Waccamaw River Blue Trail Kick-off Event This Saturday, June 20

Reporters are invited to attend the kick-off paddle and meet the new Waccamaw River Blue Trail Organizer

June 15th, 2009

<p>Staci Williams, Waccamaw River Blue Trail Organizer, 843-957-2367<br />Caitlin Jennings, American Rivers, 202-347-7550 ext. 3100 </p>

Columbia – American Rivers, along with its partners, Winyah Rivers Foundation’s Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER® and the Pee Dee Land Trust, are hosting the Waccamaw River Blue Trail kick-off this Saturday, June 20. Prior to the paddle there will be brief remarks from Staci Williams, the new Waccamaw River Blue Trail Organizer and special guests Carl Schwartzkopf, Horry County Councilman; Bridgette Johnson, Conway Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President; and other community leaders who will speak to the variety of benefits the trail will provide to communities along the river. Reporters are invited to attend (details are at the end of this release).

This Blue Trail is the water equivalent to a hiking trail. Considered one of the finest black water rivers in the Southeast, the Waccamaw provides multiple benefits including scenic landscapes, diverse fish and wildlife, drinking water supply, recreation and serves as an economic engine for the region.

Working with communities along the Waccamaw, the project will be spearheaded by Staci Williams, the new Waccamaw River Blue Trail Organizer, a position graciously funded through the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation for three years. Williams is based in Conway and previously worked for the Conservation Voters of South Carolina Coast Matters, a group dedicated to promoting conservation education and mobilizing citizens engaged in local policy decisions that affect our way of life. 

“This blue trail will open up some great recreational opportunities so that both Horry and Georgetown County citizens and visitors can reconnect with this valuable community asset,” said Williams.

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 (www.BlueTrailsGuide.org) to help other communities who are interested in developing blue trails.

Where: Conway Marina, 4 Elm Street
When: June 20, 2009
Time: 9:00 AM

A limited number of canoes and kayaks will be available free of charge. Please RSVP to Staci Williams at 843-957-2367 or by email at swilliams@www.americanrivers.org to reserve your boat. Refreshments and snacks will be provided immediately following the paddle.


About American Rivers

About American Rivers

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 200,000 members, supporters, and volunteers.

Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Find your connections at AmericanRivers.org, Facebook.com/AmericanRivers, and Twitter.com/AmericanRivers.