For the 28th annual selection of the Pennsylvania River of the Year, the Department of Conservation of Natural Resources has opened nomination’s and voting up to the public. There are six waterways nominated for 2011’s selection; the Conewango Creek, Clarion River, Pine Creek, Delaware River, Kiskiminetas River, and Stonycreek River. Christina Novak, a spokeswoman for the Department of Conservation for Natural Resources, says the first year of public voting should help garner more attention.
“We decided to open the selection process to a public vote because it helps us highlight the many great rivers that we do have in Pennsylvania,” Novak says, “It’s also a way for us to rally community support for their important natural assets.”
Those interested can vote now through Monday, Jan. 3 at the DCNR website.
Winning waterways are celebrated by their local communities organizing activities throughout the year including an extended paddling trip known as a sojourn. According to Novak, the sojourn does many things for the river and the canoeists, kayakers and others who enjoy it.
“[The sojourn] raises awareness of the various value of rivers including environmental, recreational, tourism, and also sort of the heritage connection,” Novak says.
2010’s River of the Year was the Lackawaxen River which flows for 25 miles in Eastern Pennsylvania before emptying into the Delaware River on the state’s border.
“It’s important to have citizens and the general public understand that our rivers are valuable to us and that’s why it’s important for us to protect them,” Novak says.