Voting to Begin for Pennsylvania’s 2017 River of the Year

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Harrisburg, PA – The public is invited to again vote online for the 2017 Pennsylvania River of the Year, choosing from among four waterways nominated across the state, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced today.

Waterways nominated for 2017 are the Allegheny River (Middle & Upper) and Brandywine, Loyalhanna and Perkiomen creeks.

“There is a spirit of good-natured competition surrounding this selection process that rallies community support around our deserving waterways and puts them in the public limelight,” said Dunn. “These nominated rivers and streams showcase so many unique natural resources, recreational opportunities and incentives boosting local economies. They also show just how blessed this state is with its wealth of major rivers and streams, and committed folks willing to support them.”

Nominations were based on each waterway’s conservation needs and successes, as well as celebration plans should the nominee be voted 2017 River of the Year. In cooperation with DCNR, selection of public voting choices is overseen by the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR), an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

“The online public selection process continues to be increasingly popular as it enters its seventh year,” Dunn said.

The public can vote for their favorite state waterway beginning Monday, Nov. 14, through 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19. Visit 2017 River of the Year Nominees to vote and learn about the nominated waterways and the River of the Year program. Voting will be managed through Woobox, an online contest application that restricts voting to one vote per email address.

POWR, an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, administers the River of the Year program with funding from DCNR. Presented annually since 1983, this year’s 2016 designation was awarded to the Susquehanna River North Branch.

“It is really great to see how engaged people are in campaigning for their local rivers and streams through this unique voting opportunity for residents across the Commonwealth,” said Janet Sweeney, Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers.

“The River of the Year award energized all the organizations and communities with an interest in the Susquehanna River North Branch,” said Endless Mountains Heritage Region Executive Director Annette Schultz. “We were all amazed at the volume of supporting votes from the general public, which was a surprising new measure of the impact and success of our work as the official Water Trail Manager, as well as the efforts of the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership and all of the Susquehanna River advocates and organizations.

“In addition to the kayaking sojourns organized by EMHR, many organizations celebrated with their own events, and the tourism promotion agencies along the North Branch joined in to promote all of our activities. Because of the award, the Susquehanna River North Branch received extensive recognition and community support. That is the reward we can all continue to celebrate.”

After a waterway is chosen for the annual honor, local groups implement a year-round slate of activities and events to celebrate the river, including a paddling trip, or sojourn. The organization nominating the winning river will receive a $10,000 leadership grant from DCNR to help fund River of the Year activities.

POWR and DCNR also work with local organizations to create a free, commemorative poster celebrating the River of the Year.

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. For more information about the sojourns, visit the POWR website.

To learn more about DCNR’s Rivers Program, visit the DCNR website.

For details on the River of the Year program, visit the Pennsylvania River of the Year website.

Media Contacts:

Terry Brady, DCNR, 717-772-9101

Janet Sweeney, POWR, 570-718-6507

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

Stream Clean Up Webinar RESCHEDULED for Oct 19 at 7pm

middle-susquhanna-riverkeeperThe free webinar on Stream Clean Up Best Practices has been rescheduled for Wednesday, October 19, at 7pm.  You can participate in the webinar from anywhere you will have phone and computer access at the appointed time.  Please register by Monday, October 17, by contacting the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper, Carol Parenzan, at midsusriver@gmail.com or 570-768-6300.  She will then send you the phone number and presentation materials.  At the time of the program, you will call in on the conference line and participate in the group discussion by phone while following along with the presentation on your computer.

An updated announcement is attached both as a pdf for printing, emailing or posting and as a jpg for sharing on social media.

Again, the program has been rescheduled for Wednesday, October 19, at 7pm.  Please consider participating and invite others who you think might be interested in organizing a stream clean up of their own in the Middle Susquehanna watershed.

The Best Practices Manual will address the details of organizing clean ups both large and small and will include considerations for both on or in water events as well as land-based bank clean ups.

We look forward to talking together,

Sam Pearson, Lewisburg River Town Team

Zach Stotter, Susquehanna River Cleanup Project Coordinator

Carol Parenzan, Middle Susquehanna RiverKeeper

midsusriver@gmail.com

570-768-6300

Set Sail for Dumplings at Dusk Aboard the Hiawatha River Boat

image001LEWISBURG (September 7, 2016) – River enthusiasts with a refined taste for handcrafted Pennsylvania apple dumplings and home-made cinnamon ice cream are invited to witness the sun set upon the West Branch of the Susquehanna River from the deck of the Hiawatha River Boat while enjoying a delectable Bissinger’s dessert with your Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper during a one-hour riverboat cruise departing from Williamsport on Saturday, October 15 at 6PM.

