“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
East Falls in Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The River Unites Us

The River Unites Us Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), November 19, 2022
1. The River Unites Us Marker
For thousands of years, the Schuylkill River has provided humans with many important benefits. At this location, the Lenape people hunted, fished, and canoed along the river. They called it the Ganshewahanna, which means "noisy river." This was due to the nearby natural rocky falls (now mostly under water). Philadelphia's first industrial sites were built along the Schuylkill and its creeks. Water was used to mill grain and manufacture textiles and paper. Over time, the industry polluted the water. In 1855, city leaders created Fairmount Park to protect the river. The City bought land and removed industrial sites. Today, the river is an important source of drinking water for over 600,000 Philadelphians.

The river is also a significant ecosystem. It is home to hundreds of species of plants, fungi, birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, insects, other types of invertebrates, and microscopic organisms.

Many people come to the river to watch birds. They hope to observe some of the 300 species that occur in Philadelphia. These include many species of ducks, geese, grebes, cormorants, gulls, sandpipers,
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herons, and other types of waterbirds. These birds hunt for fish, aquatic plants, and other food in the river. In addition, many types of landbirds live in the plants on the banks of the river.

The waters of the Schuylkill in Philadelphia are home to over 50 species of fish including American shad (Alosa sapidissima), Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), Common carp (Cyprinus carpio), Yellow perch (Perca flavescens), Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), and Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus).

Fish from the river were an important food source for the Lenape people and early European settlers. Today, there are limits on eating some fish from this part of the river, including catfish, carp, and eel. This is because pollution in stormwater, wastewater and sediments can build up in these fish. But recreational fishing remains an active sport in Philadelphia and throughout the region.

Once endangered, the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), has made a dramatic comeback since the 1970s. The Endangered Species Act and other federal laws helped protect them. Today, you can see Bald Eagles at many locations in Philadelphia. That includes right here at the East Falls River Landing.
Erected by East Falls Development Corporation;
The River Unites Us Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), November 19, 2022
2. The River Unites Us Marker
Audubon Society; William Penn Foundation; DVOC; Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission; NFWF; FedEx.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsIndustry & CommerceNative AmericansParks & Recreational AreasWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1855.
Location. 40° 0.605′ N, 75° 12.024′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. It is in East Falls. Marker is on Kelly Drive west of Falls Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4520R Ridge Ave, Philadelphia PA 19129, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Welcome to East Falls River Landing (a few steps from this marker); Falls Bridge (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Falls Bridge (approx. ¼ mile away); Park Directory (approx. half a mile away); Elisha Kent Kane (approx. 0.7 miles away); Commodore Isaac Hull (approx. 0.7 miles away); Thomas McKean (approx. 0.7 miles away); Charles Thomson (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Philadelphia.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2023. It was originally submitted on November 20, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 71 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 20, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Jul. 24, 2024