The Department of the Interior has officially recognized the Susquehanna River’s central place in Pennsylvania’s history by adding it to the John Smith Chesapeake NationalHistoric Trail. The work of Bucknell professor, Katie Faull, whose research on early Moravians who settled along the river’s banks and their interaction with the native people living there helped earn the designation.
Professor Faull’s work is part of Bucknell’s Susquehanna River Initiative, a comprehensive program looking at the history, culture, geology and ecology of the river. One of the projects, Stories from the Marcellus Shale: To the Seventh Generation is chronicling the impact of the latest extractive boom to hit the watershed.
Bucknell is collaborating with the Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies to conduct research into the river’s health. Taken together, these efforts are producing a wealth of information that documents the central role the river plays in the economy, culture and environment of central Pennsylvania. The researchers are showing why a healthy Susquehanna is vital to river towns, businesses, agriculture and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.
Their work also reminds us that the river is worth saving for its own sake. To save the Bay, we first must save the river.