Envision the Susquehanna
The Susquehanna River is the lifeblood of the Bay. Sharing an ancient past, the Bay is actually an extension of the Susquehanna valley that the Atlantic Ocean has steadily flooded over the last 15,000 years. The Susquehanna pours roughly 20 billion gallons of fresh water into the bay daily, contributing greatly to the Bay’s livelihood.
The Envision the Susquehanna initiative was launched by a core team comprised of the Chesapeake Conservancy, the National Park Service, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies, Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, and the Wildlife Management Institute in 2013. The core team as well as an advisory council of almost 40 organizations have encouraged individuals, community leaders and organizations to describe their vision for the Susquehanna River watershed. This report details the results of the initial planning process and lays out a vision for the future of the Susquehanna River.
The Envision the Susquehanna program is flowing and changing, like the river and its tributaries. To begin understanding this scenic river, we have released a detailed map, created in partnership with National Geographic Maps. The map highlights many of the special places within the river corridor. We encourage the local communities, from the 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 to explore this special river, discover its public access points, wonder at its many creatures who call the river home, and engage in the beauty of the unique features that the watershed offers in each season.
The state of the Susquehanna River is at a crucial point in its history. Acting now to protect natural landscapes and waterways could have profound benefits down the road on water quality and wildlife abundance. Envision the Susquehanna works to both conserve these lands as well as connect people to the river in their own backyard. Using a variety of “boots on the ground” efforts and hi-tech applications and tools, the Envision program partners conduct precise conservation efforts to achieve the greatest positive impact on the Susquehanna River region.
In September 2016, the Conservancy, along with our partners began a three-year initiative that will pilot a new approach using precision conservation to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution from nonpoint sources to improve water quality and scenic beauty. Once complete, the project may serve as a national model.
Riparian Buffer Gap Analysis – Identify and prioritize riparian buffer gaps for restoration based on high resolution elevation models, drainage area size, and land cover type