“Please join us for the evening as we enjoy a sweet treat, watch the sunset, and share information about the work being done to make the Susquehanna River swimmable, drinkable, and fishable,” encourages Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Carol Parenzan.

Everyone is welcome and reservations are required. To reserve your spot at the rail and a dumpling on your plate, please send a check for $25 per person to: Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association, Inc., PO Box 252, Lewisburg, PA 17837. Please include guest names and contact information.

For more information, please contact Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Carol Parenzan at 570-768-6300 or midsusriver@gmail.com.

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

Registration is Now Open for the 2016 Great American Cleanup of PA

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful today announced that registration is now open for the 2016 Great American Cleanup of PA. This annual event is held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup and led by a coalition of non-profit, state agency and business partners such as the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, PennDOT, Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association, the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, Weis Markets, Inc., Wawa, Inc., Sheetz, ShopRite and The Fresh Grocer. Additional 2016 event supporters include: Steel Recycling Institute, Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority, Giant Eagle Inc., Giant Food Stores, Inc., Republic Services and Wegmans Food Markets.

The 2016 Great American Cleanup of PA will begin on March 1st and end on May 31st. During this period, registered events can get free trash bags, gloves, and safety vests from PennDOT district offices, as supplies last. Events can be litter cleanups, illegal dump cleanups, beautification projects, special collections, and educational events and must be registered through the Great American Cleanup of PA website, www.gacofpa.org, to receive free cleanup supplies. As part of this event, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association are sponsoring Let’s Pick It Up PA – Everyday from April 16th through May 9th with the focus day on April 23rd. During this time, trash collected at registered events can be taken to participating landfills for free or reduced cost disposal.

Help make your community clean and beautiful and register an event at www.gacofpa.org. Questions can be answered by Michelle Dunn, Great American Cleanup of PA Program Coordinator, at 1-877-772-3673 ext. 113 or mdunn@keeppabeautiful.org.  To see the flyer, click here.

“Connecting to the environment begins at home so what better way to make a difference than to take part in or organize a local cleanup in your own neighborhood, park or school,” Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary John Quigley said.  “There are lots of resources available to help you organize a safe and successful cleanup.”

Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards added; “The Great American Cleanup of PA once again presents the perfect opportunity for PennDOT to partner with and provide support for those agencies and individuals who share our desire for a cleaner and safer Pennsylvania.”

“We are so grateful to our volunteers and sponsors who help make the Great American Cleanup of PA, Pennsylvania’s premier community improvement initiative, possible.” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “This year we hope to engage even more Pennsylvania’s to come out between March and May to make their communities clean and beautiful.”

All 67 counties in Pennsylvania were represented in the 2015 Great American Cleanup of PA. In total, there were 4,931 events with 128,157 volunteers. Volunteers collected 6,003,720 pounds of trash. They cleaned 11,943 miles of roads, railroad tracks, trails, waterways, and shorelines, and 6,422 acres of park and/or wetlands. Additionally, volunteers planted 13,050 trees, bulbs, and plants in an effort to keep Pennsylvania beautiful.  A copy of the 2015 Great American Cleanup of PA final report can be downloaded at http://gacofpa.org/PhotosandResults.aspx.

About Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s mission is empowering Pennsylvanians to make our communities clean and beautiful.  Since 1990, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and its volunteers have removed over 121 million pounds of litter from Pennsylvania’s roadways, greenways, parks, forests, and waterways. To learn more about Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, visit www.keeppabeautiful.org.  

About Keep America Beautiful, Inc.

Keep America Beautiful, Inc., established in 1953, is the nation’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. With a network of more than 1,200 affiliate and participating organizations, Keep America Beautiful forms public-private partnerships and programs that engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments. To learn more about Keep America Beautiful, visit www.kab.org.

Reminder: Volunteer Webinar Tomorrow!

unnamedJust a reminder that the PA Water Trails is offering a webinar on Volunteer Recruitment and Management tomorrow, Wednesday December 2nd at noon. I hope you’ll be able to join us.

On December 2nd at noon, the PA Water Trails Partnership will host a webinar to help you make the most of volunteer opportunities. One of the best things about working with volunteers is that they bring their passions and experiences to the “job”, and it is up to us as managers to make sure we keep them moving forward.  From recruitment to retention to building effective stewards, the webinar will give you some great approaches for making the most of those who offer their help. There will be about a 30 minute presentation with plenty of time for discussion and address specific needs you may have.

We will be using Gotomeeting to host our webinar. If you have not used the service before, please sign in a few minutes early to launch the application.

For the webinar, use this URL: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/920524221

For the audio portion, call 800-944-8766 and enter access code 75781#