POWR also helps organize and support local watershed associations, as well as the groups who lead a dozen sojourns on rivers around the state each year."The number of votes cast this year in the River of the Year selection process is staggering," said POWR Executive Director Janie French. "We congratulate the supporters of the Monongahela River, and thank the thousands of Pennsylvanians who voted. We are excited about this opportunity to showcase the successes and challenges facing the Monongahela and all of Pennsylvania's waterways." There are a number of other organizations working in partnership to support conservation and recreation activities along Monongahela River. Among them is the Brownsville Area Redevelopment Corporation, a community development corporation seeking economic development through outdoor recreation, community stewardship and historical preservation. The corporation nominated the Monongahela for this year's honor and will serve as local organizer for River of the Year activities. "We are all so excited to receive this honor and are blessed by the support of our friends far and near who recall many happy memories along the Monongahela River," said Brownsville Area Redevelopment Corporation Treasurer Norma Ryan. "We are looking forward to many celebrations along the river as our communities join together to show our appreciation." Before joining the Allegheny River to form the Ohio River in Pittsburgh, the Monongahela River flows north 130 miles across the Allegheny Plateau in southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia. With an extensive lock and dam system still in use today, the river serves as an example of how industrial and recreational uses can coexist side by side. Having rebounded from the deadly effects of abandoned mine drainage and unchecked pollution, the Monongahela River carves out a 7,340 square-mile watershed containing woodlands, rolling farmland, active and reclaimed coal mines, and towns rich in the history of the Industrial Revolution. Its often shallow, swift currents gave rise to a redesigned steamboat that revolutionized navigation and opened the nation's heartland to commerce.