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

Sunrise to Sunset Paddle on the Susquehanna

This video features Steve Barber the Pennsylvania State Director for the ACA visiting Bloomsburg Pennsylvania and attending the Sunrise to Sunset on the Susquehanna Event to raise awareness about the Susquehanna River. The event was spearheaded by the Riverkeeper Carol Parenzan and attended by local boaters. It was a fantastic event and one that the ACA wants to further encourage and support. Special thanks to all the volunteers who made the event smooth and sponsors who gave generously. Visit sunrise-sunset-susquehanna.org/ for more information, americancanoe-pa.com/, americancanoe.org/, paddlehappy.com/

River of the Year Susquehanna Sojourn


Photo Credit: Chuck Haupt

June 17-19, 2016 Shickshinny to Sunbury, PA

Register by June 1, 2016

It’s time to break out your paddles, tent, and campfire tales and join the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership in exploring 46 miles of the Susquehanna River.

Whether you want to camp with all nights, or simply paddle with during the day – there is something for everyone. This trip is popular with families, friends, scouts, and paddlers of all abilities.

This 3-day educational canoe/kayak trip is the final leg in a three-part series taking place this summer to celebrate the Susquehanna as PA’s 2016 River of the Year. This is your last chance, don’t miss it!

Along the way local experts will give exclusive access to the area’s history, abundant wildlife, and conservation efforts.

Full Sojourn registration includes:

  • Professional river guide service from Canoe Susquehanna
  • Campsites
  • All meals
  • Safety and insurance
  • Sojourn t-shirt
  • Scheduled programs and entertainment

Full registration is $195 for adults and $99 for kids 12 and under. Partial registration is $65/day for adults and $33/day for kids 12 and under.

Find registration forms here.

Study Shows Pennsylvania Water Trails Support Local Economies, Jobs

water-trail-report-coverVisitors to four Pennsylvania water trails during the summer of 2012 generated almost three-quarters of a million dollars in economic activity and supported 11 full-time jobs.

The survey, conducted by ICF International on behalf of the Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, gathered data from 352 interviews of water trail visitors from July to September on four of the state’s 21 water trails: the Schuylkill, Susquehanna – North Branch, Juniata, and Three Rivers.

The full report can be downloaded here.  A summary is available here.

“While this study only covered a short period of time and a small number of trails, it’s a good indication that water trails do have an important economic impact in nearby communities, and are a great source of recreation that is close to home for many visitors,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan said.

Water trails include access points, boat launches, day use sites and some overnight camping sites on or along waterways.

The Pennsylvania Water Trails Program is a partnership of DCNR, the Fish and Boat Commission, Pennsylvania Environmental Council and the National Park Service to expand and connect the system of water trails and better market and promote them.

“Water trails make it easier for both powered and non-powered boaters to participate in the sport,” John Arway, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission said.  “They provide safe access to, and information about, waterways while also providing connections to the diverse history, ecology, geology, heritage and wildlife of Pennsylvania.”

The study’s overall findings include:

  • Nearly half of all visitors said they knew about the trail because they lived nearby;
  • Almost 40 percent cited fishing as their principal reason for visiting;
  • The length of the trip for 85 percent of those surveyed was one day; and
  • Of those who stayed longer than a day, 50 percent planned a three-day trip.

Learn more about Pennsylvania’s Water Trails.


America’s Great Outdoors Initiative report released

A recent AP story highlights the release of the final report from President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. The Initiative is designed to bring together disparate programs within the Federal government to better engage the public in outdoor recreation. After a number of listening sessions held across the country, the report released last week highlights important aspects of conservation and outlines a strategic vision for the future.

DCNR Announces River of the Year 2011!

News for Immediate Release

Jan. 13, 2011

Pennsylvanians Choose Delaware as 2011 River of the Year

Harrisburg – The people have spoken: the Delaware River is Pennsylvania’s River of the Year for 2011.

Chosen for the first time through a public vote, the Delaware bested five other candidates in an online contest that saw more than 10,000 ballots cast from across the state. The Delaware received 2,520 votes.

“The Delaware River is the longest un-dammed river east of the Mississippi and is steeped in history, diverse in resources, and is vital to protect,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary John Quigley said. “Its waters serve the needs of more than 15 million people from four different states, including more than 5 million Pennsylvanians. It boasts the largest freshwater port in the world, as well as threatened and endangered species, and a thriving tourism industry.

