Liquid assets

Revitalized Susquehanna River offering new economic opportunities

August 24. 2012 3:00AM

Brent Burkey

Since before recorded time, it has shaped the midstate — literally and figuratively. When settlers arrived, they found the Susquehanna River a pristine source for drinking water and farmland irrigation.

The sun rises over the Susquehanna River at Lake Clarke Marina in Lower Windsor Township, York County. Photo/Amy Spangler

During the Industrial Revolution, the river helped power the midstate’s economy, giving up its water for production of steel, paper, electricity and more. But that era also overflowed with misuse, outright abuse, pollution and disrespect of the Susquehanna.

In the last 40 years, environmental efforts have begun to flush out the damage. Challenges remain, but thanks to financial resources and other support converging, today could be the river’s best time to shine.

Its flowing waters continue to power industries, and it provides thousands with drinking water.

With millions of people living within a two-hour drive of the lower Susquehanna corridor, the next stage of the river’s story will likely focus on tourism development. And that potential — and subsequent economic boost — has only begun to be calculated.