We are one week and over 5,800 votes in to the 2017 PA River of the Year voting period!
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.
Terry Brady, DCNR, 717-772-9101
Janet Sweeney, POWR, 570-718-6507
Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper has teamed up with Trout Unlimited to conduct water quality assessments of streams where there is pipeline and other linear construction activities throughout the watershed. Our primary focus is erosion and sedimentation due to earth-moving activities. The first training is Saturday, November 19, at the Montour Preserve in Danville (Columbia County).
Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper is looking to field six (6) teams.
Registration is required and class size is limited. Training includes both classroom work and field experience.
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.
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
The 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
LEWISBURG (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.
The DCNR Riparian Forest Buffer Program provides reimbursable grants to organizations to establish riparian forest buffers.
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
- USDA Working Trees Fact Sheet
- University of Missouri Elderberry Fact Sheet
- Penn State Extension Highbush Blueberry Fact Sheet
- University of Kentucky Juneberry Fact Sheet
- University of Kentucky Pawpaw Fact Sheet
- Virginia Extension Pawpaw Fact Sheet
- University of Kentucky Persimmon
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.