Vote for the Lackawanna River
PA River of the Year Nominee

VOTE 2018 PA River of the Year

2018 River of the Year Plans


The Lackawanna River flows for 60 miles through Susquehanna, Wayne, Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties.  It confluences with the North Branch Susquehanna River at Coxton Point between Duryea and Pittston in Luzerne County, mid-way between the Cities of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre.  The Lackawanna River has been adversely impacted by the Anthracite coal mining industry, railroad, industrial and urban development over the past 200 years.  With the abandonment of the Anthracite Mines in the 1960’s and the development of modern sanitary treatment works, the river has staged a remarkable recovery.    The Lackawanna now sustains a vibrant cold water “Class A” fishery in its middle and upper reaches.  It attracts more paddlers every year.  The Lackawanna River Citizens Plan of 1989 and the Lackawanna Heritage Plan of 1990 are leading to the development of an extensive River Trail and Greenway system.  There are still many unmet needs for the river’s complete restoration.  The LRCA collaborated with the Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (EPCAMR) and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) in 2012 to produce a Watershed Restoration Assessment Plan to addresses Abandoned Mine Drainage from the Old Forge Borehole, the largest AMD point in the eastern United States.  This AMD point source degrades the lower three miles of the Lackawanna River and contributes 25% of the iron loading in the North Branch Susquehanna River.  This plan has led to an expanding coalition now involving private sector investors and several universities in further collaboration with LRCA to resolve this AMD point source.  All of the public sanitary systems along the Lackawanna are being upgraded to meet Chesapeake Bay Program needs.  The Scranton system is also undergoing a $140 million dollar rebuild to reduce and eliminate Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO’s).  LRCA is leading an outreach to local municipalities to address their Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4).    There are clear and extensive needs for additional open space and natural areas conservation in the Lackawanna Watershed.  There is no publicly supported program of sufficient capacity in the watershed to address these watershed conservation needs.  Having the Lackawanna chosen as River of the Year for 2018 will provide an opportunity to showcase our successes to date and highlight the urgency of addressing our watershed’s un-met needs for open space conservation and informed public involvement.

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