SRBC Marks 50 Years, Highlights Accomplishments

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From the Susquehanna River Basin Commission

HARRISBURG, Pa.  – This year marks the Susquehanna River Basin Commission’s (SRBC) 50th anniversary.  The effective date of the Susquehanna River Basin Compact, which authorized the creation of the Commission, was January 23, 1971.

“It’s a good time to reflect on our role in the management of the river basin’s water resources and how the events of the past half century have shaped SRBC,” says Andrew Dehoff, SRBC Executive Director.

“Some of our most noteworthy accomplishments include state-of-the-art flood forecasting and early warning systems, the development of water storage agreements, long term water quality monitoring, effective water withdrawal regulations, and contributions to the Chesapeake Bay restoration,” says Dehoff. “All of SRBC’s efforts are in support of meeting the river basin’s public, economic, and ecological needs.”

Since 1971, SRBC has been dedicated to fulfilling its mission as a federal-interstate compact. Its duty is to coordinate the management of water resources across state lines, which requires a strong commitment from its member states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland along with the federal government, represented by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In celebration of its golden anniversary, state and federal leaders and partners are applauding SRBC’s achievements over the years.  Among those sending congratulatory letters and citations are the Honorable PA Governor Tom Wolf, Honorable US Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey Jr., and the PA State Senate and PA House of Representatives. In addition, PA Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources Cindy Adams Dunn and Executive Directors of the Delaware River Basin Commission, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin and Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation have sent congratulatory remarks.

Former Commission chair Aneca Y. Atkinson, Deputy Secretary  for the Office of Water Programs in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, remarked on the occasion, “I am proud to represent the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a Commissioner for the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this important effort. For five decades the Susquehanna River Basin Commission has worked as a partnership in balancing the needs of communities with larger state and federal goals, for the overall benefit of all involved. Today, thanks in part to the efforts of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and its members, we see cleaner water and healthier communities throughout the watershed. I look forward to working with the Susquehanna River Basin Commission in our ongoing commitment to improving water quality in the Susquehanna River Basin and am honored to help usher in the next 50 years of cooperative conservation and protection of this critical watershed.”

SRBC is launching today an anniversary campaign that will include special features in its newsletter and social media posts, an online historical story map that covers SRBC’s history and landmark achievements, and special events throughout the coming months.

To kick-off the celebration, the Commission is pleased to announce a new proposed Comprehensive Plan that articulates its vision, goals, and objectives for the basin over the next two decades.  Marking the halfway point in the 100-year Susquehanna River Basin Compact, the 2021 plan will employ the latest scientific and technological advances to continue the Commission’s collaborative work — whether it involves water supply, water quality, floods and droughts, or ecosystem health. Cross-cutting challenges such as climate change and environmental justice will also be addressed. The Commission is accepting public comments on the Draft 2021 Comprehensive Plan through February 19, 2021.

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