POWR announces 2017 Pennsylvania Sojourn Grant Awards

Luzerne – The Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Pennsylvania River Sojourn Grants. These grants are awarded on a competitive basis for single and multi-day paddling events on Pennsylvania Rivers. Grant recipients receive $500 for a single-day sojourn and $900 per day for multi-day sojourns.

The Pennsylvania Sojourn Program is administered by POWR in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The PA Sojourn Program is nationally unique, distributing grants across the state to local organizations and their sojourn events. These grants support between 12 and 17 paddling events each year, encompassing over 500 river miles and 50+ on-the-water days, offering more than 100 educational programs, and engaging over 4,000 people.

Sojourns are not only a fun outdoor activity, but are also an effective tool for raising awareness about our rivers and the issues affecting them, educating and enhancing community involvement about natural and cultural resources, and promoting and encouraging watershed stewardship. The Sojourn program serves as a bridge to bring our communities to our rivers and streams to educate them, enabling them to become lifelong stewards of these resources. River sojourns offer a different point of view on some of Pennsylvania’s treasured landscapes and historic and cultural assets.

To view a map of sojourns planned statewide this year, click on this link: 2017 Sojourn Map

2017 PA Sojourn Mini-Grantees:

Allegheny Aquatic Alliance for the Connie Q Canoe Trip Celebration on the Connoquenessing Creek, which will take place on June 17th and June 18th, 2017

Armstrong Center for Community Learning for the 20th Annual Allie-Kiski-Connie Canoe Sojourn on the Red Bank Creek, Conemaugh River, Loyalhanna Creek and the Kiskiminetas River, which will take place from May 18th through May 21st, 2017

Conemaugh Valley Conservancy for the Stony-Kiski-Conemaugh Rivers Sojourn on the Stony-Kiski-Conemaugh Rivers, which will take place from June 1st through June 4th, 2017

Endless Mountains Heritage Region for the 2nd Annual Student Sojourn on the Susquehanna North Branch, which will take place from May 12th through May 14th, 2017

First Waves for the First Waves Sojourn on the Stonycreek and Ohio Rivers, which will take place in June of 2017

French Creek Valley Conservancy for the Summer Sojourn 2017 on the French Creek Water Trail, which will take place on June 17th, 2017

Lackawanna River Corridor Association for the Riverfest 2017 on the Lackawanna River, which will take place on May 13th, 2017

Loyalhanna Watershed Association, Inc.  for the 4th Annual Loyalhanna Sojourn on the Loyalhanna Creek, which will take place on May 20th, 2017

National Road Heritage Corridor – Mon River Town Program for the Rebel Rebel Float Trip: The Whiskey Rebellion as told by David Bowie Impersonators on the Monongahela River, which will take place on July 29th, 2017

Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy for the Perkiomen Creek Sojourn on the Perkiomen Creek, which will take place on June 3rd, 2017

Schuylkill River Greenway Association for the Schuylkill River Sojourn on the Schuylkill River, which will take place from June 3rd through June 9th, 2017

Susquehanna Greenway Partnership for the Pedal/Paddle on the Jersey Shore, Pine Creek and the West Branch of the Susquehanna which will take place on June 19th, 2017

Swatara Watershed Association for the Swatara Sojourn on the Swatara Creek, which will take place from May 6th through May 7th, 2017

Upper Delaware Preservation Coalition for the 23rd Annual Delaware River Sojourn “Flowing Together” on the Delaware River, Lehigh River and Lehigh Canal, which will take place from June 16th through June 23rd, 2017

Wildlands Conservancy for the Lehigh River Sojourn on the Lehigh River, which will take place from June 24th through June 26th, 2017

About POWR

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 or Angela Vitkoski, POWR, 570-718-6507

Registration Open For The 2017 Delaware River Sojourn: June 17-23

Scholarships & Discounts Available, Volunteer River Cleanup Scheduled for June 16

WEST TRENTON, N.J. – Interested paddlers are invited to register for the 23rd Annual Delaware River Sojourn taking place June 17-23.

The Delaware River Sojourn combines the experiences of guided paddling excursions with interpretive programs, camping, and camaraderie.  Participants may sign up for the entire seven-day trip or for the day(s) of their choice; all skill levels are welcome.

“This year’s theme, Flowing Together, highlights the river’s tributary watersheds that make up the Delaware River Basin, as well as the individuals who come together to protect it,” said Mark Zakutansky, Director of Conservation Policy Engagement for the Appalachian Mountain Club and chair of the sojourn steering committee.

Over 55 miles of the main stem Delaware River will be paddled in 2017, split into daily trips ranging from six to 13 miles.  The sojourn will also paddle a section of the Lehigh River, the Delaware’s second largest tributary, on June 21.

