Why Are Blue Trails Important?
While many rivers have suffered from decades of neglect, pollution, and other ills, rivers are again becoming a focal point for communities and a destination for boating, fishing, and other recreation.
Blue trails not only improve recreation and enhance local economies they connect communities to treasured landscapes and offer a new, popular approach to conserving land and water resources. Many communities that have adopted blue trails are realizing the benefits through reduced cost of stormwater management, restoring and protecting migration corridors for fish and wildlife, and replanting riverside trails to improve water quality and reduce flooding.
Outdoor Recreation Boosts the Economy
According to the Outdoor Industry Foundation, three out of every four Americans participate in active outdoor recreation each year and paddle sports are among the fastest growing segments of the industry. When Americans participate in outdoor activities, they aren’t just having fun and staying fit. They’re also pumping billions of dollars into the economy.
113 million Americans enjoy fishing, paddling, and trail activities every year. These activities alone generate 1.6 million jobs in industries including manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, transportation, and wholesale and retail trade. Case spent by Americans in pursuit of these activities benefit all Americans, generating $20.1 billion in state and federal sales and income tax*.
A wide-ranging report by the private, bi-partisan Outdoor Resources Review Group recommended creating a nationwide system of water trails to protect clean water, and promote recreation, health, and economic growth.