Readers may vote online for the 2013 Pennsylvania River of the Year, choosing from among six waterways nominated across the state. The last day to vote is Jan. 18.
The first two nominees are in southcentral Pennsylvania; Kiskiminetas and Monongahela are in the southwest; the Lackawanna is in the northeast; and the Schuylkill is in the southeast.
"Individually, each of these waterways showcases unique natural resources and recreational potential," Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard J. Allan said. "Collectively, they demonstrate just how blessed Pennsylvania is with its wealth of rivers and streams."
Nomination of the six waterways was based on their conservation needs and successes, as well as celebration plans should the nominee be voted 2013 River of the Year.
Visit www.pawatersheds.org/vote to read the nomination statement for each river and to vote.
"This is the third year that our selection process is through public voting," Allan said, "and we know the spirit of competition rallies community support around our waterways and puts deserving rivers and streams in the limelight."
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. The award has been presented annually since 1983.
"We are excited to partner with DCNR for a third year of public voting on River of the Year," POWR Executive Director Janie French said. "The River of the Year program is a great way for us to highlight the opportunities and challenges facing the state's waterways. As part of the larger river sojourn program, the River of the Year helps connect thousands of Pennsylvanians to 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 2012 River of the Year is the Stonycreek River, flowing through Cambria and Somerset counties.
To learn more about DCNR's Rivers Program, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us (click on "Conserve," then "Waterways").