News for Immediate Release
April 16, 2014
DEP Releases 2014 Susquehanna River
Harrisburg – The Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP) today released a work plan outlining efforts to
continue studying and sampling the Susquehanna River basin throughout 2014. The
plan includes analysis of water quality, water flow, sediment, pesticides,
hormones, invertebrates, fish tissue and more.
“Over the last two years where we
tremendously enhanced our examination efforts, DEP has learned a great deal
about the health of the Susquehanna River,” DEP Secretary E. Christopher
Abruzzo said. “It is important to continue these efforts so that DEP can create
policy and regulation based on facts and sound science.”
In 2013, DEP staff spent 927 days
collecting samples on the river. The amount of work days in 2014 is expected to
be the same or increase slightly.
DEP will collect samples at sites along
the Susquehanna in Marietta, City Island and Sunbury and along the Juniata
River at the Lewistown Narrows and Newport. Additional sampling sites along the
Delaware, Allegheny and Youghiogheny rivers will be used as control sites to
establish a baseline for water quality. Portions of the study will focus on
areas where smallmouth bass reproduce.
Staff will test for various water
quality parameters, like dissolved oxygen, temperature and pH, at multiple
sites in the Susquehanna River.
Samples of fish, mussels and
macroinvertebrates, such as mayflies, will also be collected. Fish tissue from
bass collected during the spawning season will be analyzed for pesticides, PCBs
Throughout 2014, DEP will continue to
sample for pesticides at existing water quality network stations along the
Susquehanna, Juniata and Delaware rivers. Samples will be collected during high
and low flows to better document pesticides in these waters.
DEP’s biologists continue to consult
with a contracted algal expert to analyze samples collected in the Susquehanna
River Basin and control sites. Algal samples are analyzed for total suspended
solids, ammonia, nitrogen and phosphorus to determine the relationship between
nutrient run-off, or discharges, and algal growth. Excessive algae may be
indicative of poor water quality.
For more information, visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click on the
“Susquehanna River Study Update” button on the homepage.
Media contact: Amanda Witman,