Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dear President Obama -- From a Teen About Gas Drilling

What one teenager said to the President about gas drilling ...

Dear President Obama:

I am just a 15 year old girl. But I am a 15 year old girl who has spent her life on the Delaware River. I was born in Trenton and moved into Pennsylvania right across the bridge and literally down the street from the river. My mom, being the Delaware Riverkeeper, raised me and showed me the beauty within the river. I even wrote a story as a little child about how the river isn't just water, its a living thing. I've always felt that there is a spirit in the river. Every plant, drip of water, stone, tree, flower, & creature that live and depend upon the Delaware River cannot afford to be lost. The Delaware River contains a genetically unique species of Atlantic Sturgeon. While there are sturgeon in other rivers, the one in the Delaware River is the only one of its kind. Also there are less than 100 of these sturgeon left and if fracking and drilling take place, well this species will be lost forever. I always thought ever since I was little it's everyones job to protect this planet we live on. Is there a reason so many people don't feel this way?

I went kayaking with Gov. Corbett on the river to try and get him to realize the beauty of it. There were even Bald Eagles flying past us, our nation's symbol. Are you going to allow that symbol that shows the strength of our country be erased? The Delaware River is where we fought for our independence. This river is what gave us our life we have now. This river carried our soldiers and gave them something to fight for. Why are we destroying our history? President Obama, please don't destroy this river. This river holds my whole childhood in it. Through every rapid in that river flows a piece of me. A piece of our country's history. I am proud to say that I have kayaked the same stretch of river as George Washington did so many centuries ago. I want to be able to take my little brother down to the river and show him all the beauty in it. I want to take my children to play in the water and see them be as happy as I was as a little girl. If this river where I grew up in and so many other children spent their lives playing in is destroyed, well then mine and their childhood has been destroyed. The integrity of our country has been destroyed if we are willing to destroy this place where we fought for that very integrity of this country.

President Obama all you have to do is come out on a boat on this river, paddle down it for a few hours, and realize the beauty in it. I invite you to come share this beautiful place with me. See the beauty in it. See the place that molded our country and that of so many lives of so many people. Run your hand through the water Mr. President and feel the river come alive in the very palm of your hands. I grew up on the story of The Lorax. I learned to speak for the trees, the animals, and the river. The Lorax taught me many things and I'm sure it's a story you read to your daughters as well. I ask that you read it again and remember one thing Mr. President that the Lorax has taught me:

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”



  1. Hi, Anneke!

    This was a very beautifully written essay, and I hope President Obama reads it.

    Years ago my husband and I, when we lived in New York, used to take canoes out on the river near the Delaware Water Gap. It is a very beautiful area and a place I would like to see preserved for future generations to enjoy.

    Unfortunately, the Republican party is about business and not about the environment, and unfortunately they don't see things the way we do. They are all about making money, not saving the environment. So it's important that everyone of voting age gets out to the polls on November 6.

    Again, thanks for sharing this. I especially like the last two lines from The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.

  2. There is now natural gas drilling in areas where there was extensive coal mining in the 1800's and 1900's and where there are many abandoned mines, sink holes, etc.
    If fracking of the rock is done near those mines by pumping in liquid to extract natural gas, what effect will it have?

    hvac training Delaware

    1. The danger is that if an orphan well or other old excavation like a mine is near a new well that is being drilled and/or fracked, the new well construction and stimulation can cause seismic activity and/or fracturing in the geologic formations that can carry to the mine or old excavation or sink hole that has developed due to karst conditions and cause collapse, with the potential to release pollution to the aquifer and/or surface, or cause a catastrophic well blow out at the new well if there is uncontrolled shaking/collapse or shifting underground.