Each year, the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) and the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources recognize one distinguished waterway as Pennsylvania River of the Year. With the nomination deadline for 2018 honors approaching, the process of selecting the next winner is about to begin in earnest.
Pennsylvania is home to hundreds of rivers and creeks, and countless smaller tributaries. But only one can be Pennsylvania River of the Year.
The River of the Year program serves two closely related purposes. First, it builds public awareness of specific waterways: their special attributes, the problems they face, and conservation work already being done on their behalf. Secondly, it supports the ongoing protection and improvement of these resources by awarding the winning entrant’s nominating organization a $10,000 leadership grant.
The program “[gives] all Pennsylvanians a chance to support their favorite waterway in friendly competition with others across the Commonwealth,” says POWR Director Janet Sweeney.
How it Works
Nominations are open through November 6th. After finalists are selected, a public vote held in early November will decide the winner for 2018, to be announced in January. Visit www.pariveroftheyear.org to submit a nomination. All Pennsylvania rivers are eligible, except for those that received the award within the last five years.
The announcement of a River of the Year designation kicks off the planning process for a year-long slate of activities and events to celebrate the winning river, culminating in a River of the Year Sojourn — one of many paddling trips supported by DCNR and POWR each year.
River of the Year honors have been conferred upon 25 waterways since the program began in 1983. The Allegheny River beat out Brandywine, Loyalhanna and Perkiomen creeks to win the 2017 title.
“Pennsylvania is blessed with several large, iconic rivers and the Allegheny’s attributes are many, diverse and known so well
to to the thousands who fish and paddle its rebounding waters and hike, bike and camp along its banks,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “So rich in scenic beauty and historical significance, the Allegheny River is deservedly one of western Pennsylvania’s natural treasures.”