Ohio River Celebration Attracts 950 Taking Positive Actions to Improve Watersheds

The Fifth Annual Ohio River Celebration and cruise on the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh attracted over 950 participants, including some 300 students, from all over Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia with its unique blend of educational, networking and recognition programs for watershed groups.

Download the special photo feature.

PaED Video Blog: Kim Lanich, Watershed Specialist in Elk County, describes how she helps watershed groups in her county.

As part of the program, the Ohio River Celebration gave awards to a municipality, an individual and a company making outstanding contributions to restoring and protecting watersheds throughout the region--

West Homestead, Allegheny County, received the Municipal Government Environmental Award for its work restoring water quality and river use, its leadership in coordinating improvements to the West Run Sanitary Sewer Improvement Project, a $400,000 rehabilitation of its municipal sanitary sewer system, and for its public-private partnership with Kennywood Park and Sandcastle Water Park for waterfront development.

Jane Nugent, WPTT-1360 AM talk show host, received the Individual Environmental Award for her “Garden Party” radio show, Nugent provides educational opportunities for listeners to learn about watershed activities. Nugent interviews various speakers on topics such as mine drainage cleanup and geothermal energy using mine water.

Consol Energy received the Environmental Award – Company for its partnership in local and regional watershed work. Consol worked with the Washington County Watershed Alliance for many years and supports the Washington County Envirothon. The company also provides grants to the alliance for various outreach projects.

And for the first time, the Ohio River Celebration held a competition for on-board educational displays and awarded first and second place winners in four categories cash grants of $500 and $250 respectively. The winners included—

Outreach: First Place – Neville Naturalist, which does day camps to teach children about habitat diversity.

Second Place – Natural Biodiversity, which cares out programs to eradicate invasive plant species and establish native plants.

Innovative: First Place – Toby Creek Watershed Association, which undertakes mine water cleanup projects, one of which uses treated mine water to raise trout in Elk County.

Second Place – Montour Run Watershed Association, which also does mine drainage, stormwater and recreational issues like the Montour Trail in Washington County.

Partnership: First Place – Raccoon Creek Watershed Association, Beaver and Washington counties, which has several projects to treat mine drainage.

Second Place – Wells Creek Watershed Association, Somerset County, which also deals with mine drainage treatment.

Overall: First Place – Shade Creek Watershed Association, which treats a variety of mine water discharges in Somerset County.

Second Place – Independence Marsh Foundation, which supports a variety of watershed education and restoration projects in Beaver and Washington counties.

This year the major sponsors of the event included: Consol Energy, Dominion Foundation, Western PA Watershed Program, Pennsylvania America Water, Venture Outdoors, Jane Nugent & WPTT’s Garden Party, Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County, Quality Aggregates, Gateway Clipper, Cemex, Beynon Reality, Amerikohl Mining, PA Section American Water Works Association, Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh, Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh, AquaScape, Michael Gallagher, BioMost, Inc., Kiski-Conemaugh Stream Team, Washington County Conservation District, PlasTie, the Department of Environmental Protection, Fish & Boat Commission, Stream Restoration, Inc. Environmentally Innovative Solutions, Inc., former DEP Secretary David E. Hess.

NewsClip: Pittsburgh Voyager Becomes RiverQuest

PaED Video Blog: Kim Lanich, Watershed Specialist in Elk County, explains how she works with watershed groups in her area.

Special Photo Feature: Ohio River Celebration Photos (PDF).

Online Photo Gallery: 2006 Ohio River Watershed Celebration


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