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Part II of the Interview with the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Michael R. Helfrich

Aug 28, 2014 02:40PM, Published by Erica Shames, Categories: Travel, Outdoors


Gallery: The Susquehanna River [1 Image] Click any image to expand.



The Hudson River 

SL: What’s the history behind riverkeepers?

MH: In the 50s and early 60s, folks were coming back from WWII and Korea to their traditional fishing villages on the Hudson River and noticing big industrial changes. Their families had been fishing there, some of them, for 300 years. The railroads were blocking off their fishing areas, and dumping pollution in the waterways; power companies were threatening to build new power plants that would chew up millions of fish every day; and Standard Oil was bringing oil barges up through the river, and washing out their tankers into the river. Folks counted on the river for their livelihoods, but also used it for recreation. In those days you didn’t travel across the country for recreation; your Disneyland was the river. 
SL: What did these veterans do to try to reclaim their river?

MH: A small group of scientists, fishermen and concerned citizens led by Robert H. Boyle, author of The Hudson River, A Natural and Unnatural History and a senior writer at Sports Illustrated magazine, found a law from the 1800s called the Rivers and Harbors Act. It said if you turn someone in and the government finds them to be criminally liable for polluting the waterways, you’re given a bounty. They started going after the polluters, and were given a small sum of money for their efforts. They bought a boat and started going up and down the Hudson River, and picking off these polluters one by one until today, the Hudson River is one of the cleanest rivers in the country. 

SL: How did that culminate in the founding of a more organized body of riverkeepers?

MH: The Clean Water Act of 1972 is the real teeth of the riverkeeper model: it allows us to stop water polluters with a clause that says if the government is not doing its job, any citizen of the United States can step into the shoes of the attorney general and file a Clean Water Act lawsuit against polluters. 


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    The National Poster Retrospecticus (The NPR) is an internationally traveling poster show featurin...


  • Parakeet Landing

    09/06/2017
    10:00AM

    Surround yourself with hundreds of colorful parakeets in Reptiland’s NEW aviary! Beautiful budgie...


  • Dinosaurs Come to Life

    09/06/2017
    10:00AM

    Travel back in time with this prehistoric outdoor adventure! Open April 22 through October 29, 20...


  • James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution

    09/06/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution—a brand new exhibit—will challenge what visitors think they...


  • Honoring Work: The Labor Day Show

    09/06/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does “honest work” mean to you? Make art on that theme and bring it in! Artwork welcomed b...


  • Robert E. Locher: A Modern Classic

    09/06/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Robert E. Locher: A Modern Classic July 15 – September 8, 2017 This exhibition features work by...


  • The National Poster Retrospecticus

    09/06/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The National Poster Retrospecticus (The NPR) is an internationally traveling poster show featurin...


  • Parakeet Landing

    09/07/2017
    10:00AM

    Surround yourself with hundreds of colorful parakeets in Reptiland’s NEW aviary! Beautiful budgie...


  • Dinosaurs Come to Life

    09/07/2017
    10:00AM

    Travel back in time with this prehistoric outdoor adventure! Open April 22 through October 29, 20...


  • James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution

    09/07/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution—a brand new exhibit—will challenge what visitors think they...


  • Honoring Work: The Labor Day Show

    09/07/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does “honest work” mean to you? Make art on that theme and bring it in! Artwork welcomed b...


  • Robert E. Locher: A Modern Classic

    09/07/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Robert E. Locher: A Modern Classic July 15 – September 8, 2017 This exhibition features work by...


  • The National Poster Retrospecticus

    09/07/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The National Poster Retrospecticus (The NPR) is an internationally traveling poster show featurin...


  • Cirque Italia

    09/07/2017
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    2017 Press Release – Unit II (GOLD) GET READY PENNSDALE, PA, BECAUSE YOU ARE ABOUT TO HAVE THE T...


  • Parakeet Landing

    09/08/2017
    10:00AM

    Surround yourself with hundreds of colorful parakeets in Reptiland’s NEW aviary! Beautiful budgie...


  • Dinosaurs Come to Life

    09/08/2017
    10:00AM

    Travel back in time with this prehistoric outdoor adventure! Open April 22 through October 29, 20...


  • James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution

    09/08/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution—a brand new exhibit—will challenge what visitors think they...


  • Honoring Work: The Labor Day Show

    09/08/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does “honest work” mean to you? Make art on that theme and bring it in! Artwork welcomed b...


  • Robert E. Locher: A Modern Classic

    09/08/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Robert E. Locher: A Modern Classic July 15 – September 8, 2017 This exhibition features work by...


  • The National Poster Retrospecticus

    09/08/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The National Poster Retrospecticus (The NPR) is an internationally traveling poster show featurin...


  • Parakeet Landing

    09/09/2017
    10:00AM

    Surround yourself with hundreds of colorful parakeets in Reptiland’s NEW aviary! Beautiful budgie...


  • Dinosaurs Come to Life

    09/09/2017
    10:00AM

    Travel back in time with this prehistoric outdoor adventure! Open April 22 through October 29, 20...


  • James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution

    09/09/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution—a brand new exhibit—will challenge what visitors think they...


  • Parakeet Landing

    09/10/2017
    10:00AM

    Surround yourself with hundreds of colorful parakeets in Reptiland’s NEW aviary! Beautiful budgie...


