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Sojourn swiftly approaching

June 1, 2011

The opportunity to paddle one of the last free-flowing rivers in America as part of one of the oldest river sojourns in the nation will soon be here when the 17th Annual Delaware River Sojourn transpires on June 18-25. Early bird savings are still available to those who register by June 5.

The Delaware River Sojourn combines the experiences of guided paddling excursions with interpretive programs, camping and camaraderie. Participants may sign up for the entire eight-day trip or for the day(s) of their choice. This year’s theme of “River of Life” will focus programming on the river’s ecology and the variety of life that the river sustains.

The non-profit, annual event is organized by a steering committee comprised of representatives from federal, state and local agencies, non-profit organizations and individual volunteers, all of whom work and/or live within the Delaware River Basin.

“It’s important for people to experience firsthand the beauty, history and recreational value of this irreplaceable economic resource,” said Troy Bystrom of the Delaware River Sojourn Steering Committee. “The unique community that develops among river sojourners is amazing. Whether you bring your entire family or come alone, everyone is welcome.”

In 2010, the Delaware River was named by the national conservation group American Rivers as the nation’s most endangered river due to the potential impacts of natural gas extraction.

In 2011, the Delaware has the distinction of being Pennsylvania’s River of the Year. This title has been bestowed on a Commonwealth river annually since 1983 and helps raise awareness about the importance of rivers, their conservation needs and their recreational and economic impact on watershed communities. Sojourn programming will also highlight this honorary designation and will include recognition of individuals and organizations that are working to protect the river for future generations.

Nearly 75 miles of the main stem Delaware River will be paddled in 2011, split into daily trips ranging from nine to 14 miles. This year’s sojourn will also include a 10-mile paddle on the Lackawaxen River, a tributary to the Delaware River and also Pennsylvania’s River of the Year in 2010.

“The educational programs on the trip, along with the evening campfires and events, make the Delaware River Sojourn a one-of-a-kind trip,” said Dejay Branch, another steering committee member. “Take a ‘tech break’ and spend some time with family and friends exploring the historic and cultural riches of the Delaware River.”