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this issue Paddle Green Program P.1 The ACA’s “Best of” Stewardship Initiatives__

Fast Facts: 

80% comes from land based sources

More than 60% is comprised of plastics

33% of plastic products are single use and 85% of plastics are not recycled

and Grassroots Change P.2-3

6.14 million tons of debris enter marine environments each year

Most plastics never fully “go away” but breakdown into microplastics (less than 5mm long)

I want to get involved! If you are in a region that the Paddle Green Program is scheduled to visit, register

National News and Water Trails P.4-5 Words from the National Office P.6

Paddlers for Healthier Oceans As the ACA’s revitalizes its stewardship missions one

community development program will educate, equip,

issue in particular seems to standout as being increas-

and encourage local boaters to paddle sustainably.

ingly important: marine


summer of 2012 that will be executed with oversight

million tons of debris are estimated to enter marine envi-

from the Stewardship Coordinator at the National Office

ronments annually. The United Nations Joint Group of

and volunteers from regional paddling clubs and part-

Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution has

ners. Scheduled events include:

estimated that land-based sources can account for up to




80% of the world’s marine pollution. Increasing efforts to

Celebrate the Rappahannock

Fredericksburg, VA

June 9

LOVE the Lake

Lake George, NY

July 20-22

Clean Water Paddle— in partnership with NorthBay

North East, MD to the Harbor

August TBD

Future Stewards Cleanup at the National Paddlesports Conference

Charleston, SC

Nov 3

remove debris and litter in freshwater streams and rivers, prior to entering coastal or marine environments, has the potential to make a tremendous impact.

online at or call Cate at the National Office! If the ACA isn’t currently scheduled to come to you give us a call and we can help you

The ACA will spearhead a series of cleanups in the

According to the National Academy of Sciences, 6.14

Who better to tackle this growing global issue than the ACA? As paddlers we already paddle in marine environments or recreate on all the waters that eventually flow into them. And with an estimated 50 million people pad-

organize your own cleanup.

dling annually, small acts of good on-water stewardship

“We as paddlers are in a unique position to add a

Remember, whether it’s an

can really add up!

‘corrective stroke’ to the marine debris problem,” says ACA Executive Director, Wade Blackwood. “Not only

entire watershed or just a few paddling buddies, every bit

If 1/10 of those who are estimated to paddle each year

does the ACA want the paddling community to under-

makes a difference!

pledged to collect 1 bag of trash during 1 paddle, 37.5

stand the severity of the issue, but realize paddlers have

million tons of debris would be removed from our na-

an opportunity to significantly

tion’s rivers and streams!

decrease the amount of




bris flowing into oceans today.


This year, the ACA will pilot its first ever Paddle Green

A little effort from paddlers will

Program. Designed to mobilize the recreation communi-

make an enormous impact on

ty to proactively create healthier waters, the ACA

the waterways we cherish.”

Did you know…

The ACA: a longstanding history of conservation

World Water Day is March 22nd? Created in 1992 by the United Nations Conference on Environment and


Development (UNCED), World Water

camaraderie for exploration of waterways. Today,

Day is held annually on 22 March as a

exploration and good stewardship have become

means of focusing attention on the

synonymous and remain important components of

importance of freshwater and

the ACA and its history! Check out some of our Top 10 initiatives from the past two decades!

advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.


As paddlers, water conservation is

in 1880, the ACA was founded on

The ACA worked with local stake-

holders, conservation organizations, and Senator Warner to assist in the removal of the Embrey Dam in 2004. Removing the Embrey Dam made the Rappahannock River the longest free-flowing river into the Chesapeake Bay.

something that is intimately related to the sports and environments that we love the most.

10 T

hanks to several dedicated

ACA volunteers, partnerships with American Whitewater, and several other user groups, the Dillsboro Dam on the Tuckasegee River was removed in 2003. Removal of the dam created an unimpounded stretch of river nearly 30 miles long to be enjoyed by paddlers.

So what can you do? Not everyone can save the world, but we can all do our part to contribute! Here are some simple tips for you to help conserve water (and lower your bills) in your home! 1.


rotecting the waters

we paddle is one of the ACA’s top priorities. In the 1990s, the ACA was involved in 24 cases regarding Clean Water Act Enforcement.


Challenge yourself to 5 minute showers


Bean to provide the Club Fostered Stewardship (CFS) Program to help support grassroots stewardship efforts. To date, 81 projects have been funded by the ACA with more than $70,000.

