The online National Whitewater Inventory (NWI) is one of American Whitewater’s most valuable assets, in terms of fulfilling our stewardship goals and in encouraging the safe enjoyment of our nation’s rivers. We are constantly working to enhance the river beta our army of volunteers provides in the inventory, and the ways that beta is shared and received. Nearly two years ago, American Whitewater was awarded a grant from the United States Coast Guard to update our National Whitewater Inventory and accident database, and to incorporate a responsive design and improved user interface into our river pages. We used this grant as the basis for making design and functional upgrades across our website, the first phase of which will be released at the tail-end of December 2018.
If you haven't started already it's time to start planning for that big multi-day trip you've been wanting to do. American Whitewater's permit database can help you find the information you need.
American Whitewater is pleased to announce our 2018 Holiday Membership Offer – a one year AW membership paired up with our 2019 AW calendar or AW Silipint Cup. . .and all for just $45! Giving a great gift and supporting your favorite non-profit at the same time. . . great river karma!
Federal Coast Guard Law is set to change for the better, allowing throw ropes as a “type of life saving equipment,” in lieu of throw cushions under rafting regulations on federally managed whitewater rivers across the country. On November 27, 2018, the "Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018" headed to the President's desk for his signature.
It is looking like another great year to be a paddler in the Southeast! Over the past two decades American Whitewater has worked with affiliate clubs and partners to negotiate an awesome array of scheduled releases on river reaches previously dewatered by hydropower dams. Each year we help schedule these releases in an integrated manner that aims to maximize their recreational value. Read on to see the great line up for 2019!
Please welcome our newest staff member, Bethany Overfield. Bethany is stepping into the large shoes being vacated with the retirement of Carla Miner. Both Bethany and Carla are working together through the month of December to ensure a smooth membership services transition.
American Whitewater is set to come out swinging in 2019, protecting rivers and access, restoring flows, and creating new ways to provide the beta you need to get out and paddle, but we can’t do it without your memberships and donations to keep our work on track. American Whitewater is your true bipartisan river recreation and conservation organization working for your interests and creating opportunities for you to spend time on the river. We know that protecting and restoring rivers, and our access to them, creates opportunities to spend time on the river, and we believe that when we spend more time with rivers, we become better stewards of rivers. Take a moment to see what your contribution will support in every whitewater region across the country in our 2018 Winter Update.
For the past few years, the staff of America Whitewater has joined with a number of our members to participate in a four-day float trip on the Rogue River in southern Oregon. This trip has been a great opportunity to connect with members in ways that build a lasting understanding of the role of recreation in fostering a stewardship ethic. As one of the original eight Wild and Scenic Rivers in the country, the Rogue is an outstanding classroom for American Whitewater’s river stewardship program.
American Whitewater joins the Outdoor Alliance, Access Fund, The Conservation Alliance, and Outdoor Industry Association in support of the proposed Emery County Public Land Management Act of 2018. Legislators actively engaged the recreation community and AW has been working for several years to make sure the Act does as much as it can to protect whitewater recreation and rivers in Utah, including designating a section of the Green River as Wild and Scenic. We are happy to report that the bill is moving forward and that if passed will designate 63 miles of the Green River, including Labyrinth Canyon as a Wild and Scenic River.
Colorado Gives Day is on December 4 this year and is fast approaching! Go here to schedule your online donation to support American Whitewater's Colorado River Access Program. All donations made to American Whitewater on Colorado Gives Day (December 4) will be put towards our River Access Program in Colorado. American Whitewater works to improve river access and public safety throughout the state by working with landowners and managers, paddlers, law enforcement, and lawmakers to understand Colorado's river access laws and the ongoing threats to public safety. Thank you for your support!
Thanks to an organization wide effort to provide transparency and operate efficiently, Charity Navigator awarded American Whitewater with its ninth consecutive 4-star rating. Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that American Whitewater adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way. Only 2% of the nonprofits Charity Navigator rates have received nine consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that American Whitewater outperforms most other charities in America. This “exceptional” designation from Charity Navigator differentiates American Whitewater from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust and support.
Each year American Whitewater’s membership ratifies Board of Director members to serve three-year terms. These candidates volunteer to serve on the American Whitewater Board. Current American Whitewater members can cast their votes through Midnight Pacific Time, December 15th.
The U.S. Forest Service has recently initiated a process to develop a Comprehensive River Management Plan for the 27 miles of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River and the entirety of the Pratt River that were designated Wild and Scenic in 2014. Paddlers are encourage to provide input online and/or attend the planning workshops planned for October 11th.
The Vermont Superior Court sided with American Whitewater in a long-running dispute with the state over whitewater boating on the Green River in Morrisville. The Court overturned state restrictions that would have eliminated any meaningful opportunity for boaters to enjoy this extraordinary river and required scheduled releases in a ground breaking decision.
American Whitewater is pleased to announce the creation of an endowment to promote safety education and outreach. The endowment will support “promoting whitewater safety, responsible on-river behavior, safety education and outreach, and maintenance of the American Whitewater Safety Code and Whitewater Accident Database.’ Anyone wishing to add to the fund can simply make a donation to American Whitewater here and include safety education in the comment field of the donation.
This past fall American Whitewater met with Ohiopyle State Park managers to discuss possible updates to their whitewater paddling regulations. The first topic was to change the rules governing raft sizes at different water levels to recognize the capabilities of self-bailing rafts. Shorter self-bailing boats will now be allowed to run the river at high water. Some small changes to the regulations will make Ohiopyle Falls more accessible to paddlers. A change in the way the gauge is interpreted should make the falls "legal" on more days. Although whitewater paddlers are only one part of the vast public that visits the park, every effort was made to accommodate them while avoiding user conflicts and safety hazards. Special thanks goes to Ken Bisbee, Ohiopyle State Park Operations Manager and John Hallas, a former Ohiopyle State Park Operations Manager who is now Director of State Parks. Click here to read the updated Ohiopyle River Regulations:
It is looking like another great year to be a paddler in the Southeast! Over the past two decades American Whitewater has worked with affiliate clubs and partners to negotiate an awesome array of scheduled releases on river reaches previously dewatered by hydropower dams. Each year we are part of a process to schedule these releases in an integrated manner that aims to maximize their recreational value. Check out the outstanding line up for 2018.
On November 8th, 2017, the House passed H.R. 3043, the “Hydropower Policy Modernization Act.” H.R. 3043 undermines the current hydropower licensing process, which is a key tool for protecting and restoring rivers impacted by privately and municipally owned and operated dams. The bill moves to the Senate next.â€¨â€¨ You can help by reaching out to your Senators and encouraging them to stand up for rivers as they consider hydropower legislation.