2017 “River of the Year” Nominations Open

Public to Vote on Pennsylvania’s Best River…Nominations Accepted From October 4, 2016 Through October 28, 2016

Luzerne – Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations are invited to nominate waterways for the “2017 Pennsylvania River of the Year.”

The nomination period is open through October 28, 2016 and then selected nominations will be voted on by the general public beginning in early November.

“This nomination process stands as solid proof of just how blessed Pennsylvanians are with a wealth of major rivers and streams, and people willing to work hard to support and improve them,” said Department of Conservation and Natural Resource Secretary Cindy Adam Dunn. “Showcased in these nominated waterways are so many unique natural resources, recreational opportunities and incentives boosting local economies.”

For more information about the River of the Year program or to nominate a river, visit pariveroftheyear.org.

Nominations must be made by Friday, October 28 at 5 p.m.

All Pennsylvania Rivers are eligible for nomination, with the exception of winning rivers since 2012.

powr-keystone-tightAbout the River of the Year Program

The Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) administers the River of the Year program with funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. 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.

Pennsylvania’s 2016 River of the Year is the North Branch Susquehanna River in northeast Pennsylvania

“We are excited to once again announce the opening of the nomination period for the 2017 River of the Year program. The River of the Year program is one way that we can highlight the opportunities and challenges facing the Commonwealth’s waterways.  As well as, give all Pennsylvanians a chance to support their favorite waterway in friendly competition with others across the Commonwealth.” said Pennsylvania Environmental Council President, Davitt Woodwell.

After a waterway is chosen, local groups implement a year‐round slate of activities and events to celebrate the river, including a River of the Year Sojourn. The nominating organization of the winning river will receive a $10,000 leadership grant to help fund their River of the Year activities.

The River of the Year Sojourn is just one of many paddling trips supported by DCNR and POWR each year.  An independent program, the Pennsylvania Sojourn Program, 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.

To Nominate a river for the 2017 River of the Year, please click on the nomination form and follow the directions: 2017 ROY Nomination Form

For more information contact Janet Sweeney, (570) 718-6507.

Past Rivers of the Year

2016 – North Branch Susquehanna River

2015 – Conewango Creek

2014 – Schuylkill River

2013 – Monongahela River

2012 – Stonycreek River

2011 – Delaware River

2010 – Lackawaxen River

2009 – Lower and Middle Susquehanna River

2008 – Youghiogheny River

2007 – Lehigh River

2006 – Three Rivers

2005 – West Branch Susquehanna River

2004 – North Branch Susquehanna River

2003 – French Creek

2002 – Delaware River

2001 – Juniata River

2000 – Kiskiminitas‐Conemaugh River

1999 – Schuylkill River

1998 – Youghiogheny River

1997 – Lehigh River

1996 – Tulpehocken Creek

1996 – Clarion River

1995 – Upper Delaware

1995 – Juniata River

1994 – Allegheny River

1994 – Susquehanna River

1993 – Meshoppen Creek

1993 – North Branch and Main Stem Susquehanna River

1992 – Yellow Breeches Creek

1992 – West Branch Susquehanna River

1991 – North Branch Susquehanna River

1991 – Pine Creek

1990 – Catawissa Creek 1989 – Bear Run

1988 – West Branch Susquehanna River

1986 – North Branch Susquehanna River

1983 & 1984 – Clarion River

DCNR Riparian Forest Buffer Grant Program

The DCNR Riparian Forest Buffer Program provides reimbursable grants to organizations to establish riparian forest buffers.

Guidelines for the pilot Riparian Forest Buffer Grant Program

Eligible Applicants: Local governments in Pennsylvania, non-profits and educational organizations

Eligible Activities: landowner outreach, buffer design, site preparation and buffer installation, plant materials and tree shelters, and short term maintenance (approximately 3 years).

