I have run into three instances where a river ran the wrong way:

  • the Scheldt on which lies the Belgian port of Antwerp(en),
    . . . . . (once a competitor of the Dutch port of Rotterdam)
  • the Delaware which boasts the major seaport of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
    . . . . . (the other being Erie), and
  • the Changjiang or Yangtze River in China: Shanghai and Chongqing

    I sent a "Letter to the Editor" of The Christian Science Monitor about the error in flow direction of the latter. In addition, I recently E-mailed a letter to the Editor of the U.S. Newsweek about mistakes in the pathway of the Christmas 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, but he did not publish it.
  • The Scheldt : In the early 1970's, I somehow defaulted into becoming the chairman of a consortium of some dozen of universities and research institutes which succumbed mainly on account of its long name: Institute for the Development and Riverine Systems (IDRES). It had been established by a large grant from the Pennsylvania Science and Engineering Foundation (PSEF) through the intermediary of Dr. Thomas Fox, then the PA Governor's Science Advisor, and former PA Congressman Jimmy Van Zandt.
    Since The Marine Science Consortium (TMSC) was another of Dr. Fox's favorites, and because it subcontracted with the Franklin Institute Research Laboratory (FIRL) - a prominent IDRES member - for charter of TMSC's catamaran on a contract with the Water Department of the City of Philadelphia assessing the City's sewage sludge dumpsite at the mouth of Delaware Bay, the IDRES Executive Director, Mel Zisfein, visited us and invited TMSC to join. Subsequently, he resigned and we tried to keep going without Executive Director until I became the PA member (as well as chair) of the Executive Board, which then consisted of General William Whipple of Rutgers for New Jersey and Bill Gaither for Delaware.
    I proposed we hire Roger Charlier as a part-time Executive Director, and the Board agreed. Roger visited most members and also submitted a research proposal to study the Scheldt, which he had flow from the North Sea past Antwerp into Belgium and France. Since both Bills seemed to go along, all three of us voted in favor, but I could not refrain from mentioning that rivers usually flow towards the sea . . . .
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