Swatara Watershed Association 
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You are also welcome to join SWA on interactive sites:

Swatara QR Code.  Save to your phone.

It's all about Clean Water.  Post your pictures of our events, water conservation, floods, pollution.  Share your memories about the Swatara....  Our projects and areas of interest include the Bordner Cabin, Eagle Scout Projects, PA Conservation Corps, Swatara State Park, Swatara River, Swatara Sojourn, Swatara Water Trail, Tenaska, Swatara Watershed Park, and Water Companies

 Planning a Swatara Outing? Tips:

bullet Updated Map  Swatara Water Trail map front 3.15MB 10.14.2017.pdf 
bullet Swatara Water Trail map and guide 7MB 10.12.2017.pdf
bullet Public     access points about every 7 miles.
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For comparison, when the Harpers gauge at our launch @ 1929 Blacks Bridge Road, Annville reads the following heights:
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5.5’, the Road to site #1 is almost covered, not             accessible and partly flooded;  

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7’ our ramp is covered to the top gravel border; 

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9’ the swell puts water onto sites 1-4 & site 8; and

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10.56', only sites 26-35 do not flood. 

Depth  USGS Guages  National Weather Service provides forecasts for Harper's and Hershey gauges. Check the gauge nearest your start point.  Beginners should reschedule at 2.2' deep.  Reschedule if experienced, but water is rising between 3.5' & 4', or below .4'.  Kayaks may float a bit lower.  Memorial Lake is an option when the Swatara is too high or too low. 

bulletUse caution at dams:  With groups, avoid low-head dam in Jonestown.  Uneven portage on left bank, which disappears  into tree line in high water.  Hershey dam portage is also on the left.  Long, but flat, mowed route.  Take out at feeder stream on left before warning sign.
bulletU-Tow Canoes Available  http://www.mbcomp.com/swatara/redirect/watertrail/canoe_rent.htm
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Canoe Use agreement: CANOE USE CONTRACT.pdf

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Seasonal Primitive Camping Camp/2017 Campsite Agreement.pdf  Fishing, hiking, picnicking 

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Visit the Bordner Cabin in Swatara State Park:  Bordner Cabin Drive thru Swatara State Park 9AM-3PM the 2nd Fri & Sat monthly & 4th Fri & Sat Mar, Apr, Sep & Oct.

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Most recent Newsletter:  2017 Swatara News .pub.pdf

 
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Publications
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Envisioning an Environmental Legacy for the Swatara EELS, the Book in pdf file

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Mills and Bank Barns Mills and Bank Barns Book.pdf\

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 Minutes/Statement of Importance of the Swatara Creek.pdf

About the Swatara Watershed

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Watershed Description

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Virtual Driving Tour

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Maps of the Watershed

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Swatara State Park (position papers: Bordner Cabin and Old State Road

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Watershed Links (more than 200 links to Recreational opportunities, Schools, local government, and MORE!)

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Tourist Destinations (New Feature)

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Contact Information/Press Room

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Flooding

About SWA

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Our History and Mission

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Officers and Board Members

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Legacy Giving

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Lifetime Members

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Become a SWA Member

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Support SWA

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SWA Newsletters

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Meeting Minutes

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SWA Awards and Publications

SWA Projects

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Canoe Trips and Sojourn

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Projects

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Intern Opportunities

Rivers Conservation Plan

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What is a RCP?

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About Swatara's RCP

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Get your own copy

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Read the RCP on-line

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View watershed maps

Swatara on Great Nonprofits: http://www.greatnonprofits.org/reviews/profile2/swatara-watershed-association

SWATARA WATERSHED ASSOCIATION Lebanon, PA USA

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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Watershed Description

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Virtual Driving Tour

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Maps of the Watershed

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Watershed Links (Recreation, Historical and Cultural, etc.)

Watershed Description

"Swatara" – an Indian word meaning "Where we feed on eels."

The Swatara Creek is a tributary to the Susquehanna River, which connects at Middletown, PA.  From there it stretches 71 miles in length over 570 square miles of south-central Pennsylvania, including portions of Schuylkill, Berks, Lebanon and Dauphin Counties and 46 municipalities.  At its headwaters, the Swatara’s elevation is approximately 1,510 feet, then drops to 279 feet above sea level at the Susquehanna River. 

In order of drainage size, major tributaries are the Little Swatara (99.2 sq. mi.), Quittapahilla (77.3 sq. mi.), Lower Little Swatara (35.6 sq. mi.), Manada (32.2 sq. mi.), Beaver (27.2 sq. mi.), and Upper Little Swatara (24.3 sq. mi.) Creeks.

Swatara Creek has served as a provider of food, water, transportation, energy, and recreation for generations of inhabitants. The surrounding watershed supplied farmland, limestone, iron, coal, timber, and a host of other raw materials that aided in the establishment and subsequent development of the region, and country.

State Game Lands 80, 160, 211, 229 and Weiser State Forest surround the headwaters.  There are two fossil beds in the watershed.  The Union Canal, which was started in 1791, stretches 77 miles from Reading to Middletown linking the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays through the Schuylkill and Susquehanna Rivers.  The north portal was recently restored.

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Virtual Driving Tour

Click here to take the driving tour.

Maps of the Watershed

Through a Growing Greener Grant, Hedin Environmental and DEM Surveying and Consulting were hired to convert the GIS coverages developed by Mackin Engineering into web-based maps.  This concept, called StreamLynx, allows web page users to have access to these maps.  Unlike paper maps, the user can zoom and turn map layers on and off.  

In order to view the maps, a free viewing product must be downloaded.  This only has to be done once and then your computer will be ready to use the StreamLynx maps.

Click HERE to download the free product. (Click "Open" and follow instructions or click "Save".  After the file is saved to your desktop, double click the file and follow the instructions.)

Now that you've downloaded the software, do you want to know how it works?  Click here for a short list of instructions.  The number one instruction: ON MAPS, CLICK THE RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON FOR A LIST OF OPTIONS.

Ready to view a map on-line?  Select the map you would like to view from the list below.  Please be patient--it may take SEVERAL MINUTES for the map to appear, depending upon the speed of your connection.  Good things come to those who wait!
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MAP 1: Basic Watershed Introduction (Watershed area, subwatersheds, roads, townships)

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MAP 2: Parks, Trails and Recreation (State, Local and Municipal parks and trails, gamelands, amusement parks)

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MAP 3: Transportation Features (Major and minor roads, airports, railroads, canals)

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MAP 4: Organizations and Special Areas (Other organizations in the watershed, heritage areas, birding areas)

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MAP 5: Discharges (Municipal and Mine Drainage Discharges, Drinking Water Intakes)

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MAP 6: School Districts (Local School Districts and other Educational Links)

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Watershed Links

There is a lot going on in our watershed!  For a comprehensive list of links organized by category, click here.  

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