Middle Susquehanna RIVERKEEPER® Carol Parenzan is dedicated to protecting, improving, and preserving the health of the Middle Susquehanna River Watershed, starting at the confluence of the West and North branches and continuing to the headwaters of the West Branch and to just south of the New York border on the North Branch. Residents of and visitors to the Middle Susquehanna River Watershed expect and deserve clean (swimmable, drinkable, and fishable) water.
Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Carol Parenzan can be found on, in, around, or near water. She watches over her section of the Susquehanna River with environmental, engineering, educational, and entrepreneurial eyes. In addition to earning a degree in environmental engineering with a focus in water from Penn State University, she has over 30 years of consulting experience, working with the engineering and environmental communities. She is the published author of over 30 books for the children’s education market, including those that address the environment and river life. She is the developer of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and STEAM (with the inclusion of Arts) programs for schools, libraries, museums, and youth organizations. Carol is an avid paddler and can be found throughout the watershed navigating her ultralight double-paddle canoe while sharing her passion for the Susquehanna River and her tributaries with residents and visitors.
In 2018, Carol led a successful campaign to have the Loyalsock River named as the Pennsylvania River of the Year. She launched the Floating Classroom— “Hiawatha: Clean Water is for the Birds, Hellbenders, Healthy Tributaries, and River Mapping”—which is a family-friendly educational series for those seeking to explore the Hiawatha River. In 2019, Carol was appointed to a three-year term on the Environmental Justice Advisory Board of the Department of Environmental Protection.
Carol has a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever named Susquehanna, also known as Sussey, who is trained to perform nose detection work of leaking sewage and septic systems. He also accompanies Carol on investigations and classroom visits.
Carol’s priority issues include:
- Connection to the Chesapeake Bay (sedimentation, nutrients, agriculture)
- Legacy energy (abandoned mine drainage and land, abandoned oil and gas wells)
- Current energy (hydro-fracking of Marcellus Shale, proposed pipeline review, pipeline construction monitoring, current and proposed hydroelectric power, coal-powered electric generation plant, coal to natural gas conversion generation plant, active nuclear power plant)
- Pharmaceuticals, personal care products, micro beads, and plastics in waterways
- Construction in and around the river (major bridge project commencing and pipelines)
- Wildlife migration and movement (dams, flood wall)
- Aquatic health and invasive species (small mouth bass skin issue)
- Sewage, septic, and storm-water
- Coordination of river clean-up efforts