HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The public is invited to vote online for the 2012 Pennsylvania River of the Year, choosing among the Kiskiminetas River, Middle Monongahela River, Upper Juniata River and Stonycreek River.
"This is the second year that our selection process is through a public vote," Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard J. Allan said. "We think the spirit of competition rallies community support for our waterways and helps to highlight the many great rivers we are fortunate to have in Pennsylvania."
Visit http://pawatersheds.org/vote to read the nomination statement for each river and to vote. Voting ends Sunday, Dec. 31.
DCNR and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, or POWR, administer the River of the Year program. Nominations were made by local groups.
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.
"We are excited to once again partner with DCNR on this exciting effort," POWR Board Chair Mel Zimmerman said. "The River of the Year program is one way that we can highlight the opportunities and challenges facing the state's waterways. This also is part of the larger annual river sojourn program that gets thousands of Pennsylvanians out on the water."
After a waterway is chosen, local groups implement a year-round 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 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 2011 River of the Year is the Delaware River, the longest un-dammed river east of the Mississippi that serves the water needs of more than 15 million people from four different states.
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