After months of bated breath and enthusiastic voting, Pennsylvania has chosen the Delaware River as its 2011 river of the year.
"The Delaware River is the longest un-dammed river east of the Mississippi and is steeped in history, diverse in resources, and is vital to protect," Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary John Quigley said in making the announcement earlier today. "Its waters serve the needs of more than 15 million people from four different states, including more than 5 million Pennsylvanians. It boasts the largest freshwater port in the world, as well as threatened and endangered species, and a thriving tourism industry."
One goal of the River of the Year designation is to raise awareness of the river and its conservation needs. So what better time than to volunteer to do just that?
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council has launched a river ambassador program and is recruiting people who are passionate about the river to immerse themselves in all things river-ish and then lead people on trips, tours, clean-ups, you name it.