HARRISBURG PA – It’s an election that many participants think of as “all wet,” and with good reason: they’ll be voting online from among six waterways nominated across the state for the title of “Pennsylvania 2013 River of the Year.”
Nominated are the Schuylkill River in the southeast, Juniata River and Swatara Creek in south central Pennsylvania, Kiskiminetas and Monongahela rivers in the southwest, and Lackawanna River in the northeast. The ability to vote on the web for a favorite river is now open to the public. Voting ends Jan. 18 (2013).
The six waterways were selected based on their conservation needs and successes, as well as celebration plans should the nominee be voted 2013 River of the Year. Nominations were made by local groups. The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers administer the River of the Year program.
Pennsylvania’s River of the Year is an honor designed to elevate public awareness of specific rivers and recognize important conservation needs and achievements. The award has been presented annually since 1983.
After a waterway is chosen, local groups implement a year-round slate of activities and events to celebrate it, including a special extended paddling trip known as a sojourn. These water-based journeys for canoeists, kayakers and others raise awareness of the environmental, recreational, tourism and heritage values of rivers. The Pennsylvania Sojourn program is a unique series of a dozen such trips on the state’s rivers.
Pennsylvania’s 2012 River of the Year was the Stonycreek River, flowing through Cambria and Somerset counties.