Founded in 1954, American Whitewater is the primary advocate for the preservation and protection of whitewater rivers throughout the United States. Our mission is to "conserve and restore America's whitewater resources and enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely." We accomplish our mission by:
- Protecting freely flowing rivers with the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act;
- Restoring flows to rivers impacted by hydropower dams;
- Negotiating sound river policies that protect flows;
- Advocating for the removal of deadbeat dams;
- Securing public access to our nation's waterways.
We represent a broad diversity of individual whitewater enthusiasts, river conservationists, and more than 100 local paddling club affiliates across America. For more information about and examples of where we're working, see below!
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WHAT AMERICAN WHITEWATER IS WORKING ON...
Wild and Scenic: The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is the strongest tool that we have to protect freely-flowing rivers. As we celebrate recent additions to the Wild and Scenic System (including the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers (WA), and Missisquoi and Trout Rivers (VT)), we'll be continue our work in 2015 to protect rivers in California, the Pacific Northwest, Montana and Connecticut.
Flow Restoration: AW has advocated to restore flows to rivers impacted by hydropower for over 20 years. We've recently seen success on rivers throughout the country, including the West Fork of the Tuckasegee River (NC) and the Upper American River (CA). This year, we'll continue to work to restore flows on rivers like the Yuba (CA) and the Connecticut (VT/NH).
Flow Protection: As big water utilities are proposing new dams and pipelines across the Colorado River Basin, AW is fighting to ensure that our rivers and the recreation opportunities they provide are protected by securing permanent protection and negotiating policies that keep our rivers flowing.
Dam Removal: As we watch the Elwha and White Salmon Rivers (WA) heal after historic dam removals, we continue to seek opportunities to restore more rivers and remove deadbeat dams. We're looking forward to the removal of the Mill Pond Dam on Sullivan Creek (WA) in 2018, and working to remove outdated dams on the Similkameen and Nooksack Rivers (WA).
Access: We're advocating for protecting the public's right to float in places like Colorado, South Carolina and Virginia, and negotiate specific access on rivers across the country. We recently celebrated improved access on Canyon Creek (WA).
Safety: Safety has been a core issue for AW since 1954. We regularly advise legislative bodies and river managers on the best ways to educate whitewater users, which helps everyone enjoy our rivers safely. We are also leaders in accident analysis and maintain a comprehensive database of whitewater accidents that helps to inform river managers on risks associated with whitewater activities.