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Voting Begins for Pennsylvania's 2015 River of the Year

Date: 11/10/2014

Description: DCNR left-cmyk

 

News for Immediate
Release

 

Nov. 10, 2014

Voting Begins for Pennsylvania’s 2015 River of the Year

Harrisburg - The public is invited to
vote online for the 2015 Pennsylvania River of the Year, choosing from among
five waterways nominated across the state.

 

Nominated are: Conewango
Creek, Lackawanna River, Loyalhanna Creek, Neshaminy Creek and the Ohio River.

 

“These nominated waterways showcase so many unique natural
resources and recreational opportunities,” said Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti. “They demonstrate just how blessed
Pennsylvanians are with this wealth of major rivers and streams and how so many
are willing to support them.

 

“Entering its fifth
year, the online public selection process has become increasingly popular,”
Ferretti said. “We know this spirit of good-natured competition rallies
community support around our deserving waterways and puts them in the
limelight.”

 

Nominations were based on each waterway’s conservation needs and
successes, as well as celebration plans should the nominee be voted 2015 River
of the Year. In cooperation with DCNR, selection of public voting choices was
overseen by the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR), an
affiliate of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC).

 

The public can vote for
their favorite state waterway beginning today through 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15.

 

The website www.pariveroftheyear.org
facilitates voting and offers information 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 2014
designation was awarded to the Schuylkill River in southeast Pennsylvania.

 

“It’s
really great to see how engaged people are in campaigning for their local
rivers,” said PEC President and CEO Davitt Woodwell.

The Schuylkill River
Greenway Association (SRGA) served as the lead organization in presenting the
Schuylkill River.

 

“Having the Schuylkill
named River of the Year gave the SRGA the opportunity to reconnect the public
with the river,” said SRGA Executive Director Kurt Zwikl. “The honor
highlighted the value the Schuylkill has to the region historically,
recreationally, and as a beautiful and vital natural resource.”  

 

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 to help fund their 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.state.pa.us
(click on “Conserve,” then “Waterways”).

 

To learn more about the
River of the Year program, visit www.pariveroftheyear.org.

 

Media contacts: Terry Brady, DCNR, 717-772-9101

                         
Janet Sweeney, POWR, 570-718-6507

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