Conway – American Rivers released the results of a recent poll today that was conducted by American Viewpoint in Horry and Georgetown Counties concerning the Waccamaw River. Overwhelming majorities (93% total) in both counties believe it is very or somewhat important to protect the Waccamaw River. The main reasons for protecting the river were because it provides beautiful views, home for wildlife, opportunity for families to spend time outside together, and clean drinking water for local communities
“This poll confirms what we already suspected, that residents are invested in protecting this amazing local treasure,” said Staci Williams, Waccamaw River Blue Trail Organizer, “Through the creation of the blue trail we will protect nature so our families have a safe place to experience the outdoors together.”
Blue trails, the water equivalent to hiking trails, are created to facilitate recreation in and along rivers and other water bodies. Through recreation, these trails often inspire people to protect their local rivers from harm and repair damage from the past. They also have the potential to stimulate local economies, encourage physical fitness, improve community pride, and make rivers and communities healthier. And, because they can result in healthier rivers, blue trails can increase property values, provide cost effective flood control, and reduce infrastructure costs. When polled, majorities in both counties expressed overwhelming support for the Waccamaw River Blue Trail.
The poll also found that strong majorities in both counties support controlling pollution and protecting important natural areas along the Waccamaw River by strengthening laws relating to development, public purchasing of land and offering tax breaks to developers. And, by wide margins, voters said they were more likely to support a candidate for local office who pledged to work to establish the Waccamaw River Blue Trail. This extended across both counties, among men and women, among all age groups, among all partisans, and among all income and education levels.
The complete results can be found here. Two hundred and fifty interviews were conducted in each county. All interviews were conducted by telephone on October 19-21, 2009 using random digit dialing methodology, meaning that all residential phone numbers in each county had an equal chance of being called. The margin of error for the entire study is plus or minus 4.8% at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error for data representing either county is plus or minus 6.3%. Regional, gender, and age quotas were provided to the phone center to ensure the respondents were proportionally representative of the population overall.
This Blue Trail is part of a larger effort. American Rivers is forging partnerships with land trusts, local governments, state and federal agencies, and other local groups to create blue trails in other parts of South Carolina and the country as an innovative way to protect clean water and riverside lands, while promoting recreation, sustainable economic development, and community pride. American Rivers also recently launched the Congaree and Wateree River Blue Trails in South Carolina and published the Blue Trails Guide to help other communities who are interested in developing blue trails.
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit www.americanrivers.org, www.facebook.com/americanrivers and www.twitter.com/americanrivers.