DCNR will consider a variety of forest buffer project types, including conventional riparian forest buffers and multifunctional buffers. The multifunctional buffer concept has been successfully established in many areas across the nation but is a fairly new idea for Pennsylvania. The multifunctional buffer concept was designed to appeal to a broader set of landowners, provide greater program flexibility, address long-term maintenance issues, and allow landowners to reap a modest income from their buffers. Additional specifics about the concept are provided in links below:

Multifunctional Buffer Fact Sheets

Project Requirements: All buffers, whether conventional or multi-use, must include a minimum 15-foot-wide no-harvest zone next to the streambank of native tree and shrub species. Applicants are strongly encouraged to implement an average buffer width of at least 35 feet. Applicants who undertake a buffer project must be willing to enter into a landowner agreement with each participating landowner for a minimum of 25 years. The agreement will address maintenance requirements among other considerations.

Grant Details: Minimum grant award is $50,000. All grants required a 50/50 match. Match can be cash or non-cash, such as in-kind staff, volunteers, equipment use, etc. DCNR reserves the right to negotiate with applicants on the final award amount, acreage and scope of work. DCNR service foresters will be available to provide technical assistance and advice on communications and outreach efforts, buffer design and species selection, and maintenance practices; they can also participate in partnerships and watershed-level projects.

Additional Assistance: Interested applicants can reach out to DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation’s Regional Advisors for more program information. DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry Service Foresters are also available to discuss this program and provide assistance with buffer design, methodology, cost estimates etc.

Click here to start this Grant Program

Deadline: September 15, 2016.

Northeast PA Regional Watershed Workshop

Please join the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) for a gathering of watershed groups within the Northeast PA Region to share resource information, learn techniques to help build membership and network with other watershed organizations in your region. PEC is convening meetings across the state in every PA Department of Environmental Protection Region to help build capacity and identify technical resource needs. Invited guests include PA DEP staff, County Conservation District Watershed Specialists and those working in watershed conservation field.

We hope you’ll join us on Wednesday, April 6 from 10am to 2pm at the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority facility in Scranton.  The $10.00 registration fee includes lunch.

For more information, please contact Susan Myerov, Watersheds Program Director – Pennsylvania Environmental Council at  smyerov@pecpa.org  or 267-479-6102.

Program Link: www.eventbrite.com/e/northeast-pa-regional-watershed-workshop-tickets-21726943874

Program Information: Invitation and Agenda

This project is being funded in part by a PA DEP Growing Greener Grant

Please feel free to bring photos, maps or other printed materials about your watershed organization to share with others.

When: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM (EDT)

Where: Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority – 213 South 7th Avenue, Scranton, PA 18505

POWR Announces 2015 Pennsylvania Sojourn Grants Now Available

2014 Perkiomen Creek Sojourn POWRLuzerne – The Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) has announced the opening of the 2015 Pennsylvania River Sojourns Grant cycle. Grants are available on a competitive basis for single and multi-day paddling events on Pennsylvania’s rivers. Events must incorporate significant educational programming, and be open to all participants (i.e., private trips are not eligible). Up to $900 per on-water day for multi-day sojourns and $500 for single-day sojourns in Pennsylvania.

Applications are now available online at our website (www.pawatersheds.org). Applications are due February 27, 2015.

As a nationally unique program, the PA Sojourns reach over 4,000 people, paddle over 500 rivers miles, offer more than 100 educational programs, and distribute more than $60,000 in grants across the state.

POWR, an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, administers the Pennsylvania Sojourn program. POWR has been in place for over a decade and has sponsored trips on many of the Commonwealth’s rivers. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR) is the prime sponsor of the program.

Media contacts:

Janet Sweeney, POWR, 570-718-6507

Commonwealth Financing Authority funding available for various watershed projects

The Commonwealth Financing Authority is now accepting applications for grants under the Act 13 Marcellus Legacy Fund Programs covering abandoned mine drainage abatement and treatment, watershed restoration and protection, water quality data, greenways, trails and recreation and orphan and abandoned well plugging programs.

Applications are due July 31 and will be considered at the CFA’s November 13 meeting.

The types of projects eligible for this funding are highly relevant to watershed protection.

2013 Trout In The Classroom Grant Applications Now Being Accepted

The PA Trout Unlimited is now accepting applications for its 2013 Trout in the Classroom Grants  for the 2013-2014 school year  Applications are due March 30.

