MARCH 2021
STREAMLINES: News and events from BWA
Snow tells tales of life, death & changing climate
On a field of fresh snow, you can see where a busy squirrel hurried past. You can also see the unfolding tale of climate change.

Learn how to read the signs in this installment of the occasional series “Woods & Water” by Carol Hillestad, part of the Get Outdoors Poconos program.
Thanks for everything, Nancy

Nancy Shukaitis, 96, passed away last week, after a lifetime of contributions to her community and watershed.

Nancy’s long list of accomplishments includes 16 years as a Monroe County commissioner (the first woman to be elected to the board), retiring in 1983. Much of her work centered on the environment – especially her fight against the Tocks Island Dam. (Click here to read a Pocono Record article about Shukaitis’ campaign against the dam.)

“Without Nancy Shukaitis and her work to protect the valley and the river, the landscape here would likely be very different today,” Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area said in a tribute.

BWA honored her with its Exceptional Value Award in 2013, and Nancy also won an Environmental Stewardship Award from the National Park Service “for a lifetime of public service personifying the 20th-century environmental movement.”

“I knew of Nancy long before I knew of the BWA, and credit her example and Tocks Island fight with sparking my interest in environmental advocacy as a young girl,” said BWA board member Ann Foster.

Craig Todd, BWA board member and former Monroe County Conservation District director, said, “I have fond memories of Nancy, particularly during her tenure as a county commissioner and commissioner representative on the (MCCD) board. She was always supportive of our initiatives back in the early ‘80s.”

“Nancy Shukaitis is a legend,” said Theresa Merli, former BWA board member and executive director.

We at BWA honor Nancy’s life-long contributions to the community and environment, and we offer our condolences to her family, including her granddaughter Jennifer, a BWA board member.

Click here for Nancy Shukaitis’ obituary.
A map to find fun in the watershed

BWA has a new watershed activities map available – a folding map showing the watershed’s waterfalls, fishing holes, hikeable and driveable views, and wading/swimming holes. Find out where the fun is in Brodhead watershed’s “natural waterpark”!

We are happy to mail a free copy to current members. Members, send your name and mailing address to to request a copy. Copies will be available for pickup later in April at select locations. (Details to come in a future newsletter.)

If you are not a member and would like a copy mailed to you, it’s easy to become a member! Click here to join online, and then email with your map request.
The Friends of Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge have created virtual tours of the refuge. Two are available, both featuring Jared Green, Cherry Valley wildlife specialist, as he snowshoes the headquarters tract.
New regulation bans fracking in Delaware
The Delaware River Basin Commission recently approved a final rule prohibiting high-volume hydraulic fracking in the basin.  

Resolution No. 2021-01 amends the commission’s Comprehensive Plan and Water Code to prohibit fracking in the Delaware River Basin in order to control future pollution, protect the public health and preserve the waters of the basin. See the full resolution here.
Reminder: Sign up for Streamwatch training
Would you like to be a Streamwatcher? A Streamwatch volunteer training session for Brodhead watershed residents will be held via Zoom at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 27, 2021. Individualized on-stream training will be provided by experienced volunteers following the virtual training.

For 30 years, BWA Streamwatch volunteers have been checking local streams on a monthly basis. Now, with more than 70 volunteers in seven sub-watershed regions of the Brodhead watershed, new volunteers are always welcome to join the efforts to ensure clean streams. This program is also a good refresher course for veteran Streamwatchers.

Register on the event page, or contact the BWA office at 570-839-1120, email. Registrants will receive the Zoom information to join the March 27 webinar.

For more about the Streamwatch program, click here.
'Water in Winter' contest ends Monday
We’ve received many beautiful images depicting water in winter – frozen waterfalls, ice formations, and more.

All submitted photos are featured on our homepage and will be on BWA’s social media.

For information and submission guidelines, click here. Contest ends Monday, March 15.

(Pictured: Peter Luck's photo of Slateford Creek in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.)
Climate change: Local impacts, municipal action
BWA’s Climate Action Committee has commissioned a 2021 series of articles on the impacts of climate change on our water resources and municipal government’s role in working toward a solution.

The first, by board member Ann Foster, shows the indisputable connection between a warming climate and our water resources.

Credible science supports that changes are already occurring and are projected to escalate in the upcoming decades if immediate action is not taken to curb carbon emissions caused largely by our dependence on carbon-emitting fossil fuels and methane gas products. The Brodhead watershed, with its plethora of coldwater resources, is not exempt from degradation of our waterways caused by climate change.

Click here to read more. Click here for the Climate Action Committee page.
Have you seen BWA’s Report to the Community? Members should have received their emailed copy already. If you haven’t, click here to read about our 2020 accomplishments and our plans for 2021.
GET READY, GARDENERS! BWA’s popular annual Native Plant Sale will open online in March. (We’ll let you know when it’s ready!) The pickup day for website orders will be Saturday, June 5, 2021. Stay tuned, and start planning your garden!
With crops, jobs, and whole industries in Pennsylvania on their menu, spotted lantern flies are no joke.

Garden centers, nurseries, orchards, vineyards, tree farms, and many kinds of timber are at risk. And even people whose living doesn’t depend on growing things are affected.

How can you help stop it? Squishing and scraping. Find out more in this installment of Invasive of the Month.
Fighting illegal fill

Illegal fill has been found in building lots at Monroe Lakes, Middle Smithfield. Read more about the effects of contaminated dirt on watersheds in our monthly Report on MCCD.
The Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers invites you to its Wild and Scenic Film Festival, to be held online 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 18.

Enjoy an evening of films from the new 2021 line-up – films that celebrate the beauty and wonder of our natural world and inspire audiences everywhere to seek out ways to enjoy and take action to protect it.

The virtual lobby opens at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at 7.

Tickets are $15 for individuals, or $25 for “family and friends” tickets.

Click here for information. Click here to register.
BWA welcomes a new member this month: Charlotte DiBartolomeo of Blakeslee
The extended Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act continues to provide incentives for donors to contribute to their favorite charities in 2021.

There is a $300 above-the-line ($600 for couples!) charitable income tax deduction. If you make a donation in 2021, and don’t itemize on your 2021 taxes, then you can give $300 to charity and get a full $300 tax break in addition to the standard deduction. That means your donation is 100% deductible!

You can still benefit even if you do itemize. The CARES Act allows for cash contributions to qualified charities to be deducted up to 100% of your adjusted gross income for 2021. There are also benefits for making a tax-free transfer from an IRA to a charity. Please check with your financial advisor regarding these policies.

This is a difficult time for everyone, and we truly appreciate your continued support!
Kelly Gallo
executive director
Farewell, friends

Dear friends,

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

If ever an organization exemplified this apt quote by Margaret Mead, it is BWA. During my time here, I have witnessed an organization continually striving to make a difference in the environment and community, here in the Brodhead and Cherry Valley watersheds and beyond. An organization made up of committed citizens who are changing the world.

After only six months as executive director of Brodhead Watershed Association, I have made the difficult decision to transition out of the organization, effective March 12, 2021.

During this period of transition, the board and staff will take on additional responsibilities, enabling for a smooth and successful transition. I am confident that BWA will maintain both its programmatic and financial strength during this transition. 

I am thrilled for the next chapter in the leadership of BWA. Both the BWA staff and board are beyond competent and excited to envision new horizons.

It has been my pleasure to work alongside each one of you, and I thank you for this opportunity. All the best.