Water saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators


water with every flush 4.

Install a rain barrel to help with your soft water uses



Use a float booster (or make one with a bottle and rocks) to save

Use native plants and elements of low-impact development (like rain gardens or living shorelines) in your landscaping


ince 2002, the ACA has partnered with L.L.



e value all of our national parks

and natural landscapes, which is why the ACA urged the FWS to adopt Vision and Goals outlined in the Draft CCP/IES for ANWR and to recommend a Wilderness designation for the Arctic Refuge's Coastal Plain Wilderness Study Area.

n 2006, the ACA helped to

he ACA works to build the ca-

pacity of newly formed organizations, like this Minnesota SUP non-profit, to conduct stewardship initiatives and promote their mission and events.


found Outdoor Alliance with six other outdoor recreation nonprofits. Together, we work to ensure the conservation and stewardship of our nation’s land and waters through the promotion of sustainable, human-powered recreation. he ACA has been involved

with litigation against the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) for violations of the Clean Water Act since 2002. A legal decree was established forcing WASA to meet a combined sewer overflow (CSO) capacity of 460 million gallons per day by 2008. Efforts to meet that standard are still ongoing.


ith our OA partners, the ACA


ince 1974, the ACA has been

has been active in commenting on the Colorado Roadless Rule and ensuring that conservation efforts are “as strong or stronger” than 2001 rules.

involved in legal battles opening up access on the Chattooga. In 2010, USFS’ dismissal was rejected, allowing for the case to move forward. The ACA and AW continue to actively seek the access that paddlers deserve on the Chattooga.

Meet some of our 2012 CFS Grant recipients! Great Rivers Paddlers Club and the City of Prairie du Chien, WI

Florida Pa ddl ing T ra ils As s oc ia t ion, 2 0 1 2 CF S G ra nt Re c ipie n ts

Effecting Change on a Grassroots Level The ACA is proud to be able to help local paddling clubs and organizations to help improve their waters and make this world a better place to paddle! Through funds provided by L.L. Bean, the ACA's Club Fostered Stewardship (CFS) Program has provided nearly $70,000 to 81 different stewardship initiatives since its inception in 2002.

ment, ramp construction for adaptive Become a part of this growing legacy of paddlers. stewardship and apply for your grant today! Grants range from $100-$1,000. While 2011 set a high bar, the ACA is Applications are accepted on a rolling excited to have continued this partner- basis and are available while funds last, ship with L.L. Bean and to fund many so get yours in today! more exciting projects on waterways across the country! The 2012 grant Visit for more decycle is already well underway with five tails. CFS Grant Recipients and more appliIntended to encourage paddling clubs cations rolling in! to take an active role in protecting and improving the nation's rivers, lakes and So far, 2012 initiatives demonstrate coastlines, the CFS Grant program incredible promise with projects that provides funding to local and regional include revitalizing a waterfront park, paddling clubs that undertake steward- building capacity on the Raritan Bay to increase urban water paddling and ship initiatives on their waterways. stewardship, cleanups across various In 2011, funded projects ranged from states and types of water, and assisting source-to-sea cleanups, community partnerships between state and local development, and engaging at-risk agencies to install signage along 60 youth in invasive species removal, to miles of the Delaware River. improvements in access, trail develop-

"The City of Prairie du Chien's efforts to increase canoeing and kayaking on the Mississippi River have been greatly improved with the announcement of a $1,000 grant from the ACA." —Mike Ulrich, Prairie du Chien Park and Recreation Director

Florida Paddling Trails Association (FPTA), FL

The FPTA is a statewide association of paddlers, clubs, outfitters, working together to develop water trails and protect the environments surrounding them. The Raritan Bay Paddlers, NJ

Have Stewardship events? Let us help! The ACA’s online event calendar now includes Stewardship Events! Looking for events in your area? Recruiting volun-

"The Raritan Bay Paddlers Club is the first local community paddle club on the Lower Raritan. Everyone’s support,

teers for a stewardship activity on your waters? Post

including the groundbreaking support

your event on our calendar to reach the many pad-

by the ACA, contributes to an energized

dlers that frequent the ACA website! Events posted

partnership to revitalize the Raritan into a great American river. Thanks again."

to our site may also be featured on our ACA Water

- Denise Nickel, Middlesex County

Blog and advertised on our many social media out-

Improvement Authority


Visit to submit an event


Meet our Interns!


