Envision the Susquehanna
While the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay do not share a name, they share an ancient past. The Bay is actually an extension of the lower Susquehanna; a valley that has been gradually flooded by the Atlantic Ocean over the last 15,000 years. The Susquehanna remains the lifeblood of the Chesapeake, pouring about 20 billion gallons of freshwater into the Bay each day. That means that in order to help the Bay
and increase access to it, one cannot forget the Susquehanna.
The Chesapeake Conservancy is taking the community visioning process model developed on the James River to Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York in order to develop a vision for the entire Susquehanna River corridor, including the West Branch.
Envision the Susquehanna seeks to improve the ecological and cultural integrity throughout the Susquehanna landscape and in so doing improve the quality of life for all citizens along the river. The initiative seeks to add value to the on-going efforts of the many organizations working throughout the Susquehanna watershed - from its headwaters in Cooperstown, NY to the end of the upper reaches of the West Branch and its connection with the Chesapeake Bay in Havre de Grace, MD - by engaging all stakeholders, including the general public, to highlight the stories and places that make up the identity of the Susquehanna and develop community-based solutions to ensure these places are conserved for future generations.
The ultimate goal is for the initiative to 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 ecological and cultural integrity of the landscape. In so doing, Envision the Susquehanna will also contribute to the economic sustainability of those living along the river.
Core team partners in this initiative include the Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies, the Wildlife Management Institute, the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay, and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. These organizations work with the Conservancy to collect data on the natural, cultural, historic, recreational, and economic resources and needs throughout the Susquehanna River corridor and to plan and implement public outreach.
As a public outreach tool, the Conservancy has released the map above, created in partnership with National Geographic Maps, highlighting special places along the River corridor. The partners are also developing a website to solicit feedback throughout the visioning process and to share information about the Susquehanna River watershed.
Learn more about Envision the Susquehanna and the Susquehanna River at http://envisionthesusquehanna.org/.
To learn more about these projects, click one of the links below:
To support the Conservancy’s goals of connecting people with the Chesapeake and developing a network of conservation corridors along the Bay and its tributaries, we are generating new partnerships, products, and processes that allow us to advance conservation efforts and public access while highlighting best practices and novel approaches to conservation in the region. Visit the Innovate section to learn more about our new projects, tools and trainings and how they are helping conservation organizations across the watershed.
Through advocacy and action, the Chesapeake Conservancy is working to identify and conserve the region’s hotspots; places that embody the spirit of the Bay and its great rivers and can serve as hubs for further river corridor conservation efforts. Read on and learn about our efforts to protect biodiversity and conserve lands along the Nanticoke River, our work to conserve Point Comfort – home of the historic Fort Monroe and second landing site of Capt. John Smith, and our collaborative efforts to create the Harriet Tubman National Monument.
More than 100,000 streams, creeks and rivers thread through the Chesapeake Bay watershed; yet citizens still struggle to find places where they can access these waterways. Significant stretches of shoreline have little or no access, making it difficult to plan trips along water trails and preventing people from accessing waterways in their own backyards. The Conservancy is working hard to create new public access sites to connect people to the Bay and its rivers.