What’s Happening Upstream – Above the Dam


Lessons from Past, Tools for Future Focus of Meeting on Phase 3 of Pennsylvania’s Plan

to Clean Up Local Waters in Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection


New Bay Plan in Works
Lancaster (Pa.) Farming


Three Mile Island to close in 2019, Exelon says
May 30, 2017 York (Pa.) Daily Record


Inspectors find most PA farms, while not all in compliance, are trying
May 2, 2017, Bay Journal


Chesapeake Bay cleanup should concern all Pennsylvanians
April 28, 2017 The (State College, Pa.) Centre Daily Times

Local officials spend a lot of time thinking about sewage — here's why

December 9, 2015, Rachel Bunn, The (Harrisburg, Pa.) Patriot-News


Study finds causes for mutant bass in Susquehanna River
December 15, 2015, Don Hopey, The Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette


What about Pennsylvania?

June 15, 2015, The Baltimore Sun


EPA PA Falling Far Behind Bay Waterways Cleanup Plan
June 15, 2015, The (Boulder, Colo,) Public News Service 


Pennsylvania lags behind in Chesapeake cleanup
June 14, 2015, John Hayes, The Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette


Chemical fire contaminants to hit Susquehanna River by Saturday morning, DEP says
June 12, 2015, Candy Woodall, PennLive 


EPA review finds Pennsylvania significantly off track to meet Bay goals
June 12, 2015, Karl Blankenship, Bay Journal 


Susquehanna River's nitrogen levels threatening Chesapeake Bay

May 29, 2015, Rebecca Lessner


Lancaster enlists Wolf administration in EPA stormwater battle
May 28, 2015, Dan Nephin, Lancaster(PA)Online 


U.S. Senate Letter to USDA Secretary
May 19, 2015

Anglers concerned after bass caught in Susquehanna River tests positive for cancer

May 6, 2015, Peggy Lee, WNEP 16 TV


Smallmouth Bass with Cancer caught in Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River

May 5, 2015, Indian Country Today Media Network


Pennsylvania Watershed Improvement Act would encourage competitive bidding

April 21, 2015, Pennsylvania Daily Reports


PA Auditor General Report urges new efforts for Chesapeake Bay nutrient reduction

April 17, 2015, Business Wire


Clarks Summit receives EPA notice on stormwater issues

April 15, 2015, Brendan Gibbs, The Times Tribune


Pennsylvania farms damaging Chesapeake

March 24, 2015, Don Hopey, The Morning Call


EPA gives poor marks to Pa. on protecting Chesapeake Bay watershed

March 23, 2015, Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


EPA warns Pennsylvania it is coming up short in making sure farmers have anti-runoff plans

March 17, 2015, Ad Crable, Lancaster Online


Departments of Environmental Protection and Agriculture Respond to EPA Assessment of Pennsylvania's Animal Agriculture Program

March 17, 2015, PRNewsWire.com


CBF: New EPA Report Examines State Oversight Of Agriculture Programs in PA

March 16, 2015, NorthCentralPA.com


Scum on the Susquehanna

February 24, 2015, Nikki Krize, WNEP16


EPA reaches $82 million settlement with Harrisburg, Capital Region Water

February 18, 2015, Jim Boyle, The Pennsylvania Record


EPA settles CWA violations with PA's Harrisburg and Capital Region Water

February 16, 2015, WaterWorld


EPA, DEP Proposed Agreement To Resolve Some Harrisburg Clean Water Act Violations

February 11, 2015, NorthcentralPA.com

State could be ready to rule if Susquehanna is "sick" by this summer

December 30, 2014, Ad Crable, Lancaster Online


2014 Pennsylvania Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report
December 2014

Contamination leads to catfish advisory, more scrutiny of Susquehanna River

December 29, 2014, Wallace McKelvey, PennLive


CBF-PA Statement on Gov. Corbett Signing Anti-Buffer Bill

October 22, 2014, NorthcentralPA.com


Outdoors: Conservation groups losing battle against Clean Streams Act

October 16, 2014, Bob Marchio, YDR.com


Stream buffer bill wins final OK

October 16, 2014, Robert Swift, Harrisburg Bureau Chief


PA General Assembly weakens protection for high quality streams

October 15, 2014, Karl Blankenship, Bay Journal


PA General Assembly weakens protection for high quality streams

October 15, 2015, Karl Blankenship, Bay Journal


CBF-PA: In major clean water set-back, House Committee reports out anti-buffer bill

September 15, 2014, PA Environment Digest in Gas Industry


Official calls feds into fish fight

September 7, 2014, John Finnerty, The Daily Item


Let the River Run Wild

September 7, 2014, John Waldman, Karin E. Limburg and Amy Roe, The New York Times


