Route 3 Wave Threatened? (NY)

Posted: 01/16/2002
by Jason Robertson

The Route 3 Wave on New York's Black River is a popular after work park-n-play spot for locals who don't have time to run the whole Black. The other great p-n-p is just below the put-in on the main Black, at Hole Brothers.

January 16, 2002
Mayor Joe Butler
Office of the Mayor
Dulles State Office Building
317 Washington Street
Watertown, NY 13601

Dear Mayor Butler:

It has come to my attention that the City of Watertown is considering modifications to the so-called "Route Three Wave", supposedly to make it into a rodeo spot suitable for expert paddlers. The plan, I understand, is to create a hole for expert training and rodeo. This will destroy a wave which is a great place for a whole range of paddlers from beginners to advanced. It is a rare natural wave that is forgiving and easy-going for most paddlers. Many of us have learned to play boat here.

In addition to the questionable value of destroying this spot for the many for the benefit of the few, there is the uncertainty of even successfully carrying out the engineering. As those of us who follow the sport know, design and engineering of whitewater courses and holes is not a science. The only accepted approach to the problem is trial and error, usually much error, sometimes permanent error. In spite of best design engineering and scale model trials, the courses at Dickerson, MD., the Atlanta Olympic Course, and the Rochester, NY, Lock 32 course required numerous modifications and are still regarded as imperfect or incomplete. There is a very real risk that an attempt to modify Route 3 Wave will destroy it altogether!

Route 3 Wave draws paddlers from all over New York State and eastern Canada throughout the paddling season. We bring substantial revenue and good will to the Watertown area. I don't want to think what could happen to this tourism if Route 3 Wave were to be destroyed and the paddling community infuriated by the loss of one of our treasured resources.

Please stay in touch with the paddling community with your thoughts on this subject. Please leave Route 3 Wave as it is.

Steve Kittelberger
FLOW Paddlers' Club
Publicity Chair

Streamteam member
Kevin Colburn
302 Donnybrook Dr
Asheville, NC 28806-9518