The Monongahela River, flowing through Green, Fayette, Washington, Westmoreland and Allegheny counties, has been named Pennsylvania’s 2013 River of the Year following public, online voting across the state.
For the third year in a row, public voting determined the selection from among six candidates for River of the Year honors. Among 25,450 ballots cast, the Monongahela River received 8,156 votes.
The five other finalists and total votes received were: Schuylkill River (8,010); Lackawanna River (5,286); Kiskiminetas River (2,310); Swatara Creek (1,213); and Juniata River (475).
DCNR and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, or POWR, administer the River of the Year program. Local organizations submit nominations.
POWR also helps organize and support local watershed associations, as well as the groups who lead a dozen sojourns on rivers around the state each year.
“The number of votes cast this year in the River of the Year selection process is staggering,” said POWR Executive Director Janie French . “We congratulate the supporters of the Monongahela River, and thank the thousands of Pennsylvanians who voted. We are excited about this opportunity to showcase the successes and challenges facing the Monongahela and all of Pennsylvania’s waterways.”
There are a number of other organizations working in partnership to support conservation and recreation activities along Monongahela River. Among them is the Brownsville Area Redevelopment Corporation, a community development corporation seeking economic development through outdoor recreation, community stewardship and historical preservation. The corporation nominated the Monongahela for this year’s honor and will serve as local organizer for River of the Year activities.
Several events throughout the year will celebrate the Monongahela River’s designation, including a sojourn offering canoeists, kayakers and other paddlers a chance to experience life on the river and encourage greater understanding of its challenges and potential.
The Monongahela River also will be celebrated with an annual Rivers Month poster issued in June.
Pennsylvania’s River of the Year honors have been presented annually since 1983.
For more sojourn event information, visit www.pawatersheds.org or contact Josh Karns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about DCNR’s Rivers Program, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us/brc/conservation/rivers/index.htm.