In addition to a water source for farms and homes of yesteryear and a current-day recreation venue for kayakers and canoeists, the Connoquenessing Creek is home to an abundance of living creatures, from those that hop or swim down to microscopic organisms that indicate the creek's health.
That health has fluctuated over the years as the activities of human beings have affected the vitality of the 50-mile creek.
In addition to flooding that still plagues many of the businesses and homes along its shores after a few days of heavy rain, the creek was polluted over the years by the many factories that cropped up along its shores, mainly in Butler Township.
A 1927 Butler Eagle article discussed the disappearance of fish from the creek and the failed efforts to install protective filters at that time.
In 1999, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranked the Connoquenessing the second most polluted waterway in the United States. Only the Mississippi River scored higher.
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