Susquehanna University lands grant to study Susquehanna River

Written by Cary Burkett | Jun 24, 2014 4:07 AM

Photo by Joe Ulrich/WITF

(Selinsgrove) -- The state Department of Environmental Protection recently released a report warning against eating Susquehanna River channel catfish larger than 20 inches more than once a month.

That’s just one of many problems facing the river and new research to help study some of those issues.

In 2011, the Susquehanna River was named the most endangered in the nation by the nonprofit group American Rivers. 

Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove has been awarded a $2.25 million grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to study some of the ecological issues currently impacting the Susquehanna River.

Dr.  Jonathan Niles will be the director of the new Freshwater Research Initiative at the college.

"We're trying to build a regional model for research collaboration between small universities, like ours, along with nonprofit groups, governmental agencies, like DEP and the Fish and Boat commission, bringing all of those stakeholders together and collaborating on large-scale projects that can investigate ecological issues that would be impacting the waterways of the Susquehanna," he says.  "We are using the best available scientific data to hopefully drive some policy decisions, through this collaborative effort, to arrive at objective data that we’ve collected, and disseminate that go to the public and to governmental agencies, so that decisions can be made about the best science within the river. Not just, 'Oh, we think it might be this -let’s go investigate it.'”   

Susquehanna University is part of the Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies which also includes , Bucknell, Bloomsburg and Lock Haven universities and King’s and Lycoming colleges.

The new Freshwater Research Initiative will begin this summer. 

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