Six waterways across the state, including two in the Pittsburgh region, have been nominated for the 2013 Pennsylvania River of the Year.
The public is invited again to vote online for one of the nominated rivers: Kiskiminetas and Monongahela Rivers in the southwest; Juniata River and Swatara Creek in south central Pennsylvania; Lackawanna River in the northeast; and Schuylkill River in the southeast.
The six waterways were nominated based on their conservation needs and successes, as well as the ability to pull together acelebration should the nominee be voted River of the Year.
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers administer the River of the Year program. Nominations were made by local groups for the award that has been presented annually since 1983.
DCNR spokesman Terry Brady thinks one of the reasons the competition has been able to stick around for so long is because of the wealth of waterways in the state.
“Pennsylvania is blessed with a lot of waterways, and it’s just a recognition factor, if you will; and it has its rewards in so many ways….. word is getting out, that waterways are rebounding in Pennsylvania.”
After a waterway is chosen, local groups implement a year-long slate of activities and events to celebrate the river, including a special extended paddling trip known as a sojourn. These water-based journeys for canoeists, kayakers and others try to raise awareness of the environmental, recreational, tourism and heritage values of rivers.
Pennsylvania’s 2012 River of the Year is the Stonycreek River, flowing through Cambria and Somerset counties.
Voting ends Friday, Jan. 18, 2013.