Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations are invited to nominate waterways for the 2013 Pennsylvania River of the Year. Selected nominations will be voted on by the general public in December and January.
“For the third year now, the River of the Year selection is being marked by a popular public nomination and voting process,” said Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan. “We know this spirit of competition rallies public awareness and community support of the value of our state waterways and helps highlight the many great rivers we are fortunate to have in Pennsylvania. We invite residents across the state to nominate their favorites.”
Visit grants.pawatersheds.org/river-of-the-year/ to learn about the River of the Year nomination process and to nominate a river. Nominations must be made by Friday, Nov. 16.
DCNR and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, or POWR, administer the River of the Year program. Pennsylvania’s River of the Year is an honor designed to elevate public awareness of specific rivers and recognize important conservation needs and achievements. River of the Year designations have been presented annually since 1983.
“With more than 10,000 votes cast for River of the Year nominees in both 2011 and 2012, this program affords local stewards with the opportunity to engage a broader audience in the appreciation of our rivers and streams,” said Janie French, POWR Executive Director. “We look forward in the 2013 nomination process to highlighting the achievements and pride exhibited by many local groups who tirelessly work to conserve, protect and ultimately enjoy the recreational value of our rivers.”
After a waterway is chosen, local groups implement a year-round slate of activities and events to celebrate the river, including a paddling trip known as a sojourn. The nominating organization of the winning river will receive a $10,000 leadership grant to help fund the River of the Year activities.
The Pennsylvania Sojourn program, jointly run by DCNR and POWR, is a unique series of a dozen such trips on the state’s rivers. These water-based journeys for canoeists, kayakers and others raise awareness of the environmental, recreational, tourism and heritage values of rivers. For more information about the sojourns, visit pawatersheds.org.
POWR and DCNR also work with the local organization to create a free commemorative poster celebrating the River of the Year.
Pennsylvania’s 2012 River of the Year is the Stonycreek River, where water quality improvements and recreational infrastructure projects have resulted in a renewed interest in boating on the river.
To learn more about DCNR’s Rivers Program, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us/brc/rivers.