Trout in the Classroom is an interdisciplinary program in which students in grades 3 through 12 learn about coldwater conservation while raising brook trout from eggs to fingerlings in a classroom aquarium.  All classrooms end the year by releasing their trout into a state approved waterway.

Grant applications are available in two categories, as follows:

  • Trout in the Classroom Start-Up Grants are awarded to teachers who have formed a partnership with a 501(c)(3) conservation organization. The start-up grant provides essential equipment necessary to start a Trout in the Classroom program. A cash match of $400.00 is required if the grant is funded, and the grantee will need to provide a 55-gallon aquarium and lid (partnering organizations are encourage to provide the matching funds).
  • Trout in the Classroom Existing Grants are awarded to teachers and conservation organizations which have an existing program in place. The maximum amount of this grant is $500 for specific replacement equipment, TIC support materials (e.g., books, videos, multi-media) and classroom field trip expenses.
Pennsylvania’s statewide TIC program is made possible through a unique partnership between PA Council of Trout Unlimited and the Fish and Boat Commission.

Grant applications and additional program information is available on the PA Trout in the Classroom website at.   For more information, contact Samantha Kutskel at 814-359-5233 or send email to: c-skutskel@pa.gov.

Now accepting applications for 2013 PA River Sojourn Grants

swatara-royPOWR, is pleased to announce that our successful river sojourn project will return in 2013. Through this project, POWR provides technical assistance and mini-grant funding to local organizations to host educational paddling events on Pennsylvania’s rivers.

Applications are due March 27, 2013.

New for 2013, the grant application, administration, and report will all be conducted online.

So, let’s get started! Read the Sojourn Organizers guide, consider our program’s general requirements, and fill out an online application!

Here at POWR, we are ready and available to answer any questions and provide any support that we can to help you complete your application. Please contact Josh Karns at 717-230-8044 x305 or at jkarns@pawatersheds.org with any questions, or just to let us know that you are working on an application.

Also, as soon as your sojourn dates are set and the event is a “go,” please let us know. We want to do everything we can to promote your event, and many sojourns will be announced prior to the final grant decisions.

This project is financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, Keystone Recreation Park and Conservation Fund, under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

Susquehanna Greenway Grant Workshop – Feb 19

Looking to learn about funding options for your river project?

Our friends at the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership is hosting a multi-agency grants workshop on February 19 from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m. at the Degenstein Community Library, 40 South 5th St., Sunbury. The registration deadline is February 15.

Municipal officials, planners, downtown managers, economic development officials, conservation organizations, recreation groups, business leaders, and individuals interested in learning how their community can take advantage of funding programs to create local park, trail, river access and conservation projects to promote healthy living and economic development along the Susquehanna Greenway.

The grant programs covered will include–

Register by sending email to Barbara Bogle at: bbogle@susquehannagreenway.org or call 570-522-7246.

CLick here for more info.

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Dominion Seek Proposals for Watershed Mini Grants

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and Dominion are accepting proposals for the Watershed Mini Grant Program, which provides assistance to the region’s grassroots watershed groups.

The Watershed Mini Grants cover expenses in three areas: operating costs, watershed restoration and organizational promotion and outreach. A cash or non-cash match is preferred but not required. Grants of up to $1,000 may be awarded for operating expenses and grants of up to $2,500 may be awarded for restoration or promotion and outreach projects.

This year’s program includes a showcase project, which may award one $5,000 grant for a larger restoration project that focuses on stream corridor and water quality improvement technologies.

Financial support for this program is provided by the Dominion Foundation.

The program offers funding to watershed organizations in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Blair, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lawrence, Mercer, McKean, Potter, Somerset, Tioga, Venango, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

The grant application and proposal guidelines may be viewed at WaterLandLife.org/112. Please contact the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to have an application mailed to your organization or to ask questions regarding the application and its required information. Grant applications must be postmarked by December 14, 2012.

POWR and DCNR announce the 2013 River of the Year call for nominations

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.