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How to Paddle Outing on the Schuylkill

RESCHEDULED - Wed, Sep 14, 5:30 pm
Bartram's Garden Community Boathouse

Have you been eye-balling the "Hidden River" and wondering what a outing on the river might be like? But you've never held an oar (or it's been a really long time)? This is the outing for you! A family-friendly hands-on opportunity to learn about kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and paddleboards, and then some time trying them out on the Schuylkill River. Come with a picnic and your sense of humor! Boats, oars, and lifejackets will be provided. All skill levels welcome!


Moonlight Paddle on the Schuylkill

Sat, Sep 17, 4:45 pm
Schuylkill River Heritage, Pottstown, PA

Many of us have paddled the Schuylkill River, but how many of us have paddled it at night? Please join us for a moonlight paddle under a starry sky and enjoy dinner on the river.

We will meet at the River Front Park in Pottstown at 4:45pm and load kayaks and people into the van to head up river. The total distance will be about 8 miles. We will paddle around 4 miles and stop at Ganshahawny Park to grill some hotdogs/brats/sausages, eat dinner and hang out until sunset. After night fall we will shove off again and paddle another 4 miles in the dark (with some fun glowsticks) and arrive back at our cars around 10:00pm. We'll have designated lead and sweep paddlers to ensure that no one gets left behind.

This section of river is relatively safe and easy. However, if you have never kayaked before, it may be best for you to paddle during the daytime for your first trip. Please contact me to discuss whether or not this is an appropriate trip for you.

Guiding services by Sierra Club friends Take It Outdoors Adventures. We look forward to this year's trip. The moonlight paddle last year was awesome.

Spots are limited. Reservations required.

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SPG Sub-group pages:


Making a statement at Penns Landing

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Group (SPG), a member of Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club, is focused on the environmental issues facing the greater Philadelphia area. Our Sierra Club volunteers from Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Bucks counties are working together to maintain and improve the natural resources of the area and protect it for generations to come. Our mission: Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet, is the root of every project we undertake.

SPG Executive Committee meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month at 6:15pm at City CoHo at 2401 Walnut St in Philadelphia, 6:15pm. The entrance is on the parking lot side of the building - at the end of Sansom St.

Members and non-members of the Sierra Club are welcome. To join the meeting by phone, call 866-501-6174, then enter the code 100 4 100#

Please send an email to jim.wylie@verizon.net if you have questions or suggestions about this website.


Click on the sections below to see what SPG has been up to, what we plan to do this year and info on how you can get involved.

Oil Trains

Leader: Peggy Hartzell

Outline: A U.S. federal court has ordered a halt in proceedings until May in a case centering around oil-by-rail tankers pitting the Sierra Club and ForestEthics against the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). As a result, potentially explosive DOT-111 oil tank cars, dubbed "bomb trains" by activists, can continue to roll through towns and cities across the U.S. indefinitely. DESMOGBLOG.com

Learn more at the BOMB TRAINS Cmte Page

Suggested Actions: document the Bakken oil trains stressing local infrastructure - increased risk of catastrophe in populated area

Elcon Hazmat Recycling Plant

Bucks Co
Champion: Open

Israeli-based Elcon Recycling Services has submitted an application to the DEP with the intention of building a hazardous waste treatment facility in Bucks Co. using the former US Steel Site in Morrisville, PA, directly across the Del Rvr from Trenton. The facility will treat ~210K tons of raw liquid waste and return usable clean water, removing mercury, cadmium, and lead (etc). This new proposal is unrelated to last year's Bristol plant proposal.

At risk is the Delaware River which is < 0.5mi from the proposed site. There is incineration involved in the process which is expected to produce > 39 tons of emmissions annually (including NOx, NH3, HCl, VOC, SOx). This is expected to drift and settle amongst the surrounding highly populated areas as well as into the Delaware River. Inquirer story about Feb 23, 2016 hearing.

Pipelines & Pumping Stations

Leader: Bernie Greenberg

Outline: New Chester County Pipelines. Though there are already many pipelines in Chester County, controversial modifications of an old pipeline and an entirely new pipeline have been proposed by Sunoco Logistics. Mariner East I went into operation in 1932 to transport petroleum products from Marcus Hook. This 83 year old pipeline which runs through several townships in Chester County will be repurposed to carry natural gas liquids, mainly ethane and propane, from Marcellus Shale to their Marcus Hook refinery. This pipeline is to transport 70,00 barrels/day of gas liquids in their existing 8" and 12" pipes. It has been estimated that over 90% of the processed natural gas would be shipped overseas. Eighteen new pumping stations with 34 foot flare stacks will need to be built. Mariner East II is a new 16" to 24" pipeline planned by Sunoco to follow the right-of-way of Mariner I East. It should be noted that natural gas liquids are more combustible and because they are odorless, leak detection is more difficult.

The Sierra Club will work to ensure that our community's health and environment are protected in the planning, regulation, and implementation of any new pipelines.

