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From Canoes To Tall Ships: Passing The Paddle

For Immediate Release

June 22, 2000

(PHILADELPHIA) - Elizabeth Murphy, chief operating officer of the Delaware River Port Authority, on Friday (June 23) will be presented with an autographed canoe paddle, a symbol of the collective spirit of participants in the Delaware River Sojourn.

The paddle has been signed by scores of sojourners and by well-wishers who greeted them on their 200-mile canoe trip that began last Saturday at the Delaware River's headwaters in Hancock, N.Y. They will spend their seventh day here and in Camden, boarding two tall ships that will depart Friday morning to hook up with the rest of the OpSail 2000 fleet.

The paddle will be presented to Ms. Murphy by Sandra Schultz, assistant superintendent of the National Park Service's Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River and chair of the Delaware River Sojourn Steering Committee. The mid-afternoon ceremony will take place at Penns Landing after the sojourners disembark the Jolly II Rover, a 75-foot topsail schooner that is permanently berthed at the Penns Landing Marina.

The passing of the paddle is a symbolic gesture to highlight the camaraderie of the sojourn and to emphasize that the non-tidal reach of the river traveled by the canoeists is simply an extension of the tidal portion plied by the tall ships.

"It is one river system," noted Carol R. Collier, executive director of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). "What happens upstream impacts the river downstream. As such, it must be managed as one water body."

The Delaware River Sojourn combines canoeing, camping, and educational programs. The paddlers will end their journey on Saturday with a riverside picnic in Delaware. The Delaware River Basin also includes portions of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

Sojourn sponsors include the DRBC, Rohm and Haas, PPL Corporation, Public Service Electric & Gas (PSEG), and PECO Energy.

Members of the Delaware River Sojourn Steering Committee which organized the event are the American Canoe Association, the DRBC, the Delaware River Greenway Partnership, the Heritage Conservancy, Kittatinny Canoes, Inc., the National Canoe Safety Patrol, the National Park Service, the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Inc., the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Pocono Environmental Education Center, the Pocono Mountains Vacation Bureau, and the Upper Delaware Council, Inc.


Contact: Clarke Rupert 609-883-9500 ext. 260