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



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.

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.

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.

Summer Sojours

unnamedCheck out some of the sojourns coming up this summer!

May 13 – 15, 2016

Heritage Sojourn

Host: Endless Mountains Heritage Region

Questions: Hillary Robinson, Program Coordinator hrobinson@emheritage.org  (570) 265-1528

Stay Tuned: http://endlessmountainsheritage.org

May 19th – 22nd, 2016

The 19th Annual Canoe Sojourn

The course for this year’s sojourn has been updated and there will be a some new educational programs to make the weekend a enjoyable time for all to be a part of.  We hope to see you and don’t forget to invite family and friends to join us on this unique experience.

The sojourn planning committee would like to thank Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds &  Rivers & Watersheds for their continued support of the Alle-Kiski-Connie Sojourn.  If you or someone you know is interested in sponsoring this year’s sojourn please call the Armstrong Educational Trust at (724) 543-2599.

If you are interested in being a part of this year’s sojourn, please complete the event application on our website and send it to the Armstrong Educational Trust at 81 Glade Drive, Kittanning, PA 16201 or fax it to (724) 545-6127.

June 12 – 17, 2016

River of the Year Susquehanna Sojourn – Upper Section

Host: Endless Mountains Heritage Region

Questions: Hillary Robinson, Program Coordinator hrobinson@emheritage.org  (570) 265-1528

Stay Tuned: http://endlessmountainsheritage.org

June 17 – 19, 2016

River of the Year Susquehanna Sojourn – Lower Section

Host: Susquehanna Greenway Partnership

Questions: Kassia Janesch, Program Assistant kjanesch@SusquehannaGreenway.org  (570) 522-7229

Stay Tuned: www.SusquehannaGreenway.org

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.