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AW in the NorthEast

American Whitewater has been working for river enthusiasts in the Northeast for decades, with our results being flow and access to many rivers that were for years dry and/or inaccessible. With partner organizations like the Appalachian Mountain Club, Merrimack Valley Paddlers, Kayak and Canoe Club of New York and New England F.L.O.W., AW volunteers are responsible for having created (previously dry) rivers that run on dozens of days per year.

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Moose, Beaver (NY) Dam Relicensings Set to Begin Again

04/06/2021 - by Robert Nasdor

Federal relicensing of 21 hydropower dams in the Adirondacks begins this month on the Moose, Beaver, and Black rivers, home to iconic whitewater boating runs treasured by paddlers throughout the northeast. For the next six years, AW will be at fighting to protect and expand paddling opportunities on these rivers. To support our efforts to restore rivers and our opportunities to enjoy them, AW launced the Adirondacks River Restoration Campaign. To get involved, SIGN UP HERE.

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AW Launches Adirondacks River Restoration Campaign

08/26/2019 - by Robert Nasdor

American Whitewater is launching the Adirondacks River Restoration Campaign to restore and improve river flows for aquatic ecosystems and to improve recreation opportunities across the region. Over the next 10 years, more than 50 hydroelectric dams in New York are scheduled to get new 30 to 50-year federal licenses, creating a once in a generation opportunity to improve river conditions. In the Black River Basin alone, there are more than 20 hydropower dams on the Black, Beaver, and Moose rivers that will begin the relicensing process in the next year, and American Whitewater will need to participate with other partners in order to mitigate project impacts and achieve river restoration goals. Through these efforts, we will restore flows to dewatered river reaches, improve existing flows, enhance public access, and benefit communities throughout the region.

Hoosic River (NY) Access Restored

12/21/2017 - by Robert Nasdor

American Whitewater has restored boater access to the Hoosic River at Schaghticoke through negotiations with Brookfield Renewable, operator of the hydro project. Brookfield had constructed a fence and locked gate that prevented paddlers from accessing the river below the dam. Negotiations with Brookfield over the past year resulted in a resumption of scheduled releases in the spring, and in addition, new procedures for boaters to gain access when natural flows are high enough for boating. 

Protecting Access to New Hampshire Rivers

11/03/2016 - by Robert Nasdor

Northeast boaters can celebrate that another beloved whitewater gem has been protected. Paddlers on the Winnipeseaukee River are now assured that the put-in on the Lower Winni in Northfield, NH will be forever protected thanks to the donation of a parcel from Gloria Blais in memory of her husband Roger. Gloria donated the land to the Town of Northfield for the purpose of assuring that future generations of boaters will have access to the river. Protecting river access to the Winni is part of an ongoing effort by AW in the northeast region to protect river access.

Northeast Boaters Seek To Expand West River (VT) Boating

12/06/2015 - by Robert Nasdor

In response to of the state’s draft basin plan for southern Vermont, American Whitewater and scores of boaters pressed the state to support the expansion of releases on the West River. Restrictions by the Corps of Engineers and Agency of Natural Resources have led to the elimination of nearly all scheduled boating opportunities on the West River over the past two decades, eliminating recreation opportunity and hurting the local economy. AW and its partners have been working to restore these releases.

Deerfield River (MA) Flow Studies to Explore New & Improved Boating Opportunity

12/06/2015 - by Robert Nasdor

In response to requests by American Whitewater, several affiliates, and other stakeholders, FERC directed Brookfield Renewable to study the impact of its hydropower operations on whitewater boating on the Deerfield River in western Massachusetts. Boating groups and our supporters are seeking to determine optimal whitewater boating flows from the Fife Brook Dam and whether changes in hydropower operations would enhance boating opportunities, access and navigation.

AW Responds To Connecticut River Boating Study (MA)

11/18/2015 - by Robert Nasdor

American Whitewater, along with other paddling groups and outfitters, filed comments with FERC responding to the Whitewater Boating Evaluation at Turners Falls on the Connecticut River. The study showed that there is strong demand for boating on this section of the Connecticut River if sufficient flows, scheduled releases, better access, and real-time information are provided. The groups filed the comments in order to provide additional information for the environmental review and to respond to the unsupported statements by FirstLight, the utility performing the study, claiming that there is little demand for boating at Turners Falls.

Bellows Falls (VT) Flow Study Reveals Hidden Whitewater

06/02/2015 - by Robert Nasdor

A hardy group of northeast boaters climbed into the natural river channel below a hydropower dam to participate in a flow study designed to assess whether whitewater flows should be restored to this dewatered river reach on the Connecticut River. While significant obstacles remain, this site has the potential for providing instruction, playboating, and a big water feature that that could be run throughout much of the year and provide a much needed boost to the local economy. 

AW, MVP Protect Land and Access on the Contoocook River (NH)

06/18/2013 - by Robert Nasdor

American Whitewater and Merrimack Valley Paddlers have reached an agreement to purchase a 10-acre parcel fronting on Contoocook River in Henniker, NH. The land serves as an important launch point for whitewater paddlers enjoying the popular section of the river that runs from Hillsborough to Henniker. This section of the Contoocook River contains rapids ranging in difficulty from Class II to Class IV.

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Moose River Video

01/18/2011 - by Mark Singleton

2010 marked the 25th anniversary of protecting the Black and Moose rivers!  View an online video documentary on the Moose River and the early role that American Whitewater played in protecting this amazing river.

