HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the first time, citizens will directly choose the 2011 Pennsylvania River of the Year.
The six finalists for 2011 are: Clarion River, Conewango Creek, Delaware River, Kiskiminetas River, Pine Creek, and the Stonycreek River.
"We decided to open our selection process to a public vote as a means to highlight the many great rivers we are fortunate to have in Pennsylvania, and to rally community support for their natural assets," Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary John Quigley said.
DCNR and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, or POWR, administer the River of the Year program. Local organizations submit nominations.
Visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us or www.pawatersheds.org and click on the appropriate links to read the nomination statement for each river and to vote. Voting ends Monday, Jan. 3. More than 2,200 votes already have been received.
Pennsylvania's River of the Year is an honor designed to elevate public awareness of specific rivers and recognize important conservation needs and achievements. River of the Year designations have been presented annually since 1983.
"It is inspiring to see so many people voice their strong support for protecting our waters through this new voting process and demonstrating unabashed pride in our rivers and their importance to our communities," said Jon Meade, executive director of POWR.
When a waterway is chosen, the local organizations implement a year-round slate of activities and events to celebrate the river, including a special extended paddling trip known as a sojourn. A sojourn is a water-based journey for canoeists, kayakers and others to raise awareness of the environmental, recreational, tourism and heritage values of rivers.
The Pennsylvania Sojourn program, jointly run by DCNR and POWR, is a unique series of a dozen such trips on the state's rivers. For more information about the sojourns, visit www.pawatersheds.org.
POWR and DCNR also work with the local organization to create a free commemorative poster celebrating the River of the Year.
Pennsylvania's 2010 River of the Year is the Lackawaxen River, which flows nearly 25 miles through three counties before joining the Delaware River at Lackawaxen, Pike County.
To learn more about DCNR's Rivers Program, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us/brc/rivers.
Media contact: Christina Novak, 717-772-9101
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources