STREAMLINES: News and events from BWA
Capture wonder of waterfalls with photography
By some counts, Pennsylvania has 75 named waterfalls. Thirty of those are in the Poconos.

Adventurer, former pilot, Colorado native and BWA member Ray Roper has been making photos for decades. “Water in all its forms is endlessly fascinating,” he said. “Frozen, flowing, cascading, even as crystals in the air – it always rewards the careful observer.”

Roper has photographed many waterfalls in the Brodhead watershed, including many on land not open to the public. On Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, Roper will share images from his collection and talk about his aesthetic choices and the love of the natural world expressed in his work.

When: 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022
Where: Brodhead Creek Heritage Center, 1539 Cherry Lane Road, East Stroudsburg, Pa.
Details: This event is free, but registration is appreciated.
Jan. 15: Explore Seven Pines, Ice Lake
Brodhead Watershed Association offers a walking tour of two connected public lands with naturalist and educator Darryl Speicher at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 15.

Trails link the ballfields of Seven Pines with walking paths and Ice Lake. The protected land also connects to Game Lands 221.

There is more to these popular spots than meets the eye, says Speicher. “You can often see evidence of game birds like pheasant and grouse and mammals like fox, coyote, deer and bear. In spring, this is a great place to listen for bullfrogs and green frogs,” he said.

WHEN: 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 15. Hike goes “drizzle or shine.”
COST: Free
WHERE: Directions will be provided to registrants.
REGISTER: Registration is required and limited. Deadline to register is noon Thursday, Jan. 13. Hurry – only a few spots are left!
Pass on the salt, please
The salt you use on your steps and driveway doesn’t “disappear” when the snow melts. That salty snow meltwater runs off or sinks into the ground — burning or killing plants and eventually making its way into the nearest well, creek, or pond.

“Sodium chloride — salt —has been identified as a significant threat to naturally fresh streams and lakes in the U.S. Northeast according to recent research,” said Alex Jackson, executive director of Brodhead Watershed Association. “Salt gets into our clean streams from septic systems and from road and driveway applications. Preliminary results indicate that salt may remain in soil and groundwater, and so ‘winter salt’ seeps into our fragile creeks all summer long.”

The world's cutest reptile is in danger
Imagine being snatched from your home and held in a small, dark box that’s too hot, too cold, too wet and too dry by turns, with food that’s wrong for you and makes you sick.

This is the life of a bog turtle stolen from the wild to be sold illegally to people who supposedly “love” them.

The largest bog turtle ever measured was just 4.5 inches long. Native only to the eastern United States, they are the smallest turtles in the U.S., surely the cutest, and one of the most rare.

And they are in trouble.

Wanted: Master watershed stewards
The Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward Program in Monroe County is looking for individuals who have an interest in the environment, a willingness to learn, and a strong desire to make a difference in the community.

Master watershed stewards volunteer in the community to improve the health of our streams, rivers and other natural resources by: organizing educational events; organizing stream clean-ups; designing demonstration rain gardens; teaching adults and children about the environment; monitoring streams; working with municipal officials to plant native meadows.

To become a certified master watershed steward, you must complete 40 hours of training and fulfill 50 hours of volunteer service. After becoming certified, you can maintain your status by giving at least 20 volunteer hours and attending at least 10 hours of continuing education annually.

Training will be held 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays from March 10 through June 2. The sessions will be held virtually via Zoom with several hands-on Saturday field trips throughout Monroe County.

Brodhead Watershed Association offers reimbursement of the class fee ($125) to anyone who completes the Master Watershed Steward Program with a passing grade of 80% or higher. Applicants should register at the links below and pay out of pocket, and then apply to BWA for reimbursement in June after completion.

Applications may be submitted until Feb. 9, 2022.
The rights of nature
Christiana Ochoa, professor of Law and academic director at Indiana University, published an article in the Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law about the rights of nature:

Do forests and rivers possess standing to sue? Do mountain ranges have substantive rights? A recent issue of The Judges’ Journal, a preeminent publication for American judges, alerts the bench, bar, and policymakers to the rapidly emerging “rights of nature,” predicting that state and federal courts will increasingly see claims asserting such rights.

Within the United States, Tribal law has begun to legally recognize the rights of rivers, mountains, and other natural features. Several municipalities across the United States have also acted to recognize the rights of nature. United States courts have not yet addressed the issue, though in 2017, a Colorado District Court dismissed a suit claiming rights for the Colorado River ecosystem.

Meanwhile, 14 foreign countries have extended standing and substantive rights to nature, and that number is growing quickly. This international trend matters because U.S. Supreme Court Justices, including Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer, have argued that American courts should note and address cutting-edge legal developments in foreign jurisdictions.

Warehouse sprawl spreading
Warehouse development in the Lehigh Valley has been consuming farmland at an alarming rate in eastern Pennsylvania. Now, this commercial development has spread into the Poconos. Check with your local municipality to see where projects are proposed. These enormous commercial facilities pose a significant threat to water quality. Warehouses and distribution centers destroy the rural character of our country home, and bring in hundreds of trucks every single day (per facility) into our rural communities. Read about how New Jersey has been handling the issue and about predictions for Pennsylvania in “Warehouse sprawl: Plan now or suffer the consequences,” an article in New Jersey Future.
Pocono Heritage Land Trust is holding a photography contest through Jan. 31, with winning photographs to be displayed at Brodhead Creek Heritage Center in March. Categories are:
THE BRODHEAD CHAPTER OF TROUT UNLIMITED was featured on WNEP-TV’s “Pennsylvania Outdoor Life” recently, discussing winter trout fishing. See the video here.
BWA welcomes new members this month: Carolyn Caruso of Canadensis; Luz Gomez of East Stroudsburg; Jennifer Mittereder of Buck Hill Falls; Jim Popelka of Morris Plains, N.J.; Keith Robinson of East Stroudsburg; David Youngster of Tannersville.

We welcome a new member in the Environmental Partnership Program, Magnolia Streamside Resort in Canadensis.

And we thank the following members for recently renewing their Environmental Partnerships: Berkheimer Foundation, David Lewis, ESSA Bank & Trust, and Strauser Nature’s Helpers.

Perennial Club is a time-saving way to keep your membership current through automatic, online donations. For information, click here.
BWA has an online apparel shop – a special way to support BWA’s clean water mission. Click the button to see our shirts, hoodies and tank tops in a variety of colors and styles, for adults and children.