The Tribune-Review reported Wednesday that John Linkes, a volunteer active in the Roaring Run and Kiskiminetas River watersheds in Armstrong, Indiana and Westmoreland counties, has received the national River Heroes Award for his conservation efforts from the River Network.
This national award honors only five winners each year who are leaders from the river and water conservation community.
Linkes tests the water, picks up garbage, talks to local government officials and leads anti-litter campaigns — even donning an insect costume to get his point across as the PA Resources Council Litterbug.
In 1999, he started testing the Kiski River, Roaring Run and other tributaries, turning up acid mine drainage — legacy pollution from the region's coal mining history. He especially liked doing aquatic surveys.
Links is a director on the boards of the Roaring Run Watershed Association and the Kiskiminetas Watershed Association; a member of the Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center steering committee and Leechburg Recycling Center; and coordinates the annual Ohio River Sweep for the Kiski River.
He majored in earth sciences in college. Although his career path took him to the steel mills, working for Allegheny Technologies Inc. (formerly Allegheny Ludlum) in Leechburg and then Vandergrift for 40 years.
Past River Heroes Award winners from Pennsylvania include: John Klunk (2004), founder of the Codorus Monitoring Network in York County and David Hess (2002), former Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.
NewsClip:Volunteer Linkes Of Leechburg Honored For Conservation Efforts