Chesapeake Bay Foundation - PA Launches Clean Water for The Keystone State Campaign

August 26, 2014, David E. Hess, PA Environment Digest


Lessening pollution: Officials say they face challenges in pursuit

July 30, 2014, Daniel Walmer, The Sentinel


A sick river: Susquehanna should be declared 'impaired'

July 30, 2014, Intelligencer Journal Editorial


CBF-PA to launch new Watershed Cleanup Education

July 29, 2013, Feed: PA Environment Digest in Gas Industry, NorthcentralPA.com


Fish Agency calls for crackdown on ag-related phosphorus in Susquehanna

July 29, 2014, Ad Crable, Lancaster Online


Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Letter to EPA Region III Administrator
Dated July 28, 2014. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission write to EPA Region III Administrator Shawn Garvin requesting more action by EPA to address pollution loading to Susquehanna River.
PA Fish Boat Comm ltr to EPA (7-28-14).p[...] 
Adobe Acrobat document [6.5 MB]

While the state of Maryland aggressively implements the flawed Bay TMDL (pollution diet) through costly mandates on local governments and increased taxes and fees, our upstream watershed neighbor and largest source of Bay pollution fiddles.  Reports of significant progress in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania towards reducing pollution in the Susquehanna River that ultimately finds its way into the Chesapeake Bay are isolated and overstated.  The media accounts listed and linked here highlight just how little progress is being made above the Conowingo Dam to save the Bay.  As you review these articles or any account of environmental problems with the Susquehanna River, be ever mindful of these basic facts:


·         water flows downhill;

·         more than 50% of the freshwater into the Bay comes from the Susquehanna River;

·         the most significant stormwater management pond in the Bay watershed (the Conowingo Dam reservoir) has lost its capacity to trap Susquehanna River nutrients and sediment; and

·         there is no responsible party, plan or funding to dredge or otherwise address the 84+ years of nutrients and sediments accumulated above the Dam in order to regain trapping capacity.



Ten Worst States for Water Pollution

July 11, 2014, Sara Jerome, Wateronline.com


Intersex fish found in three Pennsylvania river basins

June 30, 2014, Chesapeake Bay News


Chemically impacted smallmouth bass found in more Pennsylvania waters, U.S. Geological Survey reports

June 30, 2014, Marcus Schneck, Penn Live


Toomey, Thompson join against EPA 'overreach' in watershed

June 24, 2014, Marcie Schellhammer, The Bradford Era


Pa. and the Bay

June 20, 2014, The Tribune- Review


Sick smallmouth bass spur effort to seek impaired status for Susquehanna

June 8, 2013, Roba Kobel, Bay Journal


The Susquehanna River - too big to ail?

June 17, 2013, Patriot-News Editorial Board, Penn Live


Susquehanna Watershed Nutrient Loading a Critical Concern, In Midst of EPA Report

May 14, 2013, Business Wire


County agency declines role in Speedwell Forge sediment cleanup

May 14, 2013, Laura Knowles, Lancaster Online


For a collection of articles on the issues involved above the Conowingo Dam, click here for Lancaster Online's relevant database.


The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has zealously advocated for an increase in restoration efforts of the Lower Susquehanna's water quality.  Click here to visit their website to gain insight on this issue, including efforts by the PFBC to engage their fellow Pennsylvania and federal partners.


Chesapeake Bay Watershed Boundary. Courtesy USGS Fact Sheet FS 2006-3046.

A satellite view of the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg, PA, on September 10 shows the high levels of sediment that are being carried toward Chesapeake Bay. Courtesy: Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite.

The Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna, joined by the Waterkeepers Chesapeake, a coalition of 18 conservation groups throughout the Chesapeake Bay region, petitioned for intervention with FERC for the Conowingo Dam relicensing.  The Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna's, joined by the Waterkeepers Chesapeake, motion to intervene can be seen here.  The article below provides a summary of their filing:


Seeking to lessen impacts of the Conowingo Dam on the bay

York Daily Record, Michael Helfrich, July 19, 2013


Conowingo Dam Owners Must Clean Up Their Act

unEarthed, Seth Johnson, July 19, 2013

High suspended-sediment concentrations after Hurricane Ivan (September, 2004). NASA Terra satellite image taken September 21, 2004, shortly after Hurricane Ivan hit the Chesapeake Bay.

