Dredging the Schuylkill River: What’s on the Schedule?
The main areas of concern in the dredging project are two of the rowing lanes, lanes 1 and 6, now about two feet from the water surface. These lanes are part of the route known to host the Dad Vail, Stotesbury Cup and Independence Day regattas.
Freddie Braun, a Camden resident and recreational rower, said the algae blooms were also a hindrance for rowers who occasionally tried to enter the water.
“From the shore at maybe 10, 15 meters deep, you couldn’t really row because the algae and plant growth was so thick,” Braun said.
The rise in the riverbed also forced the Schuylkill Navy to move the entry point for Philadelphia Adapted Rowing members from the west side to the east side of the river, Mueller said. PAR is one of 13 athletic programs offered by the Pennsylvania Center for Adapted Sports, which provides an outlet for athletic activities for people with disabilities.
“The impact of not performing this contract is real,” Mueller said.
In addition to being a renowned body of water for recreational activities, the Schuylkill is a tributary of the Delaware River and is part of the larger Delaware River watershed stretching from upstate New York to parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Mueller hopes the Army Corps of Engineers moves quickly to complete the dredging project.
“We have completed the assignment given to us, to fund this project,” said Mueller. “Now the US Army Corps of Engineers must continue to fully execute its mission of carrying out the project by any means necessary. “