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.
The Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR), an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, administers the River of the Year program with funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR).
Nominations are accepted in the fall of each year. From those nominations submitted, up to five waterways are selected to go up for public vote.
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.
POWR and PA DCNR also work with the winner to create a free, commemorative poster celebrating the River of the Year.