Delaware • New Jersey • Pennsylvania
New York • United States of America
For Immediate Release
May 6, 2002
(WEST TRENTON, N.J.) - The Delaware River Sojourn, held to celebrate a waterway that cuts a water trail through American history, will be held May 31 through June 8, 2002.
The annual event attracts paddlers from all walks of life - grandparents, children, teachers, government officials. Many are folks who simply want to trade in the cacophony of cyberspace and life's other frenetic distractions for a peaceful day or two on the water.
To showcase the entire river's myriad attractions, sojourners can spend time on the upper Delaware, the Middle Delaware, and the estuary (the tidal reach).
Pick a day, maybe two, or all eight and become a "through-tripper," one who becomes fully immersed in the camaraderie engendered by a week-long joint venture with nature and the friendships that endure until next year's trip ... and far beyond.
To obtain more information on this year's sojourn visit the Delaware River Basin Commission's (DRBC's) web site at www.drbc.net (registration forms are available on site), or call the Delaware River Greenway Partnership (DRGP) at 908-996-0230.
Partial funding for the event came from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), which named the Delaware the Commonwealth's Feature River of the Year for 2002. The Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) lent administrative support.
Other sojourn sponsors: Rohm and Haas Co.; SUNOCO; William Penn Foundation; the DRBC; Exelon; Princeton Hydro; PPL; Aventis-Pasteur; Water Resources Association of the Delaware River Basin; Mirant Corp.; Delaware Family Playground; Driftstone on the Delaware Campground; and Jersey Paddler.
Over the years, the Delaware River Sojourn has focused attention on the river, creating a growing awareness of the important role it plays in the lives of the more than seven million people who live within the watershed.
The title for the 2002 sojourn is "The Delaware: A Revolutionary River." The event is held in June in conjunction with American Rivers Month.
The Delaware, indeed, has witnessed its share of revolutions.
George Washington and his Continental Army crossed its ice-choked waters on Christmas night, 1776, ambushing a party of Hessian troops in Trenton. It was a turning point in the Revolutionary War.
Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley helped jump start America's Industrial Revolution. It was the power of water that fueled the valley's renaissance in mechanization - swift currents turning the water wheels that made the factories run.
Three canals converged in Easton, providing passageways for shipping anthracite coal to Philadelphia and New York. Water and coal helped transform these and other East Coast cities into bustling hubs of heavy industry and commerce.
Timber played a role, too, water its deliverance. Log rafts rode the spring freshets to markets located along the lower Delaware River where the vessels were disassembled and the timber was used to make furniture and in the hand-laying of ships' hulls. Stout logs became masts for warships like the U.S.S. Constitution ("Old Ironsides"), built in Philadelphia's shipyards for the fledgling U.S. Navy.
The sojourn is planned by the Delaware River Sojourn Steering Committee. Members are:
Academy of Natural Sciences; American Canoe Association; Bucks County River Country; Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor; Delaware and Raritan Greenway; Delaware Canal State Park; the DRBC; the DRGP; Kittatinny Canoes, Inc.; National Canoe Safety Patrol; National Park Service - the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area; New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection; Open Space Partnership; Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Inc.; the DCNR; Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; the POWR; Pocono Environmental Education Center; Pocono Mountains Vacation Bureau, Inc.; Princeton Hydro; Upper Delaware Council, Inc.