ST. MARYS – Following the completion of a watershed restoration project six years in the making, the Elk County Freshwater Association recently held a presentation at the St. Marys Moose to provide area residents with a detailed account of their endeavors to reduce the impact of acid rain on Big Mill Creek and announce the next project they plan to tackle.
Jeff Buchheit, Elk County Freshwater Association president, explained that while the group's work only began six years ago, the project was more like 30 years in the making for him. He recalled that he was in his early teens when he attended a presentation at St. Marys Area High School to hear a gentleman discuss the harm caused by acid rain.
"Quite frankly, it wasn't very well attended," Buchheit said. "There were a bunch of people that came in and sat in the auditorium, and as they left they walked out of there kind of grumbling and moaning. You would think that the guy was talking about some next coming of Christ or something like that. Nobody really believed anything he was saying, and really, that's what got me started in thinking about acid rain and the whole problem. As I evolved through my education at Mansfield wanting to get an environmental science degree, that's where some of this really originated from."