Nomination Period Now Open for Pennsylvania’s 2024 River of the Year

Pennsylvania Experts Offer Foliage Tips For Residents, TravelersFrench Creek State Park /Image via PA Department of Conservation And Natural Resources

PENNSYLVANIA — The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has officially opened the nomination period for the 2024 River of the Year. Pennsylvanians are being called upon to nominate their favorite waterway for this prestigious recognition, which aims to elevate public awareness of specific rivers and highlight significant conservation needs and achievements.

DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn enthusiastically announced the start of the nomination process this past week. She noted the increasing number of people seeking outdoor recreation opportunities and expressed her anticipation for the upcoming competition. “With so many additional people enjoying the outdoors and connecting to the Commonwealth’s waterways in droves, recognition of River of the Year continues to grow in value and prestige each year,” Dunn said. “I look forward to this year’s competition and seeing public support of our beautiful water trails as people select the Pennsylvania 2024 River of the Year.”

The Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) administers the River of the Year program with funding from DCNR. Janet Sweeney, a spokesperson for POWR, expressed excitement over the opening of the nomination period. “River of the Year is a highly anticipated program that highlights the Commonwealth’s waterways. We look forward to another chance for all Pennsylvanians to support their favorite waterway in friendly competition with others across the Commonwealth,” she stated.

The nomination period will remain open until 5:00 PM on Friday, November 10, 2023. The public will then have the opportunity to vote on the selected nominations beginning in late November. All Pennsylvania waterways are eligible for nomination, except for the previous five winners: Susquehanna North Branch (2023), French Creek (2022), Shenango River (2021), Lackawanna River (2020), and Clarion River (2019).

River of the Year designations have been presented annually since 1983. The honor is not merely symbolic; it carries with it a year-round slate of activities and events to celebrate the river, including a River of the Year Sojourn. In addition, the nominating organization of the winning river will receive a $10,000 leadership grant to help fund their River of the Year activities.

Pennsylvanians interested in nominating a river or waterway can do so by visiting the Pennsylvania Environmental Council website. For more information about the River of the Year program, they can visit the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers website.

The DCNR’s website also provides further information about the agency and its various initiatives. The DCNR’s Calendar of Events features a range of events on public lands, offering opportunities for Pennsylvanians to engage with and enjoy the state’s rich natural heritage.

Given the increasing interest in outdoor recreation and the growing recognition of the importance of conserving natural resources, this year’s River of the Year competition promises to be exciting. It offers Pennsylvanians a unique opportunity to show their appreciation for the state’s waterways and contribute to their preservation.

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