Also see the SPG Pipeline Conservation Committee Page

Suggested Investigations: Emergency preparedness, are some pipeline proposals better than others?, allied groups, allied legislators

Zero Waste Experiment

Leader: Eva Wylie

Outline: Can the Wylie household produce zero landfill waste in a month?

Is it impossible to have even a week when the trash doesn't get put out for pickup? Sure, we all recycle what we can, we may even try to reduce our waste by making smart purchases and clever re-use. But really? NO TRASH?!! Join me in my pursuit of an empty trash can. We'll discuss the Wylie household adventure as well as my discoveries and other ideas for becoming waste-free.

To add to the conversation, bring an example of your most common form of waste (nothing smelly please) and we will discuss possible alternatives to trashing it.

NEW - Zero Waste Experiment Blog

Smog Rule

Montgomery County
Champion: Gary Lytle

Coal-fired power plants are the largest single source of smog-causing pollution in the state, even though most large plants have technology that could reduce emissions by up to 40 percent. Unfortunately, they are not using this life-saving technology as often or as effectively as they should.

Clean Power Plan

Montgomery County
Champion: Gary Lytle

The Federal Clean Power Plan, which calls for reductions in carbon emissions from power plants of 30% by the year 2030, requires each state to develop a plan to meet this goal based on local opportunities and challenges. We want to encourage PA to make a plan that sets us on a course towards even greater carbon emissions by building clean and renewable power sources like wind and solar.

Americas Red Rock Wilderness Act (ARRWA)

Southeastern PA Region
Champion: Prasad Ramnath

ARRWA is an act to declare parts of Redrock country in Utah as Wilderness. This act has been around for a while but has never come to the floor for a vote. To get it to the floor there needs to be enough congressmen willing to cosponsor it. Lobby area congressmen to cosponsor ARRWA. We were able to get Congressman Patrick Murphy in Bucks County to cosponsor two years ago. We need to continue the work with current Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick and other area congressmen.

Gas and Oil drilling is a risk in this region as well. Addtionally dust from the disturbance has increased snowmelt resulting in dry rivers once all teh snow has melted in early spring.

Learn more at he ARRWA committee page HERE.

Transportation

Leaders: Susan Charkes, Jim Wylie

Outline: Chester County residents depend on conventional cars to get around. For example, over 80% of residents' work trips are in single-occupant vehicles. [chesco.org] This reliance on conventional gas-powered vehicles contributes significantly to air and water pollution, traffic congestion, sprawl, climate change, impaired physical and mental health and the illusion that we need more highway lanes.

There is a better way - in fact, there are many better ways. We will explore, educate and advocate for increased use in Chester County of multiple alternative and supplemental transportation modes such as bicycles, electric cars and light rail, and we will encourage ridesharing and continued expansion of pedestrian and bike trail networks as well as public transit routes.

Suggested Actions: panel discussion on status/challenges of public trans (train, bus, shuttle), where does the money go: highways

Urban Air Quality

Philadelphia
Champion: Cinzia Sevignani

Our primary concern with air quality is PM (Particle Matters) in center city. The major source of PM in center city are automobiles. Those particles can accumulate a few feet from the grounds so children and people who commute by bicycle would be particularly vulnerable to the dangers of PM.

Particles smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter; and "fine particles" (such as those found in smoke and haze), which are 2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller are linked to health issues, including lung cancer (see EPA and State Of The Air reports).

Read more and volunteer on the Air Quality Committee page

Residential Energy Efficiency

Philadelphia
Champion: Robin Mann, John Butler

Address the set of barriers including lack of financing and standards undermining Philadelphia's ability to meet ambitous residential energy efficiency goals. Promote Philadelphia progress on EE as helping meet overall Clean Power Plan goals

At risk is falling further behind the Greenworks goals for EE. Failing to stimulate local investment in EE, local industry and clean energy job creation, and spreading the benefits of EE to moderate income households.

Go To Energy Efficiency Committee Page.

Rooftop Solar Advocacy

Philadelphia
Champion: Sue Caskey

Promote residential and institutional rooftop solar installation.

We should take advantage of opportunity to partner with Sustainable Business Network's Rooftop Solar initiative, and to reduce reliance on dirty energy and stimulate local clean electricity and take advantage of declinilng costs of rooftop solar.

Open Space & Stormwater Mgmnt

Delaware County
Champion: open

Can we take a stand on development of approx. 230 acres in Marple Twp near Darby Creek that could add to flooding down stream? There is an offer to do an enviremental study which has not been approved by the township or the church.

What's The Buzz? - Twitter and FB feeds from Sierra Club outlets

Southeastern, PA Group Facebook Feed

Phila area Beyond Coal Campaign Tweets

PA Environmental Digest

PA Chapter Tweets

Sierra Club National Tweets



AddUp.org - Environmental Campaign Portal