Delaware River Honored As 2011 River Of The Year
The Delaware River Basin Commission, along with the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, the Pennsylvania 2011 Delaware River of the Year Steering Committee, and The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort, recently hosted the “Delaware River Celebration” on October 19.
Situated along the banks of the wild and scenic Delaware River in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the Shawnee Inn was the ideal location for this event.
Over 100 people from government agencies, non-profit organizations, and the private sector participated in the day’s activities, which were held to honor the Delaware – Pennsylvania’s 2011 River of the Year – as well as DRBC’s 50th and the Inn’s 100th anniversary milestones.
The afternoon consisted of an informational forum, split into two panel discussions: one focused on river basin commissions and water management and one on river-based recreation.
The river basin commission panel was moderated by Dr. Jeffrey Featherstone, Director, Center for Sustainable Communities - Temple University. Panelists were Robert (Bo) Abrams, Esq., Florida A&M University College of Law; Alexandria Dapolito Dunn, Esq., Executive Director and General Counsel, Association of Clean Water Administrators; and Dr. Delli Priscoli, Senior Advisor, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The river-based recreation panel was moderated by Carl Wilgus, President and CEO, Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau. Panelists were Jerry Kauffman, Project Director, Water Resources Agency - University of Delaware; John Donahue, Superintendent, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area; Celeste Tracy, Board Member and Coordinator for Land and Water Trail Projects, Delaware River Greenway Partnership; and Charlene Trotter, Executive Director, Tri-State Chamber of Commerce.
The presentations given by members of both panels are available online.
Prior to dinner, attendees mingled and participated in a raffle/auction for various locally donated items. All proceeds of the raffle/auction benefited the Delaware River Sojourn, an annual paddling trip that connects individuals to and educates them about the river and its environs.
The day culminated with dinner and included remarks from DRBC’s current chair, federal commissioner Lt. Col. Philip M. Secrist III, and DRBC Executive Director Carol R. Collier.
“It is because of the cooperative effort of all of the groups represented here today towards the goal of a cleaner, healthier river system that the Delaware is Pennsylvania’s 2011 River of the Year,” Collier observed. “It is fitting that this is also DRBC’s 50th anniversary, a time to celebrate all that has been accomplished and look ahead to the future.”
The annual River of the Year program helps raise awareness about the importance of rivers, their conservation needs, and their recreational and economic impact on watershed communities.
Since 1983, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) have chosen a Commonwealth river for this honor. The Delaware River was selected over five other finalists in an online voting contest to win the designation in early 2011.
Commemorative River Posters
A steering committee, chaired by DRBC’s Kate O’Hara, has been meeting since January to coordinate events throughout the watershed to celebrate this distinction. DCNR provided grant money to help support these activities and also funded the printing of commemorative River of the Year posters.
The posters, printed as a four-part series, each feature an image from a section of the main stem Delaware River: the upper, middle, and lower non-tidal river, as well as the river’s tidewaters, or estuary.
Several Delaware River Basin Pennsylvania Legislators have agreed to help distribute the free posters by making them available for pickup at their district offices: Representatives Tina Davis (D-Bucks), Gary Day (R-Berks), Joe Emrick (R-Northampton), Robert Godshall (R-Montgomery), Kate Harper (R-Montgomery), Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery) and Marguerite Quinn (R-Bucks).
Their willingness to help disseminate the posters to members of their communities is much appreciated by the Delaware River Basin Commission and its partners.
The posters will be available in their offices after November 10; contact information is included as an attachment to this release.
Area photographers and a local artist donated photos and artwork to grace the posters, and the steering committee thanks them for their generosity and assistance with this project.
A photograph by David B. Soete highlighting the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River at Point Mountain in Hancock, N.Y. represents the upper Delaware region. The poster for the middle Delaware, which flows through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, features a photograph titled “Early Morning at Dingmans Campground” by Andy Smith.
Artist Todd Stone provided a painting titled “From the Palisades II” for the lower non-tidal Delaware poster. The tidal Delaware poster’s photo, “Paddling into Philadelphia,” was a second contribution by Andy Smith and showcases the city’s skyline.
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