The public has been invited to once again vote online for the 2018 Pennsylvania River of the Year.
Choosing from among five waterways nominated across the state, the public is invited to vote for their choice of River of the year, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced.
“Regardless of what waterway finishes first, this competition fuels community support around our rivers and streams, and puts them in the public limelight,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “All have truly unique attributes; offer incredible recreational opportunities; and offer significant boosts to local economies.”
Waterways nominated for 2018 are the Connoquenessing Creek, Lackawanna River, Little Juniata River, Lower Susquehanna River/Susquehanna Riverlands, and the Loyalsock Creek.
Nominations were based on each waterway’s conservation needs and successes, as well as celebration plans should the nominee be voted 2018 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 eighth year,” Dunn said.
The public can vote for their favorite state waterway beginning Monday, Nov. 20, through 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 22. The website www.pariveroftheyear.org enables voting and offers details on 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 2017 designation was awarded to the Allegheny River.
“The River of the Year contest allows all Pennsylvanians to highlight the many wonderful waterways they enjoy” said Janet Sweeney, Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers. “While we formally recognize only one river with this award, we acknowledge the unique value of all rivers and their contribution to the overall environmental quality of Pennsylvania and the quality of life for all who enjoy them.”
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 www.pawatersheds.org.
To learn more about DCNR’s Rivers Program, visit www.dcnr.pa.gov (click on “Rivers”).
For details on the River of the Year program, visit www.pariveroftheyear.org.