It’s been a minute…
Catching up from a busy summer

| September 14, 2022

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Geez, Labor Day has come and gone!

Hope your summers were great. I had some fun stuff and then COVID. Luckily, with vaccinations and boosters, it wasn’t horrible but it does have some stubborn aftereffects.

For instance, I haven’t sent out a newsletter ALL SUMMER and Delaware Currents has been up to great things! 23 stories, in fact!

I’ve been aided and abetted by the work of my talented freelancer (and husband), Chris Mele, who authored the series of stories we did on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s 2022 Integrated Water Quality Report. We thought it was especially important to dig deep since Pennsylvania is the largest land mass of the four watershed states and the water quality of the Delaware River is the sum of those nine sub-basins.

Here’s one to wet your whistle: The Schuylkill Basin and its battle with acid mine drainage.

And we have a landing page that gathers all of the stories in one place for easy reading!

Speaking of freelancers, we’ve welcomed Katherine Rapin to our site. An experienced writer and editor, she’s done several stories but I want to highlight two:

She used an art exhibit, “Freshwater” by Jean Shin at the Cherry Street Pier in Philadelphia, to dive into the plight and promise of freshwater mussels.

She wrote another story on a celery grass project based at the Center for Aquatic Sciences at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, N.J. Celery grass is “both an indicator of water quality and improver of it,” Katherine writes.

Farther north at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, there’s a heated debate about the possibility of “upgrading” that unit to full national park status. We’ve done two stories on the prospect, one last summer when we first heard about it, and another recently as locals were getting more organized in their opposition.

That recreation area is such a gem and close to two major metropolitan areas, New York and Philadelphia, so this development merits attention.

There are different gems scattered near the DWGNRA, such as the “exceptional value” and “high quality” streams in the Poconos. A recent report valued their economic benefits at the jaw-dropping sum of $3 billion. Yep, that’s a “B.” Read more here.

I spend a lot of time at Delaware River Basin Commission meetings because it’s in charge of our river’s water quality and quantity. All of its meetings are public. To highlight more of the work it does, I wrote a reporter’s notebook about one of its first in-person meetings in Wilmington, Del., back in June.

And maybe saving the best ‘til last, the DRBC’s scientists and engineers have finished a model of the Delaware River estuary that will form the basis of an overdue discussion of upgrading a water quality standard to support an endangered species, the Atlantic sturgeon.

The work to keep what’s great about our river — and improve what needs help — never ends.

Thank you for all that you do!!

Enjoy the fall,

Meg

Meg McGuire

Meg McGuire

Meg McGuire has been a journalist for 30 years in New York and Connecticut. She started in weekly newspapers and moved to full-time work in dailies 25 years ago. She knows about the tectonic changes in journalism firsthand, having been part of what was euphemistically called a "reduction in force" six years ago. Now she's working to find new ways to "do" the news as an independent online publisher of news about the Delaware River, its watershed and its people.

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