I decided to take a picture of the Susquehanna River. An environmental issue isn’t readily apparent from this photo, or even when seeing the river in person. However, the Susquehanna is an extremely polluted body of water. Agricultural and urban runoff as well as acid mine drainage are major causes of contamination of this waterway. This pollution has a number of adverse effects. The Susquehanna River is not only a source of drinking water and recreation for Pennsylvanians, but it also provides more than half the water draining into the Chesapeake Bay.
This environmental issue means a lot to me because I grew up in Pennsylvania, and am now studying in Baltimore. Being in close proximity to both the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay has allowed me to see how local environmental impacts can have far-reaching consequences. None of us live in a vacuum – so it’s important to understand how environmental problems can cross geographical and political boundaries.