Voting has begun for Pennsylvania’s 2022 River of the Year

Western PA News

HARRISBURG — If you love French Creek, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) wants you to vote.

On Monday, DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced the public is invited to again vote online for the 2022 Pennsylvania River of the Year, choosing from among French Creek and three other nominated waterways throughout the state. 

“The value of our waterways has shined brighter than ever during this pandemic as people have visited Pennsylvania’s river and streams in unprecedented numbers seeking the natural refuge they supply,” Dunn said. “This annual competition is so much more than a popularity contest. All of our rivers and streams have truly unique attributes, offer incredible recreational opportunities, and offer significant boosts to local economies. This competition shares those wonderful attributes and helps build community support around our rivers and streams, showing just how much they have to offer to the public.”

The Catawissa Creek, Connoquenessing Creek, French Creek and the Monongahela River are the nominations for the 2022 River of the Year, based on each waterway’s conservation needs and successes as well as celebration plans if the nominee wins. 

In cooperation with DCNR, selection of public voting choices is overseen by the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR). Dunn noted that the online public selection process continues to be increasingly popular as it enters its 12th year.

The public can now vote HERE for a favorite state waterway through 5 p.m. on Friday, January 14, 2022.

POWR, an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, administers the River of the Year program with funding from DCNR. The winner from 2021 was the Shenango River.

“We are excited to once again kick off the public online voting process for Pennsylvania River of the Year,” said Janet Sweeney, Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers. “As we all continue to spend more time outdoors and deepen our appreciation for the beautiful natural resources of Pennsylvania, the annual River of the Year voting process is a fun way to rally behind and support your favorite waterway.”

After a waterway is chosen for the annual honor, local groups implement a year-round slate of activities and events to celebrate the river, including a paddling trip, or sojourn. The organization nominating the winning river will receive a $10,000 leadership grant from DCNR to help fund River of the Year activities.

POWR and DCNR also work with local organizations to create a free, commemorative poster celebrating the River of the Year. 

To learn more about DCNR’s Rivers Program, click HERE.

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