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Two Area River Conservationist Non-Profits To Merge

Two area non-profits, Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation and RiverQuest, will merge Sept. 1, officials announced Monday.

RiverQuest Board President Jim Roddey said last year the company would need to merge to continue operating its boat Explorer and other river-based science education programs. Officials said talks began shortly after.

“We’re both river based,” said August Carlino, president of Rivers of Steel. “Our history (is) the rivers and what they meant to Pittsburgh as an industrial system; their story is the rivers and their reclamation post-industrial Pittsburgh."

Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation manages one of 49 Congressionally delegated national heritage areas covering eight Southwestern Pennsylvania counties, including the Carrie Furnaces in Swissvale and Rankin, the Bost Building in Homestead and others. RiverQuest will join the operation debt-free, Roddey said.

“Our only obligation is to keep this program going,” he said.

Officials said a specific business plan to consolidate their different fiscal years and determine what jobs will be kept, consolidated or added is forthcoming.