Thursday, September 19, 2013
NEW SAILING TIME!!!! 12:30 to 4:00 p.m.
NETWORKER ATTENDEES - DISPLAY SPACE IS LIMITED!
CALL 724-776-0150 TO SEE IF THERE IS SPACE AVAILABLE
The Imagination Cruise is Full!!!!
(There is an extensive waiting list at this time.)
Read about last year's trip below.
11 Years and Still Counting on Fun:
Annual Ohio River Watershed Celebration!
It was bound to happen one of these years! After 10 riverboat cruises, this one finally had something no previous event ever did—rain! But the damp weather didn’t dampen the spirits of the hundreds of enthusiastic participants at the Ohio River Watershed Celebration on September 27th! This year's theme, "Our Rivers - Get to the Point,” focused on how the three rivers that course through the Pittsburgh region have shaped the people and events that have influenced this country. The way significant milestones in our history can be traced back as the rivers changed from free flowing and wild to navigable industrial corridors was interestingly explored and discussed. Participants also learned how these once primarily utilitarian resources are being transformed into the life-blood of a new and more diverse and sustainable watershed.
With over 60 poster displays and attendees with a variety of backgrounds, the ORWC brought branches of commerce and industry, history and tourism, and recreation together for networking, education, and fun! Pre-cruise festivities in the morning gave participants the opportunity to see a working model of a lock and dam courtesy of the US Army Corps of Engineers and well as have their photo taken with “Wattley,” courtesy of Duquesne Light! It’s not every day one can see a propane bread truck, propane bi-fuel car, bi-fuel pick-up, Electric Mitsubishi Mie, and a propane school bus! Special thanks to the pre-cruise speakers, who included John Arway, Executive Director of the PA Fish & Boat Commission, and DEP Secretary Michael Krancer and a visit from Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
On board the Empress, 258 students, parents, and teachers became “habitat heroes”, fly fishermen, bat biologists, monarch taggers and fighters of alien invasions, among other things. Thanks to the participating conservation and recreation organizations who facilitated activities aboard the boat, everyone participating on the “Imagination Cruise” learned how to take conservation personally in their watershed. The Carnegie Science Center kicked off the Imagination Cruise with a new assembly called “Take a Hike: Backyard Biodiversity.” Students got an inside look at Rachel Carson’s field notebook, and travelled along with her and other scientists to learn about everything from using wetlands to clean water to the benefits of using biodegradable materials instead of Styrofoam. Following the assembly, participants took to the three decks of the boat to participate in activities with the conservation and recreation groups on board. While having fun at each station, students also filled out Learner’s Logs (for 4th –12th graders) and First Mate’s Fun Pages (for Pre K – 3rd grade). These tools were specially designed to promote interaction with the organizations, to get the students thinking about conservation, and to provide a document of their journey. The stations were full of educational and entertaining activities, including identifying macroinvertebrates to determine stream health, tracking falcons, tagging monarch butterflies, building models of bats, casting a fly rod, and measuring big trees. The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium and the National Aviary also brought live animals for the students to observe.
Meanwhile, aboard the Majestic, participants 18 and over were treated to a spectacular guided narration during the sightseeing tour along portions of the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela Rivers, compliments of Maggie Hall (PA DEP); Geoffrey Goldberg (Author, Bridges: A Postcard History); Dave Plank (PA DEP, retired); and Joe Dinkel (Municipal Authority of West View). Special presentations made during the cruise included Sarah Powell, Education & Advocacy Coordinator for the Nine Mile Run Watershed, who spoke on “Using Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management” and Jack Felbinger, Hydrologist with the Office of Surface Mining, whose talk was entitled “Coal Mining History in Western PA,” as well as the Pro-Angler (FLW) who represented the Marcellus Shale Coalition Three Rivers Challenge.
Watershed Awards were presented by R. John Dawes of The Foundation for PA Watersheds to recognize the positive efforts and impacts of small local groups addressing watershed issues (which often operate on the proverbial shoe-string budget). 4 groups won $500 awards and 4 groups won $250 awards in a fun poster contest: 1st place winners—Independence Conservancy, Paddle Without Pollution, Allegheny Clean Ways, Kiski-Conemaugh Stream Team and 2nd Place Winners—Evergreen Conservancy, Roaring Run Watershed Association, Shade Creek Watershed Association, Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center.
Another highlight of the ORWC was the presentation of the 2012 Environmental Awards. Congratulations to the following winners: Energy Conservation: Mr. Rick Price, Executive Director of Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities; Government Service: Jack Rokavek, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission; Individual: Doniele Russell; and Recreation: Dr. Vincent Troia (Ohio River Trail Council).
We can’t wait to see you all back again for next year’s 12th Annual ORWC!!
To promote watershed stewardship, energy conservation, environmental education and outreach.
To provide networking opportunities that form lasting partnerships among diverse community interests.
To celebrate and encourage environmental initiatives that support the continual recovery of the Ohio River Watershed in Western Pennsylvania and neighboring states through an enjoyable experience on the rivers.
To enhance the national significance, quality of life and the natural resources of the Ohio River Watershed in Western Pennsylvania and neighboring states through an annual Ohio River Watershed Celebration accomplished in partnership with watershed groups, non-profit organizations, government agencies, businesses, industry, citizens and students.