With warmer temperatures and longer days, the arrival of spring is the perfect lure to get us off the couch and outdoors to reconnect with nature.
This short newsletter highlights a few events - festivals, hikes, cleanups, and sojourns - that are happening throughout the watershed and provides links to maps and trail guides to help you gear up for upcoming paddle and/or fishing trips.
A Sampling of Events
Schuylkill Basin: 2012 Schuylkill Scrub - April 1 to May 31, 2012 The 2012 Schuylkill Scrub, a collaborative effort to clean up the waterways of the Schuylkill River Basin, will take place from April 1 through May 31. The Schuylkill Scrub web site (at the aforementioned link) is the place to register existing and new cleanup efforts from the headwaters of the Schuylkill River down to the confluence with the Delaware River in Philadelphia. For additional details, please visit the web site or email Tom Davidock at SchuylkillScrub@gmail.com.
Upper Delaware: Pike-Wayne Earth Day Festival and Volunteer Fair - Saturday, April 21, 2012 Celebrate Earth Day (April 22) and National Volunteer Week (April 15-21) at the PPL Environmental Learning Center in Hawley, Pa. on Saturday, April 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Environmental organizations will be on-hand to talk about what they do and how you can help protect and conserve local natural resources. This free event will also offer fun activities and volunteer opportunities for all ages. For additional details, please visit http://www.pikewayneearthday.org/.
Middle Delaware: Tumbling Waters Hike - Saturday, April 21, 2012 Come out to the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) in Dingmans Ferry, Pa. and participate in a free hike on Saturday, April 21, 2012 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The 3-mile loop will feature a scenic overlook and two waterfalls and has a moderate difficulty level. Visit http://www.peec.org/pdfs/2012%20Public%20Program%20Calendar.pdf to download PEEC's 2012 Public Programs Calendar.
Christina Basin:21st Annual Christina River Watershed Cleanup - Saturday, April 21, 2012 Come and help clean up the Christina River and its tributaries on Saturday, April 21, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Christina River Watershed provides roughly 3/4 of the public water supply for residents and businesses in New Castle County, Delaware, and it is extremely important to help keep its waterways clean from debris. Please click here for more details, including information on the 2012 t-shirt design contest, the sign-up form, and available locations to volunteer. Contact Shirley Posey, Coordinator, at (302) 838-1897 with any questions.
Tidal Delaware:Fishtown Shad Fest - Saturday, April 28, 2012 The 4th Annual Fishtown Shad Fest will take place on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at Penn Treaty Park, Delaware Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. from noon to 6 p.m. (rain date is Sunday, April 29). Come and join the fun as they celebrate the return of the American shad to the Delaware River and also the history of the Fishtown community. There will be live music, arts and crafts and food vendors, educational booths, and more. For more details, please click on the above link.
Lower Delaware:Lambertville Shad Fest - Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29, 2012 The 31st Annual Lambertville, N.J. Shad Fest will take place on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29, 2012 from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. rain or shine. This free event will highlight local arts and crafts, fine food, family fun, the wild and scenic Delaware River, and of course, the shad! This festival celebrates the seasonal run of the American shad as they return to their natal waters to spawn and is also a tribute to the improvements made over the years to the Delaware River's water quality. For more information, please click on the above link.
Lehigh Basin: Adventure Allentown: Learn to Paddle - Saturday, May 19, 2012 Participate in the Wildlands Conservancy's "Learn to Paddle" series and let their trained, certified guides teach you the basics of paddling. This $10 per person session will take place on Saturday, May 19, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at Canal Park, Allentown, Pa. All equipment will be provided. Advance registration is required. Visit http://wildlandspa.org/education/ed_programs_families.html for the 2012 Programs for Families listing.
Delaware Bay:Delaware Bay Day - Saturday, June 2, 2012 The Bayshore Discovery Project will again host Bay Day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 2 in Bivalve and Port Norris, New Jersey. Activities for the whole family include a street parade, blue crab races, oyster shucking contest, games, mini-golf, and more. Bay Day would not be complete without live music, food, wine tasting, and exhibits on Bivalve's rich maritime history. The A.J. Meerwald, New Jersey's tall ship, will also be offering river cruises at various times throughout the day. For additional details, please visit http://www.ajmeerwald.org/index.htm and click on 'Bay Day.'
River Sojourns - canoe/kayak paddling trips that also include camping and educational programming - are typically scheduled during the month of June to celebrate Rivers Month.
18th Annual Delaware River Sojourn: Since 1995, the Delaware River Sojourn, an annual paddling trip on the Delaware River that combines canoeing/kayaking with camping and educational programming, has fostered awareness of, and appreciation for, the ecological, historical, recreational, and economic significance of the river and its ties to local communities. It gives people the opportunity to experience the Delaware from where it's seen and felt best: the water.
Organized by the Delaware River Sojourn Steering Committee, which is made up of organizations, agencies, and individual volunteers from throughout the basin, the Delaware River Sojourn will take place from Sunday, June 24 through Saturday, June 30. Themed Adventures on the Delaware, programming and activities will focus on all the fun that one can have on and along the Delaware River! Please visit http://www.delawareriversojourn.org for additional details, including a draft itinerary. Registration information will be available late April/early May.
Sojourns are also offered on several of the Delaware's tributaries:
Schuylkill River Sojourn: Organized by the Schuylkill River Heritage Area, the Schuylkill River Sojourn will take place from Saturday, June 2 through Friday, June 8. Visit http://www.schuylkillriver.org/sojourn.aspx for more information.
While spring weather may not be warm enough to stray from the water's edge, now's the time to start thinking about maps and guides for those summer paddle and/or fishing trips.
DRBC offers recreation maps for sale for the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers.
Delaware River Recreation Maps: Updated in 2007, the 10-section, waterproofed map set covers the river's east and west branches prior to their confluence at Hancock, New York, the entire 200 mile, non-tidal reach of the river from Hancock to Trenton, New Jersey, and an additional 25 miles of the tidal river from Trenton to just south of the Betsy Ross Bridge (which connects Northeast Philadelphia, Pa. and Pennsauken, N.J.). The maps depict river channel locations and depths, access areas, places of interest, stream miles and reference points, and provide a detailed classification of streamflow characteristics in accordance with the International Canoe Federation's Scale of River Difficulty.
Schuylkill River Maps: Published in 2003, this 10-section, waterproofed map set includes portions of the Little Schuylkill River, West Branch Schuylkill River, and the main stem Schuylkill from Port Clinton to its confluence with the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Pa. The maps identify public access areas, International Canoe Federation/American Whitewater Affiliation-designated streamflow characteristics, areas of caution, dams and pools, and recreation opportunities.
A Paddler's Guide to the Delaware River - The third edition of the popular book by Gary Letcher that charts the entire non-tidal Delaware River from Hancock, New York to Trenton, New Jersey is another good resource.
And, please, safety first! Always remember to wear your PFD (life jacket) when recreating on the water.
For More Information
Please feel free to visit these pages on DRBC's web site (www.drbc.net):