Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The Highlands makes a compelling case for protecting the region from encroaching development -- simply by presenting a science-based factual account of why these rugged foothills of the Appalachian Mountains are so unique and vital, not only to the people who live and recreate there but to the millions of people who live downstream from the Highlands and are dependent on the region for drinking water. The book provides a clear overview of how the boundaries of the Highlands have been defined, from both political and geographic perspectives, and readers are treated to a historical overview of parks and recreation in the Highlands region of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
Monday, October 31, 2011
For those who would like a milder paddling experience but still take advantage of the lake release, there is a bucolic 7-mile stretch between the Lake Nockamixon dam and Ralph Stover State Park. Suitable for novice paddlers this section of the creek flows through iconic Bucks County landscapes of rolling hills, mills, stone farmhouses and smaller versions of fern-studded shale cliffs. Tohickon Creek is bounded on both sides by state and county parkland with excellent opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, birding and camping.
Tohickon Facts of Note:
- Tohickon Creek watershed is one the Pennsylvania Highlands designated "Critical Treasures."
- The late, famed author and Bucks County native James Michener donated the land that comprises Ralph Stover State Park
- The Lower Tohickon Creek is within the area designated as the Lower Delaware National Wild and River.
Friday, September 09, 2011
Of particular interest will be how the Delaware Canal towpath weathered this flood. Repairs from the 2004, 2005 and 2006 floods were just completed last year with a total cost of approximately $29,000,000. It's doubtful that the towpath and canal will suffer that much damage, but with current budget constraints and dwindling amounts of FEMA money...it's not a good situation.
The Musconetcong River nearly reached the record level it attained last week. That's a terrible tragedy for the folks who were flooded out by Irene.
The Perkiomen Creek (largest tributary to the Schuylkill River) also reached a near record flood level of 14'. The Schuylkill had many other flooded tribs (Tulpehocken) and the river itself flooded a few towns, roads and floodplain homes.
The Susquehanna River and its tributaries got the worst of this tropical system. Let's hope it dries out before the next system gets here. The tropical wave train is cranking up!
This weekend I'll be reporting the other issue that plagues the Delaware River: what role did the NYC Reservoirs play in this flood? Based on the Delaware River stream gages, it appears the answer is 'minimal.'
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
The Susquehanna watershed will have epic flooding -- the storm tracked right up the Appalachians and the river valley from the Bay to the New York headwaters.
Monday, September 05, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
The Delaware River might tear up some of the more hopeless sections of the canal and towpath. It's hard to tell because those areas are still inundated.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
It looks like August 2011 could turn out to be an all-time record for amount of precipitation in southeastern PA; for any month, although I find that hard to believe. As of this morning 13.0 inches has been recorded at Philly International Airport. The airport is coastal plain -- about 60 miles southeast from my current 'hometown' -- Upper Black Eddy. I'll look at the rainfall totals for the Piedmont and Highlands region for comparison, but it's probably close to what has fallen on Philly.
This coming weekend we could be looking at the first hurricane (or tropical storm) of the year if Irene tracks the way most of the models say it will. Here's AccuWeather's take on this rapidly developing storm.
If Irene does impact our region we'll experience some degree of flooding along the smaller creeks and rivers. The Delaware River is staying above 5' at the Rieglesville gage and that is an uncomfortable starting point for taking on a massive amount of tropical moisture.
By this Wednesday forecasters will have a pretty good handle on what we should expect from Irene.
Sunday, August 07, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
The Delaware River at the Riegelsville gage has fallen below 4' for the first time this year. In other words it's getting back closer to the median flow for this time of year. A similar reading can be found at the Belvidere gage, and that is several hundred CFS above the median flow. The river will fall further depending on the intensity of thunderstorms over the next 12 hours. All the tributaries are significantly down from the vigorous flows observed just a week or two ago.
For those true river geeks interested in getting automatic notifications of river gage readings from the USGS, sign up here. Pick your state and data type and set your parameters. I am receiving the Musconetcong River at Bloomsbury and the Delaware River at Riegelsville. The statewide gages for NJ, NY and PA can be found on my 'links' list.
Monday, July 04, 2011
Last Saturday I led a group of kayakers down the Delaware River from Phillipsburg to Riegelsville (I was the only canoeist). It was a Musconetcong Watershed Association trip that we call the "Three Congs Tour."
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
(from Delaware Riverkeeper Network)
Last Call for Letters on Gas Drilling in the Delaware River Watershed! – Due April 15th
We are down to the wire friends! This week is the last chance to weigh in on the proposed natural gas regulations for the Delaware River Watershed to protect our communities and the River from toxic gas drilling. The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) needs to receive your letter by mail or hand delivery by April 15th at 5pm (or online at the National Park Service website by midnight on the 15th). Please write a letter NOW to keep a moratorium on drilling and share concerns about the inadequate draft gas regulations being considered that would harm the health of our communities and the River.
Click the link below to get more details and help with a sample letter. Delaware Riverkeeper Network will hand deliver letters to the DRBC for you if we receive them by Friday at 1pm. In under 2 minutes you can take action and weigh in on this crucial historic rule-making to protect our water. Thanks for doing all you can.
You can also submit comment electronically and online up to midnight on April 15th by going directly to the National Park Service Link below.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Monday, March 07, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Monday, February 07, 2011
The entire watershed is covered with snow and the river and its tributaries contain thick ice sheets. This is the classic set-up for the most wicked type of flooding that occurs on the Delaware River and elsewhere. The last such event was 1996 and it impacted the Lower Delaware and many tributary streams such as the Perkiomen Creek.
Even though conditions are perfect for flooding it could turn out that we'll see a gradual melt and thaw period with little rain. It's also possible that a two foot snow will hit us, followed by heavy rain and warm temperatures. The winter ice-jam floods can occur anytime between January and March.
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
"Industry representatives and the state's top environmental official insist that the wastewater from fracking has not caused serious harm anywhere in Pennsylvania, in part because it is safely diluted in the state's big rivers."