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HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania, April 30, 2001 - Pennsylvania has kicked off a two month campaign to raise awareness of the ecological and historical importance of the state's waterways.
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) met today with representatives from the Pennsylvania Organization of Watersheds and Rivers (POWR), and organizers of 12 Pennsylvania river sojourns to kick off two months of paddling on almost 760 miles of the Commonwealth's rivers.
River sojourns are multi-day journeys along a river or stream to bring attention to its environmental, economic and recreational importance to Pennsylvanians. Kayakers, canoers, rafters - even bicyclists riding along the water - are encouraged to share in the festivities highlighting the environmental, historical and cultural aspects of the rivers and their surroundings.
Participants in the new Pennsylvania Rivers Sojourn Program gathered along the banks of the Susquehanna to discuss their river awareness trips and to share ideas on how to make the new program a success.
"A river sojourn is the ultimate environmental classroom," DCNR secretary John Oliver said. "You experience the sights, sounds and life of the river and its surrounding communities. I encourage all Pennsylvanians to join one of our many sojourns this year to get up close and personal with a local river."
The Pennsylvania Rivers Sojourn Program, funded through a $60,000 "Growing Greener" grant administered by DCNR, will launch 12 river awareness sojourns, including one on the Juniata River, named by DCNR earlier this year as its "Pennsylvania Feature River of the Year 2001."
The 12 sojourns will pass through almost 300 cities, towns and boroughs. In addition to paddling, participants will engage in programs and entertainment focusing on the culture, history and heritage of the communities.