Officials from state and federal agencies, local communities and businesses, and non-profit organizations announced the designation of the White River and its entire basin or watershed, as a National Blueway. The announcement was made Wednesday, January 9, 2013.. The White River is the second watershed to receive such recognition; the first was the Connecticut River.
The Multi-Basin Regional Water Council is hosting their quarterly public meeting on the White River Blueways designation on Friday, February 8, 2013 in Rogers, AR. The meeting will be held in the auditorium at the Center for Nonprofits, 1200 W. Walnut, Rogers, AR 72756. It begins at 10am. The speakers are Keith Weaver of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Jason Milks of The Nature Conservancy, both original partners of the Blueway nomination. The Blueway presentation will last approximately an hour with plenty of time for questions and discussion. The Blueway designation can have a very positive impact on the White River Basin. Here are some links to more information on the Blueway nomination:
National Blueways are chosen because they are nationally significant and highly valued for their recreational, economic, cultural and ecological assets. No new regulations are created as a result of the designation, however National Blueways receive priority consideration for technical and financial assistance to accomplish stakeholder goals for natural resource conservation, outdoor recreation, environmental education and sustainable economic development.
“The White River has great diversity from top to bottom,” said Richard Davies, director of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. “Its blue waters in the Ozarks attract trout anglers and enhance other outdoor recreational activities. In the Delta, its cypress-lined brown waters are known for top-notch bass fishing and world-class duck hunting. And along its entire length, agriculture is a crucial part of the economic picture.”
The White River is also important because it’s one of five commercially navigable rivers in Arkansas. “We are pleased to hear of this designation, and we look forward to being a part of the sustainable economic opportunities the White River provides,” said Gene Higginbotham, executive director of the Arkansas Waterways Commission, which is responsible for developing and protecting waterborne transportation in the state.
Click here to view nomination packet.