Kayaking on the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg. Photo credit © Miguel Angel de la Cueva/iLCPA kayaker enjoys the Susquehanna near Harrisburg. Photo © Miguel Angel de la Cueva/iLCP

The Susquehanna River

The Chesapeake Bay is essentially the Susquehanna River's valley floor. It is the tidal portion of the Susquehanna. The river and the Bay are two integral parts of one ecosystem. continued below

Map of the Susquehanna River drainage basin

Twenty thousand years ago, during the last Ice Age, sea level was about 330 ft. lower than it is today. At that time, the Susquehanna flowed from the edge of the polar ice cap (in what is now north central Pennsylvania) down to the Atlantic. All of the rivers in what is now the Chesapeake drainage basin flowed into it. As the earth warmed up and sea level rose, the Atlantic backed up into the Susquehanna's valley floor, forming the Chesapeake Bay and the tidal portions of rivers like the Potomac and the Nanticoke. The Susquehanna's large drainage basin, or watershed, means the pollution that flows into Pennsylvania rivers and streams ultimately finds its way to the Chesapeake Bay. Many of Pennsylvania's waterways suffer from an overload of pollution from many different sources, including agriculture and stormwater.

The Bay-wide Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is the most significant effort to date to clean up our waterways and mitigate the effect of upstream pollution.

Baltimore Law Firm Urges Counties to Delay Local Cleanup Efforts

Local water quality is at risk of continuing to suffer in some rural Maryland counties. Claiming pollution coming down the Susquehanna River from New York and Pennsylvania and trapped behind the Conowingo dam needs to be addressed first, several counties on the eastern and western shores of Maryland are considering not moving forward with their part of the Clean Water Blueprint and protecting their local water quality. 

The Baltimore law firm Funk & Bolton is urging them to delay. 

Read More

NASA image shows high level of high levels of contaminants to the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay delivered by Tropical Storm Lee. Image: NASA/GSFC, Rapid Response

Rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee delivered high levels of contaminants to the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay. Find out more about the impact upstream stormwater has on water quality in the Bay.

NASA/GSFC, Rapid Response

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