It’s a really exciting time for the Waccamaw River Blue Trail! We have a strong partnership with a local chamber of commerce that has worked over the last several years to promote ecotourism and build support for conservation along the Waccamaw River Blue Trail, South Carolina’s only National Water Trail. To help further improve ecotourism to the Waccamaw River and Georgetown County, we have worked with our partners to connect tourists, the community and area businesses together and demonstrate the importance of the Waccamaw River to the local way of life and economy.
The success of this effort has been fantastic and continues to demonstrate how healthy rivers like the Waccamaw are not only amazing for community livability and sense of place, but are also local economy drivers. This April, Georgetown County is one of the host sites for the 2016 Bassmaster Elite Series tournament, one of the premier freshwater fishing tournament series in the world. Hosting cities have seen economic impacts of more than $2 million. In Georgetown County, tournament water will include the Waccamaw and four additional rivers that are reachable from the launch facility and converge in the Winyah Bay.
While it will be fun to watch what the professionals bring in at the tournament, the community is also taking full advantage of the Waccamaw River’s fishing. Water levels have dropped, and fish are biting left and right. Locals are taking full advantage of this time of year and returning to the best spots along the river, while visitors enjoying the spring weather are experiencing the Waccamaw for the first time. The Waccamaw River Blue Trail map, available at local chamber visitor centers is a great resource to help plan a beautiful paddle or a fishing excursion on the blackwater river.
All of these efforts are aimed at building support for increased river recreation in the region and promoting enhanced conservation along the Waccamaw. Last summer we released a short film featuring the Waccamaw River Blue Trail promoting the exciting opportunities to explore the river and the importance of it to the region. Through partnerships with local businesses and the Chamber of Commerce, we are helping to build a larger and more diverse constituency that recognizes the economic, recreation, and conservation values a healthy Waccamaw River provides the community.