‘River of the Year’

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 by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources 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 applicant for the honor, Middle Susquehanna 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.”