Monongahela Selected as Pennsylvania's River of the Year

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
1 February 2013

State residents have voted the Monongahela River as Pennsylvania's 2013 River of the Year.

The Mon, which flows through Greene, Fayette, Washington, Westmoreland and Allegheny counties, was chosen from among six candidates for the River of the Year honor, which is administered by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers. This is the third year the contest has been determined by public online voting.

More than 25,000 ballots were cast, and the Mon eked out a win by securing 8,156 votes. The Schuylkill River of the Philadelphia area came in a close second, with 8,010 votes.

DCNR secretary Richard Allan said in a news release that the online voting "generates local enthusiasm for conservation and recognition of the importance of our waterways."

The four other finalists and total votes received were the Lackawanna River, 5,286 votes; the Kiskiminetas River, 2,310 votes; Swatara Creek, 1,213 votes; and the Juniata River, 475 votes.

Those waterways were nominated by local organizations "because they are special and important in their own way," Mr. Allan said in the release.

Several events throughout the year will celebrate the Mon's designation, including a sojourn for canoeists, kayakers and other paddlers.

The Monongahela River also will be celebrated with an annual Rivers Month poster issued in June.

Pennsylvania's River of the Year honors have been presented annually since 1983.