Monday, December 02, 2013

The Schuylkill River is Suffering a Title Drought

The Schuylkill may look fine, but it's hiding a deep pain: the pain of a 14-year title drought.

For the past twenty years, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has recognized one River of the Year. This recognition is done to raise awareness of the important recreational, ecological, and historical resources associated with the state’s rivers and streams. For the past four years, the recognition has been conferred upon the river that wins a popular vote.

The River of the Year is celebrated throughout the year. Events, coordinated with community groups, have included Sojourn paddling trips, a speaker series, clean up days, photography contests, and more. In addition, the Pennsylvania Organization of Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) coordinates the production and distribution of a free poster celebrating the river.

This year, the Schuylkill was nominated by three organizations: the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, Montgomery County Planning Commission, and the Schuylkill River Heritage Area (SRHA). SRHA has been selected as the point organization for the contest this year.

Last year, our beloved Schuylkill River lost the title to the Monongahela River by a hair: 146 votes (out of 25,450 ballots cast.) The Schuylkill hasn't been recognized since 1999. It's a title drought! Surely it deserves to be recognized again now that its water quality, and the aptly-titled Schuylkill River Trail have both improved so much over the past 14 years.


Please vote for the Schuylkill River, early and often. The voting period is open until December 27th.

The nominees for River of the Year.