Flooding in the Susquehanna River Watershed


Click here to learn more about the historical repeat flooding incidents inflicting the  Susquehanna River Watershed.  Tropical Storm Agnes (1972) set the record crest for the Susquehanna River at 32.57 feet.  Tropical Storm Lee (September 10, 2011) had a crest of 26.2 feet, which is the fourth highest on record.


http://www.cleanchesapeakecoalition.com/s/cc_images/cache_3971257504.jpg?t=1369056968Courtesy of USGS "Sediment Sources and Transport in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed".




A Picture is worth a thousand words...

This NASA satellite image appeared in the August 2012 U.S. Geological Survey report that confirmed the exponential loss of trapping capacity in the Conowingo Dam reservoir, and has since served as a calling card for the Coalition. We added the Maryland county jurisdictional boundaries.

Here are the staggering numbers behind the photograph of the 100-mile long sediment plume emanating from the Conowingo Dam a few days after Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011, according to the U.S. Geological Survey:

Estimated amounts transported into the Bay during this single storm event are shown below:

                          *According to the U.S. Geological Survey:

                           42,000 tons nitrogen 10,600 tons phosphorus

                           19 million tons sediment (of which 4 million tons was scoured from the reservoir)

                          *According to the UMCES- Horn Point (Cambridge, MD) Survey:

                            115,910 tons nitrogen

                            14,070 tons phosphorus

                            By comparison (yearly pollutant loading averages 1978-2011): 

                            71,000 tons nitrogen

                            3,300 tons phosphorus

                            2.5 million tons sediment

What will the next significant watershed storm event do to the Bay and to the restoration efforts below the Conowingo Dam?

NASA MODIS photograph from the Terra satellite, September 13, 2011, showing sediment plume extending
to near the mouth of the Potomac River,
a distance of about 100 miles. (County lines added by Clean Chesapeake Coalition.)

The Mission of the Clean Chesapeake Coalition  

The mission of the Clean Chesapeake Coalition is to advocate, raise awareness and take action in order to improve the poor water quality of the Chesapeake Bay in the most effective and fiscally responsible manner possible. Our coalition seeks to re-establish Maryland’s waters and its oyster, crab, fishing, and seafood packaging industries that were once so vital to our local economies. We want the Bay to be restored to its once great role as a beacon of recreation for residents and our tourism industries. 

For decades, many Maryland counties have endured significant negative environmental and financial setbacks as a result of the poor water quality of the Bay, in spite of the countless millions of dollars spent by our local governments on programs and implementation projects spearheaded by federal and State officials with their ineffective initiatives. Sadly to date, there has been little to no meaningful improvement in the health of the Bay and its tributaries.   

The Clean Chesapeake Coalition seeks to challenge the wasteful spending on the many government mandates that rely on ineffective programs and/or facilities. The Coalition believes that there exists a dearth of factual, technological, and scientific foundation, which clearly demonstrates that many present expenditures are being made irresponsibly from our public funds.  The Coalition believes that this careless and ineffective approach only results in taxpayer dissent and seriously impacts our mission and efforts to restore the Bay and its tributaries to its former beauty in the most effective and fiscally responsible manner possible.

The Picture on the left was taken June 2006 after record rainfall. Sediment-laden plumes of water around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Jane Thomas, Integration and Application Network, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (ian.umces.edu/imagelibrary/).





The Clean Chesapeake Coalition logo aspires to encompass the Coalition's priorities: clean water, SAV and oyster restoration, promotion of agriculture, and estuary conservation. The logo centers around oysters and SAV for their ecological roles in the Bay's health. Both SAV and the oyster - Mother Nature's most efficient water filters - serve as true barometers of the Bay, and both are under great stress because of sedimentation and other factors. Trees and farming round out the logo as significant aspects of the Bay's ecosystem and a reminder that activities on the land can impact the water. The vibrant colors engender our collective hopes for a vibrant Chesapeake Bay.

Our logo was created by artist/designer Ramon Matheu in early 2013.

About the artist: Ramon Matheu is an Eastern Shore native, having grown-up in Salisbury, and now resides on Kent Island in Queen Anne's County with his family. The Chesapeake Bay and surrounding areas provide Ramon with an abundance of beauty, nature and wildlife which inspire many of his artistic creations. He also pulls creative influence from his love of Maryland, its people, landmarks and cultural traditions. If you would like to see more of Ramon's work, please visit him at www.ramonmatheu.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter. The image below is an example of Ramon's handiwork related to Chesapeake Bay restoration issues, such as helping to save the oyster.


handiwork related to Chesapeake Bay restoration issues, such as helping to save the oyster.


Ramon Matheu's "Operation Save the Chesapeake Bay" and "Alien Oyster Farming"