The Susquehanna River is the tie that binds our region, stretching throughout its boundaries and feeding into the tree-lined creeks that are the signature of natural beauty we take for granted.
We need to stop taking it for granted before it is lost amid pollution problems from agricultural and sewage disposal.
That was the unsettling conclusion at a recent Susquehanna Summit that brought together advocates for the river, the principal tributary to the Chesapeake Bay.
Some of the evidence of troubled water is the reduced smallmouth bass population.
Fortunately, some of these problems are not present in the small tributaries the river feeds, such as Lycoming and Pine Creeks. Not yet.
Boosters of the river want it designated as impaired, which would make it eligible for federal research money under the Clean Water Act.
At the very least, the problem deserves research, given the environmental and economic welfare at stake with the health of the Susquehanna River.
We urge residents, particularly those familiar with the river's health, past and present, to inform their elected officials of the potential dangers to the health of the river. It's the only one we've got.