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President's Letter

 The Gallows Run Watershed Association celebrates eleven years of activism and public outreach in support of protecting the watershed’s natural resources. We are proud of our neighbors who came together to support GRWA’s mission and understand the fragility and value of our shared aquifer and ecosystem to the future generations of Upper Bucks.                         

Our 8.8 square mile watershed, with its naturally reproducing trout population, is fighting the impacts of past abuses and new challenges. Sandy has forced us all to look at our rivers, streams and overhanging tree canopy with new eyes. The Gallows Run has shown its resilience in its ability to bounce back from unforeseen challenges. The global impacts of climate weirding are on display nightly on the news as well, not just in our backyards. 

The nightly news also features a blitz of advertising from the natural gas industry. Our small watershed became ground zero for blowback to Governor Corbett’s over-reaching Act 13, a blueprint for the industrialization of the entire Pennsylvania landscape with no zoning exclusions anywhere. This past year the GRWA partnered with the Delaware Riverkeeper and PennEnvironment to present the consequences of the gasmen coming to town. Anyone in the overflow audience at Palisades High School will remember our friends from Dimock telling their stories and displaying their post-drilling well water. Dr. Paul Rubin presented a study of the geology of the Newark Basin, commissioned by the GRWA, that pointed to groundwater impacts of the inevitable failure of drill bore cement casings over time.              

Nockamixon Township was among the group of municipalities that first challenged the Act’s abridgement of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth’s Constitution’s protection of our air and water. Our representatives in Harrisburg responded to the public outcry and moved to pass a moratorium on gas drilling in the Newark Basin. We have achieved a state of limbo which seems a victory compared to those gas-boomed areas in Marcellus Shale outside of the Delaware Basin. We have continued an active monitoring on our website of the latest scientific studies of the impacts of fracking. A growing alliance is building in recognition of the need to immediately move our energy system away from fossil fuels to stem the impacts for future generations of climate change.     

The GRWA has also been in the stream cleaning up storm debris and instituting new stream and aquifer monitoring programs. We have been in the Middle and High Schools running workshops and at local community days taking orders for rain barrels. We have been working with our partners in townships, county and state to conserve valuable open space properties in the watershed. We have been attending local government meetings to be a continual voice for environmental conservation and stewardship on the township level. Many of our members are active Township volunteers. With our Township partners, we will continue to implement evidence-based groundwater management.

We look forward to seeing you all at the 5th annual Artists of the Gallows Run Art for Conservation on Saturday September 28th, 5-7:30 pm and Sunday September 29t, 2-5pm at Rising Sun Farm or at artist’s reception Thursday evening October 10, 6-9pm at Nurture Nature in Easton. 

 The GRWA has developed a new digital platform that will strengthen our communication with you and all other members. Our newly re-grooved website grwa.wildapricot.org hosts this issue of our venerable newsletter, Upper Bucks Futures. We will continue to aggregate news of local importance, and by utilizing social media like Facebook we will make sure our members stay informed with updates of conservation news. The theme of this Fall issue of UBF is “Living with Global Weirding in Upper Bucks.”  

We welcome your stories and photos in response. And your support, of course, makes all this work possible.

Yours in Conservation, 

Todd Stone
President of the Gallows Run Watershed Association

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