Pennsylvania Chapter Sierra Club

Help save the Susquehanna River's smallmouth bass!

smallsusquehannasmallmouth.jpgPlease fill out your contact information as completely as possible using the form below. You may choose to edit the message, or leave the content as-is. 

Fish health can tell us a lot about water quality.

The Susquehanna River, once home to prize winning smallmouth bass — is now home to sick bass. We have learned of studies of declining smallmouth population, diseased juvenile smallmouths, adults bearing nasty-looking lesions and weird spots, and problems with high pH, low dissolved oxygen and excessive nutrients. 

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has been pressing the state Department of Environmental Protection to designate the Susquehanna as impaired water under the Clean Water Act so that more work can be done to research and remedy the problems.   Last May, 22 retired DEP water quality managers wrote to DEP Secretary, stating there was ample justification to make that determination.  Local newspapers and organizations have joined in.[1]

Yet the Department of Environmental Protection has refused to declare the Susquehanna waters impaired.  

Take action to list the Susquehanna River as impaired water under the Clean Water Act.

The time is ripe for EPA action because of other Chesapeake Bay issues. The river ultimately flows into the Chesapeake Bay, which is experiencing its own problems that some are blaming on upriver actions. The more Pennsylvania can examine the health of the river now, the better position the state will be in to address these other concerns. 


  • Your Representative
  • EPA Administrator Shawn M. Garvin


*Required fields


List the Susquehanna as Impaired Water

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to request that you begin protecting the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania by listing it as impaired under the Clean Water Act.

The Susquehanna River is one of Pennsylvania's crown jewels. The Susquehanna River carves a 444-mile winding path that begins by the New York state border and rolls through Pennsylvania to bring 22 billion gallons of fresh water daily to the Chesapeake Bay. It is a major draw for tourism and quality of life, not to mention a source of drinking water for many communities. Just a few years ago, it was known for its world-class sport fishery of smallmouth bass.

Please take the action necessary under the Clean Water Act to list this important waterway as impaired.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]