2014 River of the Year

boathouse row_quant12The Schuylkill River

The Schuylkill River in eastern Pennsylvania has been voted the 2014 Pennsylvania River of the Year following a five week public voting period.  The Schuylkill River won with 43% of the popular vote.

The applicant, the Schuylkill River Greenway Association, which manages the Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area, will receive a $10,000 Leadership Grant to help fund River of the Year activities.

“We are elated to have the Schuylkill be selected as Pennsylvania River of the Year for 2014,” said Schuylkill River Greenway Association Executive Director Kurt Zwikl.  “We are particularly pleased to be named because in last year’s balloting we lost out by less than two hundred votes.

This is the second time the Schuylkill has been named River of the Year, having last received this distinction in 1999.

The rivers nominated included the Schuylkill River as well as the Kiskiminetas-Conemaugh rivers in the southwest; the Ohio in the west; Brodhead Creek Watershed in the northeast; and the West Branch of the Susquehanna in the north central section of the state.

Among 5,527 ballots cast, the Schuylkill River received 2,402 votes.  The four other finalists and total votes received were:
The Brodhead Creek & Watershed: 663 votes
The Kiski-Conemaugh Rivers: 1,130 votes
The Ohio River: 677 votes
The West Branch of the Susquehanna River: 655 votes

The Schuylkill measures 128 miles from its headwaters in Schuylkill County to its confluence with the Delaware in Philadelphia.  It is a river with a tremendous history, and perhaps most significantly, an inspiring environmental story.

cody20102About The Schuylkill River

In the mid-20th century, the Schuylkill was one of the nation’s dirtiest rivers.  Throughout the Industrial Revolution, its waters served as a dumping site for factory pollutants, raw sewage and, perhaps most damaging of all, coal waste, known as culm.

By 1945 an estimated 38 million tons of culm had accumulated in its channel.  The Schuylkill was on the brink of becoming a wasteland until, in 1945, the state of Pennsylvania agreed to undertake the Schuylkill River Project.  It was the first major government-funded environmental cleanup, and it dredged millions of tons of coal culm from the river.

Today, efforts to clean the river are on-going.  Our organization administers the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund, which over the past seven years has awarded more than $2 million in grants to projects that improve the water quality in the river and its tributaries.  The Schuylkill is a source of drinking water for 1.5 million people and waterfront communities all along the river corridor are now using those waterfronts to bolster community revitalization efforts.

View Events Here.

4 thoughts on “2014 River of the Year

  • Montgomery County Anglers Fishing Club

    Congratulations to all of the people, organizations and groups that have helped to make “our” home waterway River of the Year! Many of our fishing clubs members enjoy a lot of great days on and along the waters of the Schuylkill River with friends, family and other outdoor adventurers. Let us know if the Montgomery County Anglers can be of any help keeping or making this little gem of our County and Region “River of the Year” again.
    Gaffmaster
    http://montgomerycountyanglers.info/fishingblog/

    Reply
  • Loretta Supplee

    As a dragon boater who spends a lot of time on the Schuylkill river, I truly appreciate all efforts to clean up this recreational gem. Please continue your efforts because we are not quite where we should be and have a ways to go.

    Reply
  • Schuylkill Haven Mayor Mike Devlin

    Congratulations to Kurt and everyone at The Schuylkill River Greenway Association. You all did a tremendous job at bringing so much attention to the Hidden River. We’re looking forward to a bigger and better sendoff for this year’s Schuylkill River Sojourn from Schuylkill Haven, “The Little Town That Could”.

    Reply
  • Joe Hoffman

    Congratulations on your 2014 River of the Year selection! Please let me know if there is any way I can help; and also keep me informed of all upcoming events related to the celebration. Thank you.

    Reply

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