“A goal of the River of the Year designation is to raise awareness of the river and its conservation needs. The public voting format used to nominate and select the River of the Year for the first time this year certainly generated local enthusiasm for conservation and recognition of the importance of our waterways,” Quigley said.

The five other finalists were: Clarion River, Conewango Creek, Kiskiminetas River, Pine Creek, and the Stonycreek River.

DCNR and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, or POWR, administer the River of the Year program. Local organizations submit nominations.

“Although we could only have one winner, each of the waterways that were nominated is special and important in its own way,” Quigley said. “Congratulations to all the local groups who nominated their rivers, and rallied support for them not only for this vote, but through all of their activities and advocacy.”

POWR helps train and organize local watershed associations, as well as the groups who lead a dozen sojourns on rivers around the state each year.

“The Delaware River is simply an incredible resource — not just for Pennsylvania, but for the nation as a whole,” said POWR Executive Director Jon Meade. “To honor it with the River of the Year award reflects the importance of preservation to those who live near it and experience it every day.”

There are a number of organizations that work in partnership to support conservation and recreation activities along the Delaware, including: the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC); Delaware Canal State Park; National Canoe Safety Patrol; National Park Service; and Upper Delaware Preservation Coalition.

These groups will organize several events throughout the year, including the 17th annual Sojourn paddling trip, a symposium, photo contest and river legacy fundraiser. The eight-day sojourn will include educational programs, and give paddlers a chance to experience the Delaware River to encourage greater understanding of the river and stewardship needs.

“On behalf of the steering committee and all our partners, I would like to thank everyone who voted for the Delaware. Having the Delaware be Pennsylvania’s 2011 River of the Year is truly an honor, especially since it is the people’s choice and with this the DRBC’s 50th Anniversary year,” said Kate O’Hara, co-coordinator of the Delaware Sojourn Steering Committee. “This designation will not only showcase the Delaware and all it has to offer, but also highlight the numerous organizations, agencies, and individual volunteers who work together to protect and enhance the river for future generations.”

The Delaware also will be celebrated with an annual Rivers Month poster issued in June.

Pennsylvania’s River of the Year has been presented annually since 1983.

For more sojourn event information, visit POWR’s website at www.pawatersheds.org or contact Jon Meade at info@pawatersheds.org.

To learn more about DCNR’s Rivers Program, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us/brc/rivers.

Media contacts: Christina Novak or Terry Brady, 717-772-9101


River of the Year Finalists Selected; Vote your choice for the winner!

We received nearly 100 nominations for 21 different rivers for selection as Pennsylvania’s 2011 River of the Year. DCNR and POWR have narrowed it down to just 6, and we’re asking you to vote for the winning river. The finalists are:

  • Clarion
  • Conewango
  • Delaware
  • Kiskiminetas
  • Pine Creek
  • Stonycreek

You can vote for the 2011 River of the Year by going to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9YM8TSK, and selecting one of the six above. In the survey, you’ll find a summary of the characteristics of each river, its conservation needs, and some of the reasons why it would make a good River of the Year. Tell your friends to vote! Voting closes on Jan 3, when the winner is announced.

Share on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media!

Pennsylvania’s River of the Year is an honor bestowed upon a commonwealth river to elevate public awareness about that resource and recognize important conservation needs and achievements. The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) administer the River of the Year program, but local organizations submit nominations and, if selected, implement a year round slate of activities and events to celebrate the river, including a special extended paddling trip known as a Sojourn.

Herring Alliance is working to restore the Atlantic fishery

The Herring Alliance is a coalition of environmental organizations that formed in May 2007 to protect and restore ocean wildlife and ecosystems in the northeast United States, from Virginia to Maine, by reforming the Atlantic herring fishery.

Herring are a critically important prey species for tuna, cod, haddock and striped bass. But as with many other species, the industrial fishing methods are greatly impacting herring populations, causing ripple effects throughout the East Coast oceanic ecosystem.

The Alliance has three main goals:

1.  Establish ecosystem-based catch limits that leave enough herring in the ocean for whales, tuna and other marine life that feed on them.

2.  Create buffer zones and closed areas to prevent fishing in specific parts of the ocean during critical times of the year in order to protect juvenile and spawning fish, minimize bycatch and ensure herring is abundant when it is most needed by predators.

3.  Develop a comprehensive monitoring program, including at-sea observers on midwater trawl vessels, so that estimating the herring catch and bycatch of depleted river herring and groundfish, as well as marine mammals is more accurate.

To get involved, you can do a few things including signing up for their newsletter, signing petitions, and adding content to your website, Facebook site, or blog.