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Paddle The Delaware: A River Of Many Moods, Contrasts And Demands

For Immediate Release

April 28,, 2003

(WEST TRENTON, N.J.)  - The Delaware River Sojourn, an annual event highlighting many of the natural wonders created millions of years ago when the river was forcing its way to the sea, will be held June 14-21, 2003.

The theme for this year’s event is "The Delaware: More Than a River."

The journey will begin at Narrowsburg, N.Y., the deepest spot on the non-tidal Delaware. Traveling in canoes and kayaks, the sojourners will pass lush woodlands, home of black bears and white-tailed deer, and towering bluffs where red-tailed hawks float on thermal currents.

They will witness sharp contrasts fashioned by time -- the geological grandeur of the Delaware Water Gap and the concrete stream of cars and rattling trucks on Interstate 80 which abruptly cuts across the river there.

The journey will end at Philadelphia, site of the second largest oil refining-petrochemical complex in the United States. It’s also where a much cleaner Delaware has re-opened a passageway for migrating sports fish like shad and striped bass and lured an increasing number of recreational boaters to its docks and to marinas across the river at Camden.

Indeed, the sojourners will experience a river of many moods, contrasts, and demands.

Over the years, the Delaware River Sojourn has focused mounting attention on the river, creating an awareness of the important role it plays in the lives of the more than seven million people who live in the watershed. High ranking government officials have paddled the Delaware and its tributaries during past sojourns, coming away with a better understanding of the importance of protecting a resource which has so much to offer their constituents.

The 2003 sojourn is being sponsored by Rohm and Haas Company, Sunoco, Reliant Energy, Delaware River Family Campground, Inc., and Driftstone, Inc. Financial support also is being provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds & Rivers (POWR), and the William Penn Foundation.

For more information visit the Delaware River Basin Commission’s (DRBC’s) web site (www.drbc.net) or call the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) at 570-828-2319

The sojourn is suitable for people with varying paddling skills. This year, the 86-mile journey contains river reaches with relatively easy (Class I) and moderate (Class II) rapids. Other stretches feature flat water. On the last day, sojourners will cruise aboard the sailboat “North Wind” and conduct water quality tests in the river and sample plankton.

Sojourns may sign up for the entire eight day trip or for the section or day(s) of their choice. Camping is available.

The non-profit event is arranged by the 2003 Delaware River Sojourn Steering Committee. Its members are: the Academy of Natural Sciences, the American Canoe Association, Bucks County Open Space Partnership, Central Bucks West High School Environmental Club, DRBC, Delaware River Greenway Partnership, Delaware and Raritan Greenway, Gnarly River Women Paddling Club, National Canoe Safety Patrol, National Park Service, Palmyra Cove Nature Park, DCNR, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, PEEC, Pocono Mountains Vacation Bureau, Inc., and POWR.