last year. Looks like the later may finally be erased by the end of this week. Finally, great canoeing conditions on the creeks and little rivers.

The NWS hasn't posted any flood watches yet, but that could change later today for small streams. The Delaware River at the Riegelsville Gage shows it is surging to 7 feet, but won't get close to the 22' flood stage. The Lehigh at Bethlehem is also rising quickly and that is the primary influence for the Delaware River below Easton. For towns like Riegelsville, Stockton, New Hope and Yardley it's all about the Lehigh. Forget about the NYC reservoirs. They could be at 50% capacity and major flooding could occur. Why? Because the Lehigh River watershed is as large as all three major reservoirs combined.

The NJ tribs are also running higher than normal, which is the reverse of the prior several minths. The Musconetcong is heading towards 2' at the Bloomsbury Gage.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Senseless tragedy...

Hey, the creek is way up. Let's go kayaking!

Two brothers drowned in the hydraulic 'washing machine' effect of a low head dam on the rain-swollen Brandywine Creek. This dam reportedly has a four foot drop. They were said to be wearing life jackets, and ignored warnings from county park employees not to proceed down the creek to the dam. Even a properly worn and snug life jacket is no guarantee of survival for someone unfortunate to end up in the mash of a low head dam. Been there - done that. In February, sans life jacket, and still managed to survive.

This story is another reminder that much more needs to be done to capture the attention of aspiring paddlers as they enter the sport, right at the point of purchase. That's the first opportunity to open minds to the rich and diverse culture of paddlesports.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

River Bright rescheduled

Three Merganser hens hang out with the turtles.

Project River Bright has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 10 and will cover the stretch of water downstream from the Riegelsville NJ river access. Book it!

Friday, June 05, 2009

River Bright is canceled...

It's a tough call...the gage at Riegelsville hasn't moved much today, but the Lehigh River and Musconetcong River will rise some more, and the smaller tribs below R-ville are definitely high.

After consulting with a few folks I have decided to cancel the river cleanup for tomorrow. We will reschedule, but probably not until the fall. Stay tuned.

I thank all the volunteers for your patience and willingness to help out. A special thanks goes out to those who helped with planning and logistics. At least we'll 'live to fight another day.'

Moron Gas drillling...

OK...make that more on gas drilling. Here's a report from ProPublica on the congressional hearings today, where industry reps defended pumping toxic chemicals into the ground, without any scrutiny and sanctioned by a loophole in the Federal Clean Water Act.

I will be posting an update on stream conditions in approximately 4 hours.

Rain Reigns...

A month ago the possibility of drought conditions was real enough. Since then things have turned around somewhat, although judging by the base flow of some streams there is still much percolation needed.

Today the Lehigh River at Bethlehem has just started to show a steep rise and that will filter down to the Delaware River at Riegelsville later today; and that gage shows the river is still falling slightly.

The river cleanup planned for tomorrow may or may not be canceled, but if it keeps raining all day, it will most likely be a washout. So far the rain has been steady but not particularly heavy here in the New Hope area where I work. The problem is that the river may not reach an unsafe level for the cleanup until late tonight...and that is too late to make a decision considering the distance some folks need to travel to get to Riegelsville.

Stay tuned.