Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today announced the public is invited to again vote online for the 2022 Pennsylvania River of the Year, choosing from among four waterways nominated throughout the state.
“The value of our waterways has shined brighter than ever during this pandemic as people have visited Pennsylvania’s river and streams in unprecedented numbers seeking the natural refuge they supply,” Dunn said. “This annual competition is so much more than a popularity contest. All of our rivers and streams have truly unique attributes, offer incredible recreational opportunities, and offer significant boosts to local economies. This competition shares those wonderful attributes and helps build community support around our rivers and streams, showing just how much they have to offer to the public.”
The Catawissa Creek, Connoquenessing Creek, French Creek, and the Monongahela River are the nominations for the 2022 River of the Year. Nominations were based on each waterway’s conservation needs and successes, as well as celebration plans if the nominee is voted 2022 River of the Year.
In cooperation with DCNR, selection of public voting choices is overseen by the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR). Dunn noted that the online public selection process continues to be increasingly popular as it enters its twelfth year.
The public can vote for a favorite state waterway beginning today, Monday, November 29, 2021, through 5:00 P.M. Friday, January 14, 2022. The POWR website enables voting and offers details on nominated waterways and the River of the Year program. Voting is managed through Woobox, an online contest application restricting voting to one 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 2021 designation was awarded to the Shenango River.
“We are excited to once again kick off the public online voting process for Pennsylvania River of the Year,” said Janet Sweeney, Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers. “As we all continue to spend more time outdoors and deepen our appreciation for the beautiful natural resources of Pennsylvania, the annual River of the Year voting process is a fun way to rally behind and support your favorite waterway.”
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 among many paddling trips supported each year by DCNR and POWR. An independent program, the Pennsylvania Sojourn Program, is a unique series of a dozen such trips on the state’s rivers. The 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 the DCNR website.