Whether you live to hike, bike, swim, birdwatch, or any activity that takes place outside, water quality is key to making those experiences enjoyable. Clean bodies of water are optimal for water activities such as kayaking and fishing, while also supporting a healthy ecosystem around them for hiking, biking and animal watching. As an outdoor enthusiast, you likely already take measures to help protect water, which is very important.
Tips for Outdoor Enthusiasts:
- If it Doesn’t Belong, Pick it Up! - Trash and pollution in water is dangerous for people and wildlife. It can be ingested by animals and disrupt the flow of natural water bodies. Plastic trash can also get broken up into tiny pieces and end up remaining in drinking water as microplastic. When enjoying nature, be on the lookout for what doesn’t belong there. Any trash or debris left behind by people should be removed and disposed of properly. This includes trash in the street, which could be swept down the storm drain.
- If it Does Belong, Leave it There! - When enjoying nature, it is tempting to take a piece with you. However, this can result in damage to the ecosystem. One plant may not seem like much, but think: What if everyone took one plant? Would there be any left? It’s always better to leave nature where it is so that all organisms, including other people, can benefit from it. Take a picture instead!
- Be on the Lookout for Invasive Species - Invasive species are species that are inhabiting an area they are not native to. Typically, these species are also doing harm to that area in some way. Always be careful to clean any equipment such as boats and fishing gear to prevent the spread of plant seeds and small organisms. If you spot one of these species in or around the Schuylkill River, remove it and/or report it to the park’s wildlife service. Only remove the species if you are SURE that it is invasive!
- Become a Steward - Advocate for nature by helping to educate others. Spread knowledge to friends and fellow outdoor enthusiasts about practices that enhance water quality and overall conservation. Clean water is something that all people, now and in the future, should be able to enjoy and education is an important component of protecting water for everyone to use!
- Volunteer - All throughout the Schuylkill River Watershed, there are organizations who focus on protecting the environment and the river. Many of these groups need volunteers to help with cleanups, planting, and other projects throughout the year. Become a member or volunteer and donate your time to the cause. Checkout the SAN Volunteer Board for upcoming opportunities!
Resources for Outdoor Enthusiasts