Thursday, June 21, 2018

Eastern Hellbender STILL Waits For House Action To Name It Official State Symbol Of Clean Water

There are only a few voting days left before the House and Senate recess for the summer, but time enough for the House to take action on Senate Bill 658 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) naming the Eastern Hellbender the official state amphibian and clean water ambassador.
Seven months ago, the Senate overwhelmingly passed Senate Bill 658 recognizing the Eastern Hellbender, but the House State Government Committee has not yet considered the bill.
Sen. Gene Yaw, Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and a member of the interstate Chesapeake Bay Commission, said Hellbenders “are a natural barometer of water quality and they live where the water is clean,” recalling days as a youngster catching hellbenders in the local creek.
“If they are surviving in the streams in this area, that is a good sign for the water quality. Here is nature’s own testing kit for good water quality,” Sen. Yaw added.
Designating the Hellbender as the state’s official amphibian is a project of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Student Leadership Council.
Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) serves as Majority Chair of the Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-783-1707 or sending email to:   Rep. Matthew Bradford (D-Montgomery) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-772-2572 or sending email to:
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