The America’s Great Outdoors Initiative
On February 16, 2011, the Obama Administration released a report detailing its America’s Great Outdoors initiative, which presents the administration’s vision for conservation in the 21st century. The report echoes many of American Rivers’ recommendations.
The report stresses the need for additional river protection and restoration measures nationwide and calls for the creation of new blueways, also known as blue trails or water trails.
A blueway is a dedicated stretch of river that enjoys special clean water safeguards and is a destination for fishing, boating, and other recreation. Just as hiking trails are designed to help people explore the land, blueways help people discover rivers. They provide a fun way to get kids outdoors, connect urban and rural communities to treasured landscapes, and are economic drivers benefiting local businesses and quality of life.
Managing Lands And Waters
The report also recommends managing federal lands and waters in a larger context to promote ecosystem health, while preparing for droughts and other impacts of climate change. And by establishing a Conservation Service Corps, the administration aims to engage youth in land and water restoration.
American Rivers applauds the administration for recognizing the many benefits of healthy rivers. Most Americans live within a mile of a river or stream, so rivers are essential to our health and quality of life. They provide Americans with a great opportunity to experience the outdoors and connect with nature.
American Rivers rallied thousands of our supporters and the members of the 3,000 state and local river groups nationwide to turn out across the country at official and homegrown listening sessions hosted by the administration. Throughout the summer of 2010, from Los Angeles to Orlando, in Bangor and Bozeman, communities and local river groups told their river stories at these sessions, in the media, and online. Read more and see photos of the listening sessions.
They provide unmatched recreation for Americans of all ages, give us clean drinking water, and connect our communities to the natural world. Every American deserves a healthy river!