Pennsylvania People

Humans have used the land in Pennsylvania in many different ways throughout history. As we explored in last week’s issue on geology (link to this issue), central Pennsylvania remained a frontier longer than many other regions. During the fast-paced colonial expansion, the wonderful little town of Marietta, Ohio was founded in the late 1780’s while Bellefonte was not laid out until 1795. New discoveries and science continually change the date of arrival to this region for the first people, but regardless, these early inhabitants would have experienced terrain and landscapes that would have only barely resembled those we see today. Locally the landscape would have ranged from small patches of

Rocks Rock!

Pennsylvania’s geology story kicks off around 500 million years ago. During that time, the Earth was a much different place to hang out on. While the oceans would still have their blue hue and you’d still be able to breathe, very little else was happening. The land was probably a wash of volcanic colors interspersed with bits of fungus and complex life wasn’t really around, leaving erosion unchecked. So, nearly every time it rained, which happened a lot, huge swaths of sediment were washed down rivers and across the wide, flat river deltas. Pennsylvania happened to be a part of those complex deltas and received a fair share of tiny silica particles. Those tiny particles slowly accumulated, a

Wonderful Waterways

Pennsylvania is well regarded for its forest, but we are equally replete with waterways. Pennsylvania has over 85,000 miles of streams and waterways packed into just 45,000 square miles. This puts Pennsylvania squarely into the lead for highest stream density of any state. About 6% of Pennsylvania’s area consists of waterways or wetlands, an area twice the size of Rhode Island! Streams and Waterways Half of the state drains through the Susquehanna River and eventually into the Chesapeake Bay. This includes the area we live in. The remainder of the state is mostly broken between the Delaware and Ohio Rivers. A small number of other watersheds cross into Pennsylvania’s borders, but they repres

Rare Reptiles

Across every biome, there is a wide assortment of three types of reptiles in Pennsylvania; turtles, snakes, and lizards. There are around 10,000 species of reptiles, considerably fewer than there are of mammals, birds, and even fish. Reptiles depend on specific environments to thrive, and preservation of their biodiversity is paramount for maintaining healthy, balanced ecosystems. Reptiles and amphibians are often grouped together, but they diverged about 300 million years ago. There are two major differences between reptiles and amphibians. First, reptiles are covered in scales, or scutes such as the plates that make up a turtle’s shell. Amphibians on the other hand have smooth skin that is

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The mission of ClearWater Conservancy is to conserve and restore our natural resources through land conservation, water resources stewardship, and environmental outreach across central Pennsylvania.

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T: 814-237-0400

E: contactus@clearwaterconservancy.org

2555 N. Atherton Street

State College, PA 16803

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ClearWater Conservancy is a nonprofit organization. All material on this website is © ClearWater Conservancy.
 

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