National News:

Through our internship programs, the ACA is fortunate to be able to utilize the many skills and talents of students and recent graduates, as well as provide them with professional experience and development to enhance their futures!

Krystal Hawkins is currently a Geographic Information System Certificate student at the University of Mary Washington and will be working as a Cartography Intern with the ACA for the spring semester. She recently

Opposing Wastewater in the Edisto River—The ACA has been working in conjunction with the South Carolina Audubon Society, Sierra Club, Friends of the Edisto, and the Palmetto Paddlers to oppose an agreement between Saluda County Water and Sewer Authority (SCWSA) and the town of Batesburg-Leesville (BL) that would allow for an additional 1 million gallons per day (MGD) of wastewater be transferred to the BL Wastewater Treatment Plant and discharged into Duncan Creek, a tributary of the Edisto River. Combined with the current discharge rates, this additional 1 MGD would exceed the permitted discharge capacity of the plant in during the wet season, making the Edisto vulnerable to raw sewage in times of overflow. The Edisto and the longest free-flowing blackwater river in the United States and iconic of the South Carolina Lowcountry. Protecting Public Lands in Florida— The ACA recently opposed Florida’s HB 1103, which would redefine the present “Ordinary High Water Line.” Redefining the high water line would result in huge transfers of publicly owned land along the State's rivers, lakes and streams into private ownership, amounting to the loss of thousands of acres of land that now belong to the people of Florida and the many paddlers and anglers who enjoy those waters.

graduated from UMW with a degree in Geography and became familiar with the ACA through our certification program to be a kayak guide in the Outer Banks.

Outdoor Alliance 2011 Partnership Summit, Golden, CO (Dec 69, 2011) As one of the founding members of Outdoor Alliance, the ACA met with partners AW, AHS, Access Fund, Winter Wildlands Alliance, and IMBA for the first ever Partnership Summit in Colorado. Bringing outdoor recreation enthusiasts, non-profit organizations, conservation groups, and representatives from various government agencies together, the summit served as a platform for discourse and successful partnership strategies in managing the resources we all care about. “When people think of public lands, it’s too often that they focus on the same old argument of recreation versus extraction,” says Adam Cramer, Policy Architect for OA. “This event brings leaders together to figure out how to strike the best balance of land use and protection.”

Ford Peterson is a senior biology and computer science major at the University of Mary Washington. An avid backpacker, hiker, snowboarder, and fisherman, Ford is excited to be working with the ACA to help improve

Highlights from the event included welcoming remarks from Will Shafroth (Counselor to the Sec. of Interior) and keynote addresses by Jed Weingarten (Photographer/ whitewater kayaker) and Peter Metcalf (CEO/President of Black Diamond Equipment).

Moratorium on mining in Grand Canyon (9 Jan) Secretary Salazar formally signed a 20-year moratorium, the longest allowed by law, on new uranium and other hard rock mining claims on a million acres of federal land around the Grand Canyon. Salazar said it was "a serious and necessary step" to preserving the canyon, an American natural icon, and the river that runs through it. New Forest Planning Rule (26 Jan) Collaboration and a greater reliance on science are the keys to the Obama administration's new guidelines in managing about 193 million acres of national forest and juggling the competing interests of industry and conservation groups. Plastic Bottle Ban in Grand Canyon National Park (6 Feb) The Grand Canyon National Park will end the sale of water sold in disposable bottles within 30 days, eliminating up to 30% of their waste stream and setting a precedent for sustainability within the National Park System. 2013 Federal Budget demonstrates Continued Emphasis on Outdoor Recreation (14 Feb) With a focus on outdoor recreation and renewable energy, President Obama today requested $1.1 billion in appropriations for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management in Fiscal Year 2013. With many budget cuts being made, the Dept. of Interior’s budget remained consistent with 2012 funding. Also included in the budget is a new Rivers Initiative to develop restoration and recreation initiatives on rivers across the country.

EARTH DAY MEDIA CONTEST! Celebrating YOUR good stewardship! Send us your best photos or videos of stewardship activities on the water by April 18th, and worthy submissions may receive an ACA Quick Dry Shirt or Hat!

our Water Trails system by developing a more user-friendly database.

Be sure to follow us online, to see entrants and winners!


Keeping up-to-date with the latest in River Management. The ACA has been accepted to present at two of the highest recognized conferences for river management this year!