  • Dinosaurs Come to Life

    09/10/2017
    10:00AM

    Travel back in time with this prehistoric outdoor adventure! Open April 22 through October 29, 20...


  • James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution

    09/10/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution—a brand new exhibit—will challenge what visitors think they...


  • The National Poster Retrospecticus

    09/10/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The National Poster Retrospecticus (The NPR) is an internationally traveling poster show featurin...


  • Marietta Garden Tour

    09/10/2017
    11:00AM — 04:00PM

    Eight beautiful gardens within the Borough of Marietta with seminars and plant swap! Rain or shi...


  • EXPLORING THE ARMOR

    09/10/2017
    02:00PM — 04:30PM

    September 10 – “EXPLORING THE ARMOR” - Take a private history tour of the outside tracked vehicl...


  • Parakeet Landing

    09/11/2017
    10:00AM

    Surround yourself with hundreds of colorful parakeets in Reptiland’s NEW aviary! Beautiful budgie...


  • Dinosaurs Come to Life

    09/11/2017
    10:00AM

    Travel back in time with this prehistoric outdoor adventure! Open April 22 through October 29, 20...


  • James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution

    09/11/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution—a brand new exhibit—will challenge what visitors think they...


  • Honoring Work: The Labor Day Show

    09/11/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does “honest work” mean to you? Make art on that theme and bring it in! Artwork welcomed b...


  • Parakeet Landing

    09/12/2017
    10:00AM

    Surround yourself with hundreds of colorful parakeets in Reptiland’s NEW aviary! Beautiful budgie...


  • Dinosaurs Come to Life

    09/12/2017
    10:00AM

    Travel back in time with this prehistoric outdoor adventure! Open April 22 through October 29, 20...


  • James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution

    09/12/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution—a brand new exhibit—will challenge what visitors think they...


  • Honoring Work: The Labor Day Show

    09/12/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does “honest work” mean to you? Make art on that theme and bring it in! Artwork welcomed b...


  • The National Poster Retrospecticus

    09/12/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The National Poster Retrospecticus (The NPR) is an internationally traveling poster show featurin...


  • Parakeet Landing

    09/13/2017
    10:00AM

    Surround yourself with hundreds of colorful parakeets in Reptiland’s NEW aviary! Beautiful budgie...


  • Dinosaurs Come to Life

    09/13/2017
    10:00AM

    Travel back in time with this prehistoric outdoor adventure! Open April 22 through October 29, 20...


  • James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution

    09/13/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution—a brand new exhibit—will challenge what visitors think they...


  • Honoring Work: The Labor Day Show

    09/13/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does “honest work” mean to you? Make art on that theme and bring it in! Artwork welcomed b...


  • The National Poster Retrospecticus

    09/13/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The National Poster Retrospecticus (The NPR) is an internationally traveling poster show featurin...


  • Parakeet Landing

    09/14/2017
    10:00AM

    Surround yourself with hundreds of colorful parakeets in Reptiland’s NEW aviary! Beautiful budgie...


  • Dinosaurs Come to Life

    09/14/2017
    10:00AM

    Travel back in time with this prehistoric outdoor adventure! Open April 22 through October 29, 20...


  • James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution

    09/14/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution—a brand new exhibit—will challenge what visitors think they...


  • Honoring Work: The Labor Day Show

    09/14/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does “honest work” mean to you? Make art on that theme and bring it in! Artwork welcomed b...


  • The National Poster Retrospecticus

    09/14/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The National Poster Retrospecticus (The NPR) is an internationally traveling poster show featurin...


  • STEP Housing Options Endowment Auction

    09/14/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Buy your tickets and save the date! This year, STEP is working to establish a Housing Options End...


  • Parakeet Landing

    09/15/2017
    10:00AM

    Surround yourself with hundreds of colorful parakeets in Reptiland’s NEW aviary! Beautiful budgie...


  • Dinosaurs Come to Life

    09/15/2017
    10:00AM

    Travel back in time with this prehistoric outdoor adventure! Open April 22 through October 29, 20...


  • James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution

    09/15/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution—a brand new exhibit—will challenge what visitors think they...


  • Honoring Work: The Labor Day Show

    09/15/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does “honest work” mean to you? Make art on that theme and bring it in! Artwork welcomed b...


  • The National Poster Retrospecticus

    09/15/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The National Poster Retrospecticus (The NPR) is an internationally traveling poster show featurin...


  • Parakeet Landing

    09/16/2017
    10:00AM

    Surround yourself with hundreds of colorful parakeets in Reptiland’s NEW aviary! Beautiful budgie...


  • Dinosaurs Come to Life

    09/16/2017
    10:00AM

    Travel back in time with this prehistoric outdoor adventure! Open April 22 through October 29, 20...


  • James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution

    09/16/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution—a brand new exhibit—will challenge what visitors think they...


  • Parakeet Landing

    09/17/2017
    10:00AM

    Surround yourself with hundreds of colorful parakeets in Reptiland’s NEW aviary! Beautiful budgie...


  • Dinosaurs Come to Life

    09/17/2017
    10:00AM

    Travel back in time with this prehistoric outdoor adventure! Open April 22 through October 29, 20...


  • James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution

    09/17/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution—a brand new exhibit—will challenge what visitors think they...


  • The National Poster Retrospecticus

    09/17/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The National Poster Retrospecticus (The NPR) is an internationally traveling poster show featurin...



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