The Chesapeake Conservancy joined with representatives of four leading Susquehanna River organizations on Friday, October 18th for a luncheon held by the president of Bucknell University, Dr. John Bravman, to launch Envision the Susquehanna. The initiative seeks to engage communities and build cooperation between local and regional efforts in order to develop joint solutions for conserving the Susquehanna watershed’s natural, cultural, and historic resources.
Joel Dunn, executive director of the Chesapeake Conservancy, said “We want to see Envision the Susquehanna result in an increased awareness of the natural, historic, and cultural resources that exist along the river; the creation of new opportunities to connect people to the Susquehanna; and the improvement of the ecological and cultural integrity of the landscape. Doing this will contribute to the economic sustainability of those living along the river.”
In addition to hosting the event, Bucknell University is a key player in the conservation effort through its participation in the Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies, a collaboration of six regional colleges and universities engaged in multi-disciplinary research that addresses environmental issues within the watershed.
Speaking at the luncheon, President Dr. Bravman said, “The Susquehanna River is an environmental, educational and cultural treasure for our region. Thanks to the many Bucknell faculty and students involved in research associated with the river, Bucknell is an enthusiastic partner in the Envision the Susquehanna initiative and all that this tremendous collaboration promises for the future of the river as a critically important community resource.”
Led by the Chesapeake Conservancy, a regional nonprofit dedicated to connecting people to the Chesapeake Bay watershed and conserving its natural and cultural resources, Envision the Susquehanna is guided by a core team of partners, including co-chair Skip Wieder with the Susquehanna Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies, co-chair Steve Williams with the Wildlife Management Institute, Trish Carothers with the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, and Cindy Dunn with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The team has also developed a diverse 25-plus member advisory council.
During Friday’s event, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett issued a statement in which he commended the Envision the Susquehanna partners for their dedication to engaging communities to ensure the vitality of the river. He noted the natural resource and recreational value of the river and its contribution to economic prosperity.
Guest speaker Susan Stranahan, the renowned author of Susquehanna: River of Dreams, highlighted the timeliness of this initiative.
The goal of Envision the Susquehanna is to create a community-driven, river-wide conservation vision that identifies key conservation challenges and maps out collaborative strategies for implementing specific conservation, river access, and restoration components of the overall vision.
The project website, www.envisionthesusquehanna.org, will be used to engage communities through interactive tools and to provide information and reports related to the Susquehanna. Partners in the initiative will also meet with communities and stakeholders throughout the watershed to guide the development of the vision.
For information contact:
Joanna Ogburn (443) 482-9070
The Chesapeake Conservancy’s mission is to strengthen the connection between people and the watershed, conserve the landscapes and special places that sustain the Chesapeake’s unique natural and cultural resources, and encourage the exploration and celebration of the Chesapeake as a national treasure. For information, visit www.ChesapeakeConservancy.org.