Blueways: Greening our Waters Over the past decade, participation in outdoor recreation has increased and is projected to experience continued growth. What does this mean outdoor recreation enthusiasts and the environments we love to play in? It provides us with leverage to protect those areas that we enjoy. In fact, studies have shown that outdoor recreation participation serves as a mediator effect for the correspondence of environmental attitude to behavior and action. Increased participation also equates to increased access and more developed infrastructure to accommodate this growth. For paddlers, developing a water trail is often one of the best ways to do this. Water trails, also referred to as “blueways,” are modeled like many trails that you have undoubtedly hiked, biked, or traversed before. They provide an established corridor between specific locations on lakes, rivers, and ocean environments and encourage recreation on the water. While every water trail is different, the basic components include a safe put-in and take-out, parking, restrooms, and sometimes day-use or overnight camping areas. They also provide an excellent resource for disseminating information about the waterway, safety, environmental information, and messages of stewardship.

Water trails provide a host of tangible economic, ecological, and social benefits to the surrounding community with a relatively low investment. They create a venue for nature-based tourism and help to create new opportunities for businesses. A 2005 study revealed that in rural areas, those with an increase in natural amenities experienced a decrease in income inequity. Increased access to rivers can help diversify local economies and bridge income gaps. Additionally, water trails help promote healthy lifestyles: both for the paddler and for the environments we love to paddle in. The newly formed America’s Great Outdoors initiative sets a precedent that emphasizes the importance of an active lifestyle and an appreciation the environment and natural resources around us. To protect those resources, water trails can serve as a conduit for local conservation initiatives. They involve improved planning efforts and cooperative partnerships among stakeholders and government agencies, creating a platform for conservation and management approaches. Often, these partnerships and establishment of a water trail result in land protection, dam removal, increased signage and education, cleanup initiatives, and volunteer programs for trail maintenance and water quality monitoring. To find a water trail in your area, visit our water trails database today at

The ACA Water Trails Database: Add Your Water Trail Today! Simply go online to and submit information for your water trail today to become part of one of the most comprehensive water trail databases for paddlers.

In efforts to promote conservation, the ACA makes it a priority to present at conferences and learn the latest in research and management from specialists in conservationist fields. Cate Huxtable, Stewardship Coordinator, will be presenting at the River Management Symposium, in Asheville, NC, and at River Rally 2012, hosted by the River Network and the Waterkeeper Alliance, in Portland, OR. The ACA will be speaking about water trails and their role in promoting stewardship. —————————————————

And don’t forget about our National Paddlesports Conference in Charleston, SC, this November!


Be the change. Paddlers can make a difference. In June of 2011, I received a phone call that I will never forget. On the other end of the line was the voice of Chris Stec, ACA Chief Operating Officer, asking me if I would like to fill their position of Stewardship Coordinator. After pursing environmental science in college, I worked at a local outdoor center and served a year for the Corporation of National and Community Service with the AmeriCorps*VISTA program and a local watershed non-profit. Reflecting on that phone call, I couldn’t dream of a better job: recreation AND conservation? Those are my two favorite things! I have been with the ACA since August and couldn’t be more thrilled to be serving you and your stewardship needs! While I

Stewardship needs on your waters?

know that not all of us are self-proclaimed “greenies,” dedicating our lives to conservationism and the environment, as outdoor recreation enthusiasts, we all have a vested interested in the health of our planet. Luna Leopold famously said, “Water is the most critical resource issue of our lifetime and our children's lifetime. The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land. " This statement is enduring and has never been more true than right now.

You can contact Cate at our national office: 540.907.4460 x 106

As paddlers, we have a unique perspective in being able to intimately observe water health, perceptive to the minute changes in flow, clarity, debris accumulation, and erosion, that cumulatively result in degradation of our water. More importantly, we also have a unique position to serve as stewards of the waters we paddle. We have the ability to educate others and encourage an appreciation for our precious water resources through paddling. We can work with our local clubs to restore stream banks and conduct cleanups, creating healthier waters with each stroke of our paddles. Paddle safe, paddle often, paddle sustainably,

6 ACA Stewardship Issue 01 March 2012

108 Hanover Street Fredericksburg, VA 22401 (p) 540.907.4460 (f) 888.229.3792

ACA Stewardship Newsletter- Spring 2012  

This Issue: Paddle Green Program P.1 The ACA’s “Best of” Stewardship Initiatives and Grassroots Change P.2-3 National News an...

ACA Stewardship Newsletter- Spring 2012  

This Issue: Paddle Green Program P.1 The ACA’s “Best of” Stewardship Initiatives and Grassroots Change P.2-3 National News an...