Looking for a platform to share your passion for writing? Carlisle’s local/regional newspaper, The Sentinel, has a monthly column called “Water Works”. This is a great venue for Dickinson students and faculty to publish in print paper. Interested? Submit your article to Lindsey Lyons, Assistant Director of the Center for Sustainability Education, at: lyonsli at dickinson.edu.
Check out this piece by assistant director of technical assistance for Dickinson’s Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring, Jinnie Monismith, the most recent installment in the “Water Works” series in The Sentinel.
Small steps can protect LeTort Spring Run
By Jinnie Monismith, For The Sentinel
CARLISLE — Situated in the middle of Cumberland County, the LeTort Spring Run is Carlisle’s renowned limestone stream.
Famous for its elusive brown trout, the run is a popular fly-fishing destination for highly skilled and enthusiastic anglers from around the world. The LeTort is among Pennsylvania’s best of the best streams and, as such, need to be protected.
The Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring, also known as ALLARM, an organization based out of Dickinson College’s environmental studies department, has studied the LeTort for more than 20 years. Research revealed that urban influences and increasing development in the watershed was cause for concern.
When it rains, large amounts of water travel over parking lots and roads, often picking up pollutants before flowing to a storm drain.
In Carlisle, storm drains are connected by a series of underground pipes that drain the untreated water directly to the LeTort Spring Run. Carlisle, and other developed centers, are required to have a stormwater-management program to help decrease the amount of polluted water entering local streams.
In 2007, ALLARM embarked on a partnership with Carlisle Borough to help with their stormwater-management requirements, by educating the Carlisle community about stormwater runoff and ways to minimize the effects on the LeTort, including:
• Avoid using pesticides and minimize fertilizer use on lawns.
• Maintain your vehicle and properly dispose of auto fluids.
• Wash your vehicle on the grass or at a commercial car wash.
• Pick up pet waste.
• Use rain barrels or rain gardens.
The partnership also conducts community events where residents can learn about ways to manage their household stormwater, such as with the use of rain barrels, which can be placed below the downspout of a home to capture rainwater that would otherwise run off to storm drains. Rain barrels are especially useful in urban areas where there is little to no yard space for rainwater to soak into the ground. Carlisle residents can receive a free rain barrel by attending one of ALLARM’s rain barrel workshops.
The LeTort Spring Run is a treasured resource and an important feature of the Carlisle community. We can all help to protect it by following these and other healthy stream habits.