Loyalsock Creek Named PA
2018 River of the Year in Public Voting
PA - Home
to legions of paddlers, anglers, and other outdoors enthusiasts in north
central Pennsylvania, Loyalsock Creek has been
voted the 2018 Pennsylvania River of the Year.
The public was invited to vote online,
choosing from among five waterways nominated across the state. Results were
announced jointly today by the Department of Conservation and Natural
Resources (DCNR) and the Pennsylvania Organization for Waterways and Rivers
Other waterways nominated were: Connoquenessing Creek, Lackawanna River, Little Juniata
River and Lower Susquehanna River/Susquehanna Riverlands.
“There are winning qualities in all five of
these waterways that their supporters recognize and respect,” said DCNR
Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “The number of waterways nominated, coupled
with a vote tally that increases every year, showcases both the unique
diversity of Pennsylvania’s rivers and the strong community allegiances
that protect and enhance them.”
A total of 15,061 votes were cast, with
the Loyalsock receiving 6,100; Connoquenessing Creek; 5,381; Lackawanna River, 1,676;
Lower Susquehanna/Susquehanna Riverlands, 1,113;
and Little Juniata, 791.
“This annual honor highlights our state’s
wealth of rivers and streams, and recognizes the core of dedicated folks
who fight to protect them,” Dunn noted. “Public awareness of the Loyalsock’s value will be increased and initiatives
along the waterway river will be underscored. Both serve economic
revitalization by enhancing access to the stream; increasing tourism; and
providing additional land and water-based recreational opportunities for
area residents and visitors alike."
DCNR and POWR will work with the Middle
Susquehanna RIVERKEEPER® Association Inc. to create a free, commemorative
poster celebrating the Loyalsock Creek as the
2018 PA River of the Year. As applicant for the honor, Middle Susquehanna RIVERKEEPER, will receive a $10,000 Leadership Grant to
help fund year-long River of the Year activities.
“The Pennsylvania 2018 River of the Year
competition truly showed the depth of the region’s ‘Loyalsock
Love,’” said Middle Susquehanna RIVERKEEPER® Association Executive Director
Carol Parenzan. “We are grateful to those who
voted and encouraged others to vote as well, and we thank our lead partner
-- Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association -- for
its unending commitment and unlimited loyalty to this precious waterway,
flowing from the Endless Mountain region of Pennsylvania to the West Branch
“In the past, Loyalsock
Creek was a hidden gem, nestled in the mountains north of Williamsport and
enjoyed by area residents and visitors to the 64-mile-long waterway and its
watershed. Today, with this recognition, we are ready to share this
timeless treasure with the rest of Pennsylvania and beyond. For many years,
paddlers have danced with her whitewater during spring runoff and families
have created camping memories along the shores of the ‘Sock at Worlds End
Noting the Loyalsock
boasts a quality trout fishery and is home to the rare Eastern hellbender, Parenzan said the association plans an ambitious
schedule of events and programs to showcase its attributes to the public
throughout the year. Information will be posted at www.MiddleSusquehannaRiverkeeper.org, as well as
Facebook pages for Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper,
Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association, and other
supporting organizations and agencies throughout the region.
Loyalsock Creek flows
through Worlds End State Park, a highly popular destination state park
encompassing 780 acres, and Loyalsock Trail, a
well-trekked 59-mile trail providing vistas overlooking the stream
below. Extraction of coal, lumber and natural gas all have presented
conservation challenges, both past and present, to the waterway. Also,
erosion and sedimentation issues continue to be addressed by government and
private agencies and organizations.
cooperation with DCNR, selection of public voting choices was overseen by
the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, an affiliate of
the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.
would like to commend everyone across the commonwealth for their support
for the nominated rivers,” said POWR Executive Director Janet Sweeney. “The
River of the Year program is a wonderful opportunity to showcase all of the
nominated rivers and the great work being done in Pennsylvania communities
on these valuable resources. We are excited about this opportunity to
promote the successes and challenges facing the Loyalsock
Creek, as well as all of Pennsylvania's waterways."
administers the River of the Year program with funding from DCNR. Presented
annually since 1983, the 2017 River of the Year designation was awarded to the
Allegheny River in southwestern Pennsylvania.
commemorative River of the Year sojourn is among many paddling trips
supported by DCNR and POWR each year. An independent program, the
Pennsylvania Sojourn Program, is a unique series of a dozen such trips on
the state’s rivers. These water-based journeys for canoeists, kayakers and
others raise awareness of the environmental, recreational, tourism and
heritage values of rivers. For more information about the sojourn program,
more about the River of the Year program, the nominated waterways, and past
winners visit www.pariveroftheyear.org.
more about DCNR’s Rivers Program, visit www.dcnr.pa.us (click on
“Conservation” then “Water”).
CONTACTS: Terry Brady, DCNR, 717-772-9101
Janet Sweeney, POWR, 570-718-6507