French Broad River Paddle trail grand opening event on June 9

SAVE THE FRENCH BROAD 2012
Grand Opening of French Broad River Paddle Trail

ASHEVILLE – During the month of June, the fishing will be good throughout the French Broad River Watershed, as more than 20 bars, restaurants and businesses will sell “fish” to their customers.
Paper fish, that is – encouraging customers to “give of your liver to save the river.”

For more than five years, the Western North Carolina Alliance and Sweetwater Brewery have partnered on this campaign to raise money to help clean up the French Broad River and to build the world-class French Broad River Paddle Trail.
WNCA will officially open the French Broad River Paddle trail on June 9.

A group of paddlers will join us to get a firsthand look at eight new campsites that have been constructed along the French Broad River, as they paddle some 115 miles from the headwaters of the river into Tennessee.
Over the past year, the Western North Carolina and host of partners such as REI, Parsec Financial, and more than 150 volunteers have cleared invasive species, constructed picnic tables, built rock stairs, planted trees, and put together fire rings to create seven out of eight new campsites along the French Broad River.

“This work has transformed many areas of overgrown invasive species into beautiful riverside camping spots,” said paddle trail volunteer Ray Jones.
WNCA’s French Broad Riverkeeper, Hartwell Carson, agreed. He also touted the benefits of the new paddle trail.

“Paddle trails can generate significant income for their local communities as well as encourage the continued cleanup of the French Broad River,” Carson said.

The campsites are all paddle in-only sites spaced about 12-15 miles apart. Most of the sites are located on private land with reservations made through the Alliance atwww.wnca.org/paddle.

The float trip will also allow WNCA to monitor the water quality of the river by taking water and sediment samples to determine the impact of the local coal burning power plant on the water quality and fish in the river.

The campaign will kick off at the Mountain Sports Festival on May 26. All proceeds of Sweetwater Beer sold that day will benefit the campaign. The campaign will also include a paddle-a-thon where the public can help raise money, as well as through dozens of other events through the French Broad River Watershed.

Stay tuned and see you on the river!

SAVE THE FRENCH BROAD 2012 EVENTS
May 26 – Daylong kickoff at the Mountain Sports Festival
May 26-July 4 – Buy Your Paper Fish to Save the French Broad. Look for fish in more than 20 bars, restaurants and businesses around town. They can be purchased for $1, $5, or $10.
June 1 – Beer Hopper Bus Tour
June 9-17 – Save the French Broad Float, a nine-day float down 115 miles of the French Broad River
June 28 – Bruisin Ales Sweetwater Tasting
July 22 – Raft Race
Grand Finale Concert – TBA
Learn more and stay up to date by visiting www.wnca.org or www.savethefrenchbroad.com.


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