In brief, the sojourn will include the following stretches:

  • Saturday, June 17: Zane Grey Museum, Lackawaxen, Pa. to Corwin Farm, N.Y.
  • Sunday, June 18: Staircase Rapids Access, N.Y. to Matamoras, Pa.
  • Monday, June 19: Dingmans Ferry, Pa. to Bushkill, Pa.
  • Tuesday, June 20: Bushkill to Worthington State Forest, N.J.
  • Wednesday, June 21 (Lehigh River): Rt. 33 Access, Pa. to Hugh Moore Park, Easton, Pa.
  • Thursday, June 22: Martins Creek Access, Pa. to Scott Park, Easton, Pa.
  • Friday, June 23: Scott Park to Riegelsville, N.J.

“The sojourn is a wonderful way to discover the Delaware River and experience first-hand the unique character and diversity of its different sections,” said Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) Executive Director Steve Tambini.  “DRBC has been working for more than 55 years to manage this shared water resource.  We encourage the public to participate in this family-friendly paddling and learning adventure.”

Registration fees in 2017 are $80 per day for adults and $50 per day for children (ages 15 and under).  There is an additional one-time insurance fee of $5 per person for this American Canoe Association (ACA)-sanctioned event, except for current ACA members.

Registration fees cover the guided river trip, single or tandem kayak rental (with paddle and life jacket), shuttle transportation, educational programs, most meals, a souvenir T-shirt, and optional overnight camping sites.  Participants may bring their own river-worthy boat, but please note that neither aluminum nor wooden canoes are recommended.

Sojourn expenses are subsidized by donations and grants.  The regional supermarket cooperative ShopRite has sponsored the Delaware River Sojourn annually since 2013.  The sojourn also receives grant funding from the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers and the Lower Delaware National Wild and Scenic Rivers Program. These funds help keep costs as low as possible for participants and support the sojourn’s Youth Paddle and First-Time Paddler programs.

The sojourn’s Youth Paddle Program funds full scholarships for a limited number of student groups and their leaders.  There are still scholarships available; interested teachers or scout leaders should visit www.delawareriversojourn.org/index.php/youthprogram to learn more.  The sojourn’s First-Time Paddler’s Program is another savings opportunity available on a first-come, first-served basis for adult paddlers new to the Delaware River Sojourn.

On Friday, June 16, the day before the paddle trip begins, the sojourn and the National Park Service Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River are hosting a river cleanup from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Volunteers will clean up a five-mile section of the Delaware River starting at the Ten Mile River access in N.Y. and ending at Lackawaxen, Pa. Volunteers must pre-register through the Delaware River Sojourn website. Canoes and equipment will be provided.

Registration details, itinerary overview, sojourn partners, and sojourn guidelines are available at www.delawareriversojourn.org.  Sojourners can register online using Paypal.  Registration-related questions and first-time paddler discount availability inquiries should be directed to Dejay Branch at (646) 205-2724 or info@riversojourn.com.

The non-profit, annual event is organized by a steering committee with representatives from federal, state and local agencies, non-profit organizations, and individual volunteers.  The DRBC has proudly served on the steering committee since the sojourn’s early years and is represented by Communications Specialist Kate Schmidt.

CONTACT:  Kate Schmidt, kate.schmidt@drbc.nj.gov, (609) 883-9500 x205

2017 River of the Year Voting: Week Three Results

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We are three weeks and over 7,700 votes in to the 2017 PA River of the Year voting period!

The results stand at:
The Allegheny River the lead with 41%,
The Brandywine Creek with 27%,
The Loyalhanna Creek with 19%
The Perkiomen Creek with 14%
 
Voting ends December 19th, if you haven’t voted yet, vote at Vote for a 2017 River of the Year! and don’t forget to invite your friends and family to vote, too!

2017 River of the Year Voting: Week Two Results

powr-keystone-tight

We are two weeks and over 6,800 votes in to the 2017 PA River of the Year voting period!

The results stand at:
The Allegheny River the lead with 40%,
The Brandywine Creek with 26%,
The Loyalhanna Creek with 20%
The Perkiomen Creek with 15%
 
Voting ends December 19th, if you haven’t voted yet, vote at Vote for a 2017 River of the Year! and don’t forget to invite your friends and family to vote, too!

2017 River of the Year Voting: Week One Results

powr-keystone-tight

We are one week and over 5,800 votes in to the 2017 PA River of the Year voting period!

The results stand at:
The Allegheny River the lead with 41%,
The Brandywine Creek with 25%,
The Loyalhanna Creek with 20%
The Perkiomen Creek with 15%
 
Voting ends December 19th, if you haven’t voted yet, vote at Vote for a 2017 River of the Year! and don’t forget to invite your friends and family to vote, too!

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

Pennsylvania Pipeline Construction Monitoring Program Training

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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.

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