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Susquehanna River North Branch Celebrated as the 2023 River of the Year

Tunkhannock, PA — Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn recently celebrated the Susquehanna River North Branch as Pennsylvania’s 2023 River of the Year during a celebration at Vosburg Neck State Park.

“I am very excited to honor the North Branch of the mighty Susquehanna River as the 2023 River of the Year,” Dunn said. “This incredible water trail is a tremendous asset to this region, and I am thrilled to be back at one of our newest state parks, Vosburg Neck, celebrating this special body of water.”

DCNR and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) worked with the Endless Mountains Heritage RegionOpens In A New Window to create a free, commemorative poster celebrating the North Branch as the 2023 Pennsylvania River of the Year, which was unveiled at Tuesday’s celebration.

The heritage region, which nominated the North Branch of the Susquehanna River, was awarded a $10,000 Leadership Grant to help fund a slate of year-long 2023 River of the Year activities.

Dunn participated in a part of a week-long commemorative River of the Year sojourn on Wednesday.

The sojourn is among many paddling trips supported by DCNR and POWR each year.

Governor Josh Shapiro signed a proclamation acknowledging June as Rivers Month, as a part of the River of the Year celebration.

The governor has committed his administration to protecting clean water in Pennsylvania through multiple budget initiatives.

The Susquehanna River North Branch flows from the New York state line to Sunbury near Shikellamy State Park at the confluence with the Susquehanna River West Branch.

It meanders through eight Pennsylvania counties, including Susquehanna, Bradford, Wyoming, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Columbia, Montour, and Northumberland.

The river is a water trail widely used by paddlers, anglers, recreational boaters, and wildlife enthusiasts.

Recreationalists enjoy the calm, class-I waters which serve as both a playground for experienced boaters to explore the area’s natural and historic offerings, as well as a learning ground for new paddlers to develop their skills.

The public was invited to vote online for the River of the Year, with more than 11,000 votes cast.

The Susquehanna River North Branch beat out Perkiomen Creek, the Conestoga River, and the Schuylkill River to earn top honors.

“POWR would again like to commend everyone for their support for the nominated rivers, especially for the strong showing of support for the Susquehanna River North Branch,” POWR Executive Director Janet Sweeney said. “The River of the Year program continues to engage our communities by providing a wonderful opportunity to showcase all the nominated rivers and the great work being done in Pennsylvania on these resources. We are excited about the opportunity to highlight the Susquehanna River North Branch.”

An independent program, the Pennsylvania Sojourn ProgramOpens In A New Window, is a unique series of a dozen such trips on the state’s rivers.

These water-based journeys for canoeists, kayakers, and others raise awareness of the environmental, recreational, tourism, and heritage values of rivers.

Visit DCNR’s website for more information about the agency and check out DCNR’s Calendar of Events for events on public lands.

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