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Mark Ruffalo in Tookany Creek
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Academy Award-nominated actor and clean-water advocate Mark Ruffalo donned waders for a first hand check of the water quality in the Tookany Creek on Monday, May 9.

Ruffalo became inspired to draw attention to water quality after personally witnessing the impact of fracking near his Delaware River-side home. In town for a film screening, he asked to learn about the Delaware River Watershed Initiative, an effort spearheaded by the Academy of Natural Sciences to restore the Delaware’s water quality. A section of Cheltenham Township’s Tookany Creek near the 700 block of Tookany Creek Parkway in Cheltenham’s Rowland Park neighborhood, selected as the locale for its bucolic beauty, served as the demonstration area for this event. Local water experts, including representatives of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, taught Ruffalo how to perform water sampling. Sampling shows how plant and animal life found in the stream provide important signals of the water’s health. 

Ruffalo was joined by high school students from the Academy of Natural Sciences’ Women in Natural Sciences program as well as environmental scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel and Streamkeepers, a group of concerned citizens specially trained to monitor the health of local waterways in Pennsylvania.


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