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Current GAG Projects

Lehigh County Cave Survey
Lost River Caverns Cleanup

 

Lehigh County Cave Survey

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Project Leader:  Dean Snyder
Current Status:  On-Going

Volunteers are needed to assist with updating maps, historical research, digging and ridge walking in Lehigh County.  Contact Dean Snyder or Mike Spencer for details.
 

Lost River Caverns Cleanup

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Project Leader:  Dean Snyder
Current Status:  On-Going
Date:  Every 2nd Saturday
Time:  After 5:30 PM

Lost River Caverns in Hellertown, PA, is the Lehigh Valley's only commercial cave.  It is also south eastern PA's largest cave, measuring at almost 2000 feet.  It has been operated as a commercial cave since 1930.

Unfortunately  71 years of commercial operation has left its mark on the cave.  The heat and light from the lighting system has given rise to ugly, unsightly, and most importantly unnatural mold and fungus which now covers most of the caves surfaces.  Thousands of visitors have also left their mark in the form of collections of lint on delicate formations.

On December 15, 2001, members of the Greater Allentown Grotto chapter of the National Speleological Society made the first of what will be many trips into the cave to clean it.

TECHNIQUES
First the area to be cleaned is sprayed lightly with seltzer water (a mild carbonic acid), then scrubbed with a soft nylon brush.  Nooks and crannies are scrubbed with a toothbrush.  The area is then sprayed for a second time with a mixture of 10% Clorox to 90% water to kill remaining growth and retard further growth.  Finally, the area is sprayed with pure water to further dilute the chemicals used and lessen the impact on the natural environment.

 - Paul Lubaczewski

 


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Last Updated:  12 February 2003

Greater Allentown Grotto
Post Office Box 373
Neffs, PA 18065-0373

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