Tags:From the Western North Carolina Alliance:
"Save the French Broad" campaign funds will be used to protect French Broad water quality and build paddle trail
The Save the French Broad Campaign wrapped up a summer long campaign with a rocking grand finale show with the Wailers. Aston “Family Man” Barrett, from the Wailers, said the money that was raised to protect the French Broad River was “for the people.” This summer long campaign smashed its fundraising goal of $20,000 by $16,000, making this the most successful Save the French Broad Campaign to date. This truly was a campaign for the people as hundreds of people contributed to improving water quality in the French Broad River and building the French Broad River Paddle Trail.
This is the fourth year that SweetWater Brewing Company has teamed up with the French Broad Riverkeeper and has worked with numerous other Riverkeeper groups across the Southeast to protect clean water. SweetWater fans in Atlanta are no strangers to the annual Save the Hooch Campaign, which has raised more than $150,000 to support Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s river patrol and water quality programs since its inception in 2006.
Throughout the summer dozens of bars, businesses, and restaurants encouraged the public to “give of their liver to save the river,” by buying $1 or $5 paper Sweetwater fish to support the campaign. Other contributors to the Save the French Broad Campaign padded for 9 days down the French Broad River, sponsored a paddling friend, raced down the whitewater section of the river, or attended the grand finale Wailers show.
The funds from this campaign are already being directed towards building the French Broad River paddle trail and funding water quality initiatives. Two campsites have recently been built along the French Broad River and five more are planned for this fall and spring. This would fully connect over 120 miles of the French Broad River, improving an already world-class paddling destination by adding riverside campsites for overnight trips.
The ultimate goal of the Clean Water Act of 1972, one of America’s most important environmental laws, is to ensure that all streams are fishable and swimmable. The French Broad Riverkeeper has been monitoring hundreds of miles of the Swannanoa River, Hominy, and Mud Creek Watersheds for E. coli bacterial contamination. The test results from these samples show there is much work to be done, but through the contributions from supporters of the Save the French Broad Campaign, the Riverkeeper is actively working to make the goals of the Clean Water Act a reality here in WNC.
The Wailers show was a great way to celebrate the success of the Save the French Broad Campaign, and also to re-energize the public about the importance of protecting our streams and rivers. Looming threats such as the H.R. 2018 bill, which significantly weakens the Clean Water Act, could drag us back down to the days when the French Broad was said to be “too thick to drink and too thin to plow.”
Thanks to supporters of the Save the French Broad Campaign, the French Broad Riverkeeper will continue working towards improving water quality in WNC.