HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Clarion River continues to flood the online “ballot box” as it holds a commanding lead going into the fourth week of voting in the 2019 Pennsylvania River of the Year contest.
(PHOTO: Clarion River. Photo By Mountain Man Photography.)
The Clarion River is one of four waterways across the state vying for the Pennsylvania River of the Year honors. The most recent voting results released by the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) on December 18 show the Clarion River has tallied 48% of the vote. The next closest waterway is the Delaware River (23%) followed by Conodoguinet Creek (18%), and the Lackawanna River (11%).
Over 10,300 votes have been tallied as of December 18.
The results to date are no small feat.
The combined population of around 120,000 in the counties that the Clarion River flows through – Clarion, Elk, Forest, and Jefferson – is dwarfed by the other three competing waterways.
The Delaware River runs through Philadelphia – the largest metropolitan area in the state with a population of approximately 5,965,343.
Conodoguinet Creek is a tributary of the Susquehanna River in the Harrisburg metropolitan area, and the Lackawanna River is a tributary of the Susquehanna River in the Scranton area. Both metropolitan areas have populations around 560,000.
The Clarion River has won the competition three times, with its most recent first place finish coming in 1996. It also won in 1983 and 1984.
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn says the contest is more than just a popularity contest.
“This annual undertaking is much more than a public vote gauging popularity of a Pennsylvania waterway,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “Regardless of the outcome, the competition builds community support around our rivers and streams, putting them in the public limelight. All have unique attributes; offer incredible recreational opportunities; and offer significant boosts to local economies.”
Nominations consider each waterway’s conservation needs and successes, as well as celebration plans if the nominee becomes 2019 River of the Year. In cooperation with DCNR, selection of public voting choices is overseen by the POWR, an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.
The public can vote for a favorite state waterway through 5:00 P.M. on Friday, January 4, 2019. The website www.pariveroftheyear.org enables voting and offers details on nominated waterways and the River of the Year program.
Presented since 1983, the 2018 winner was Loyalsock Creek.
After a waterway receives the annual honor, local groups put in place 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.
For details on the River of the Year program, visit the Pa. River of the Year website.