Salvaging RiverQuest:Time to step up |

Salvaging RiverQuest:Time to step up

Is RiverQuest about to be scuttled? That’s what board president Jim Roddey says will happen to the long-running and highly acclaimed river education program at the end of June if it can’t find a merger partner and/or a large infusion of operational cash. And what a shame that would be.

RiverQuest began life nearly two decades ago as Pittsburgh Voyager. Along with its Explorer boat that has plied Pittsburgh’s three rivers, it has hosted thousands upon thousands of students from area schools, giving them the kinds of hands-on ecological experiences of which most kids could only dream. This year alone, more than 7,000 students from nearly 100 schools participated.

But the financial realities have not been kind to RiverQuest. Funding sources have dried up. And given that fiscal prudence has been one of Mr. Roddey’s steadfast mantras, he refuses to allow the program to go into hock. RiverQuest will cease operations at the end of the fiscal year on June 30 without help.

The good news is that after the Trib’s Bill Zlatos wrote of RiverQuest’s plight, some have stepped up to the helm to help. The bad news is that much more help is needed and that elusive partner still must be found. And to that end, it’s about time that those who have been given so much along the North Shore — where Explorer docks and now lists (figuratively) — to give back.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Pirates — which benefited from millions of public dollars in stadium subsidies and preferential development rights — surely have the financial wherewithal (if not a sense of shared responsibility) to throw RiverQuest the lifeline it sorely needs and deserves. How about it?

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.