08/28/2006 - by Thomas O'Keefe

Associated Projects

Ausable Access (NY)

AW has fought a dam owners attempt to block access to the stunning Ausable Chasm.

Beaver Relicensing (NY)

AW worked on restoring several boating flows to the Beaver River through a relicensing process, which concluded in 1999.

Black River (NY)

AW blocked the construction of a new dam on the Black and later settled for significant mitigation.

Clean Water Act

American Whitewater's advocacy to protect water quality.

Deerfield River (MA)

The Deerfield was one of American Whitewater's first FERC relicensing victory's and remains one of the most impressive and valuable to the paddling community.

Green River (VT)

American Whitewater is working to include recreational releases on this Class IV-V stretch of river through the dam re-licensing process.

Holtwood Dam - Susqehanna (PA)

Dam Owner is proposing to reduce flows and alter channel containing whitewater features as part of a FERC license amendment.

Hoosic River (NY)

American Whitewater negotiated recreational releases on a bypassed reach of the Hoosic River near Albany New York that contains both Class III and Class V opportunities.

Moose River (NY)

AW fought a proposal to dewater the Moose River beginning in 1982, and ultimately secured some of the first recreational releases in the nation.

Saranac River (NY)

AW used dam relicensing to advocate for land conservation, instream flows, and public access.

West Canada Creek (NY)

American Whitewater is working to maintain paddling opportunities on West Canada Creek.

West River (VT)

Paddlers have long enjoyed and defended the few recreational releases on Vermont's West River. New hydro proposals may offer opportunities or impacts.

Associated News


The Upper Nooksack River Recreation Plan (4/10/2015)

Complete Recreation Plan Document with Appendices.

Upcoming Events

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October 2023

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NY, Salmon River Release Lake Ontario,NY runs 06/22/19 - 09/01/19
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Kennebec Releases The Forks,ME runs 05/01/08 - 10/07/17
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Penobscot: Canada Falls Rockwood,ME runs 07/05/08 - 09/21/13
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Magalloway Releases Oxford County,ME runs 06/28/08 - 09/03/17
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Dead River Releases The Forks,ME runs 10/05/13 - 10/01/16
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Ashuelot Race and Release Gilsum,NH runs 05/03/08 - 05/03/08
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Blackwater Releases Webster,NH runs 04/18/08 - 04/20/08
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Millers Releases Erving,MA runs 04/12/08 - 04/14/13
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Lower Otter Brooke Releases Roxbury,NH runs 03/29/08 - 05/04/08
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Westfield Releases Huntington,MA runs 03/28/08 - 04/21/13
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Potential Hoosic River Release (NY) Schaghticoke,NY runs 04/16/08 - 04/16/08
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Suncook Fall Release Barnstead NH,NH runs 10/04/08 - 10/04/08
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West River Release Jamaica,VT runs 04/26/08 - 09/28/13
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Beaver Releases (Moshier Section) Beaver,NY runs 09/01/19 - 09/01/19
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Beaver - Taylorville Section Release Lowville,NY runs 08/31/19 - 09/28/19
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Hoosic River release Hoosic,NY runs 04/27/19 - 04/27/19
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Deerfield, Zoar Gap/Fife Brook Releases Fife Brook,MA runs 07/29/05 - 10/13/19
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Deerfield Dryway/Monroe Schedule Deerfield,MA runs 05/24/08 - 09/15/19
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Bottom Moose Releases Lyons Falls,NY runs 04/21/19 - 10/27/19
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Esopus Whitewater Funfest Phoenicia,NY runs 06/02/12 - 06/03/12
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Rapid River Release Upton,ME runs 07/13/12 - 08/13/17
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Farmington River Release New Boston,MA runs 09/05/04 - 09/28/13
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4th Annual Spring Black Moose Event Lyons Falls, NY,NY runs 05/10/13 - 05/12/13
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Esopus Whitewater Funfest Phoenica,NY runs 06/01/13 - 06/02/13
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1 Turbine Release Glen Spey,NY runs 04/20/13 - 10/05/13
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Deerfield Fest Charlemont,MA runs 07/12/14 - 06/25/17
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Black-Moose Kayak Event Spring Kayak Fest Lyons Falls,NY runs 05/16/14 - 05/18/14
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Whitewater Triple Crown Tarrifville,CT runs 07/22/16 - 07/24/16
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Deerfield Festival Weekend Charlemont,MA runs 06/24/16 - 06/26/16
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Raquette Release Schedule Colton,NY runs 07/09/16 - 09/02/19
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Beaver Releases (Eagle Section) Beaver,NY runs 08/31/19 - 09/28/19
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Black River Festival Watertown,NY runs 07/19/19 - 07/21/19
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Spring Moose Fest Lyons Falls,NY runs 05/24/19 - 05/26/19
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Moose River Festival Old Forge,NY runs 10/18/19 - 10/20/19
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Beaver River Rendezvous Croghan,NY runs 08/30/19 - 09/02/19
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Emperor's Cup Series Lowville,NY runs 05/25/19 - 10/19/19
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Androscoggin Land Trust Canoe and Kayak River Race Auburn,ME runs 06/22/19 - 06/22/19
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Mongaup Glen Spey,NY runs 07/02/23 - 10/28/23
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