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ACA Supports Letter Appropriating Monies for the National Blueways System
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Dear Chairman Reed and Ranking Member Murkowski:

On behalf of our millions of members and supporters nationwide, we write to urge your support in appropriating $3.3 million in the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service budget for the National Blueways System.

The National Blueways System recognizes and supports a new generation of river and watershed partnerships that connect communities to our shared natural heritage, to outdoor recreation opportunities, to sustainable economies, and to each other.

The program focuses on large rivers and watersheds, which cross multiple and diverse geographical and jurisdictional boundaries. Participation in the National Blueways System is entirely voluntary, locally-led and non-regulatory, with no effect on private property rights, water rights or governmental authorities.

The National Blueways Program promotes cooperation and collaboration among public and private partnerships and across jurisdictions. The program promotes government efficiency by encouraging federal agencies to work together to utilize successful programs that already exist. The program coordinates technical assistance and expertise from a number of federal and state agencies. For a river to be designated it requires both federal and state support.\

Outdoor recreation is an important economic engine for the U.S. and sustainable economic development and outdoor recreation are major components of the National Blueway Systems. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation annually generates:

  • 6.1 million American jobs
  • $646 billion in outdoor recreation spending each year
  • $39.9 billion on federal tax revenue
  • $39.7 billion in state/local tax revenue

With 3.5 million rivers across our country, we have only scratched the surface when it comes to establishing Blueways. There is tremendous potential to expand existing trails and create new ones.

We take pride in our rivers and natural areas and share a responsibility to leave the next generation healthier and better connected to our nation’s the great outdoors. 

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