Maybe it’s time to Remember the River

With all of the discussion about drilling for gas in the upper Delaware River watershed and dredging in the tidal portion, we thought it a good time to revisit the Delaware from the perspective of those who value it in a wide range of ways.

We created the following Remember the River video for our friends at the Delaware Riverkeeper Network as part of their ongoing campaign to provide this amazing waterway with a voice at the table. The video was derived in a large part from our PBS documentary Life on the Delaware, which aired on stations throughout the country. If you’re interested in a copy, Life on the Delaware is available here.

Remember the River from GreenTreks Network on Vimeo.

If this moves you to want to get involved, join the Riverkeeper’s e-activist team and stay up to date on what you can do to help protect this treasured resource!

Philadelphia Forum: Drilling for Natural Gas–What Does it Mean for PA?

Join The Academy of Natural Sciences, Clean Air Council, and The Community Action Forum on Marcellus Shale for an educational forum about drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale. The forum will provide a broad and diverse overview of the environmental, health, and economic issues related to the natural gas boom that is currently taking place throughout Pennsylvania.

What: Drilling for Natural Gas in the Marcellus Shale: What it Means for Pennsylvania

When: Wednesday June 8, 2011. Networking: 6-6:30 pm. Program: 6:30-8:30 pm.

Where: Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Ben Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia

Who: Featured panelists include

  • Mr. Joseph O. Minott, Esq., Executive Director – Clean Air Council
  • The Honorable Michael Krancer, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Dr. David Velinsky, Vice President of the Patrick Center for Environmental Research at the Academy of Natural Sciences
  • The Honorable Michael Sturla, Pennsylvania State Representative (D), 96th Legislative District
  • Mr. Brian Grove, Director of Corporate Development for Northeast Pennsylvania for Chesapeake Energy
  • Mr. Richard V. Pepino, Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and the Public Policy Program Chair at Franklin and Marshall College

Register now via EventBrite >>

New Years in Philly: Mummers Tackle “Fracking” for Gas

It’s pretty obvious that Mummers have no fear of controversy, but who knew one troupe would make a passion play out of the debate over drilling for natural gas? Check it out:

Not sure where you line up on the debate on drilling for Natural Gas? Hear Philly Water Department’s take…

There’s so much polarizing debate going on around the issue of drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation that it’s hard to know what lies ahead. On one side, there are those who see the “gasrush” as nothing less than economic salvation; on the other, those who believe environmental disaster is imminent and drilling must be prevented no what the opportunity cost. There are a ton of far smarter minds than ours weighing in, yet we tend to believe that somewhere along the line we must reach a middle ground and PROCEED SLOWLY, AND WITH EXTREME CAUTION, because it’s pretty clear we’re not getting to a 100% renewable energy future anytime soon…

Kelly Anderson and Paula Conolly of the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) will present an overview of PWD’s approach to source water protection and what steps are being taken to address the challenges presented by natural gas drilling in the Schuylkill and Delaware River basins–the source of Philadelphia’s water supply.

Please RSVP by December 13. For reservations or more information, please call 215-685-0723. More Information at FWWIC website >>

As a prelude to the program, you might want to Remember The River by tuning in to a video we created for our tireless friends at the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. It’s mainly derived from a pair of our beautiful documentaries, Life on the Delaware and PA: A River Sojourn. Both are available now on DVD. Go to the Shop >>

Remember the River from GreenTreks Network on Vimeo.

Come out to Philadelphia City Council Hearing on Gas Drilling, Sept. 28

The City of Philadelphia will not be able to escape the effects of gas drilling in the Delaware River Watershed.  36% of the Delaware River Watershed is underlain with Marcellus shale, including the upper reaches of both the Delaware River and its major tributary, the Schuylkill River, which join together in Philadelphia and supply 1.5 million people in the Philadelphia region with their water.  Pollution, water depletion, the transformation of upstream watersheds to industrial conditions will all combine to degrade downstream water quality.  Philadelphia’s intake is the furthest south and acutely vulnerable to the effects of inadequate fresh water to meet its requirements to supply clean drinking water.

What is Philadelphia City Council doing about it? Councilman Jones has called a Hearing to examine the potential impacts of natural gas drilling on the Delaware River and Philadelphia.  An impressive roster of experts will present testimony, including Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.

Who: The Committees on Transportation & Utilities and the Environment

When: Tuesday, September 28th 10:00AM — 2:00 PM

Where: City Council Room 400, City Hall (enter at southeast door of building)

What: “Marcellus Shale” Philadelphia Council Hearings

Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. will hold “Marcellus Shale” hearings on Tuesday, September 28th at 10am, in City Hall to the joint committees of Transportation & Utilities and the Environment. These hearings will examine the environmental and economic impacts for Philadelphia of hydraulic drilling (Fracking) onto Marcellus Shale .The Marcellus Shale formation is the one of the largest natural gas reserves in the country.

There are many unresolved questions regarding this natural state possession, and the paramount issue for Philadelphia, as the “down-stream” community is the safety of our drinking water. We, Philadelphians, can not isolate ourselves from the economic and environmental impacts that affect the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.. This hearing will carefully explore and balance all the issues; job creation and environmental preservation yet my focus is to protect Philadelphia, first and foremost.

Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr.

The Marcellus Shale hearings will serve as the foreground to create safeguard policy for Philadelphia’s water supply. There will be several panels to address the concerns of Philadelphians, from regulation, scientific experts, the input of utility and water commisioners, as well as those who represent the drilling industry. Several council members are weighing in their concerns as well as the benefits and direction of Philadelphia legislation for Marcellus Shale.

This is a very important issue, that has potential implications on our environment and water supply, council must closely examine this issue before haste decisions are made forward.

Councilman William Greenlee

Further study of fracking is needed to insure that ground water and other environmental resources are protected. We should also explore more environmentally responsible methods of extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.

Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell

As the author of the first resolution calling for no fracking in the Delaware River Basin until an environmental impact study is completed, I see this hearing as an essential next step in providing the public with the information necessary to form an educated decision on this important environmental issue.

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown

Marcellus Shale natural gas offers significant advantages for Philadelphians over petroleum (cleaner-burning and less dependence on foreign energy), but we need to make certain that the fracking process does not irreparably damage our natural resources.

Councilman Frank Rizzo

Invited Witnesses include: Delaware River Basin Commission, Philadelphia Gas Works, Philadelphia Water Department, Protection Our Waters, Dr. Engelder, Dr. Boufadel, Marcellus Shale Coalition, Academy of Natural Sciences, National Fish & Wildlife, Senator Casey, Congressman Sestak, Regional and National Environmental Protection Agency commissioners, Water Keeper Alliance, and the Department of Environmental Protection.

September 28th is our time to be in direct contact with the experts to create the best supported by evidence legislation and regulations. Government is the job of risk-management and secured implementation and direction. As a councilmember it is my obligation to promote legislation that will benefit our region, instills exceptional protocols for our city and to be on the forefront of what is best for Philadelphia.

Councilman Jones, Jr.