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Obama Administration 'Listening' To Needs Of Missouri's Waterways

August 19, 2010

ST. LOUIS, MO. - The Obama administration wants to hear from Missourians about what is needed to protect and conserve waterways in the Show Me State. It's part of the America's Great Outdoor initiative aimed at reshaping waterway policies and reconnecting people with the outdoors.

Matt Rice, associate director southeast conservation at American Rivers, says a National Blueways Initiative needs to be created to ensure clean water and to promote river recreation, such as canoeing and fishing. He says all of Missouri would be affected.

"With over 110,000 miles of rivers and streams, nearly every community has access to a river or stream. The opportunities for water trails and blueways in Missouri are endless."

Rice says the challenge will be funding such an initiative. The listening session is one of a series being held across the country. Rivers such as the Missouri and Mississippi are a lifeblood for the community, he adds.

"Missouri's rivers, waterways and streams are their most valuable natural assets. They are economic generators and they improve quality of life. Every Missourian deserves access to a healthy river."

The president is to receive a report by mid November outlining an action plan to reconnect Americans to nature and to enhance conservation efforts. More information is available at www.doi.gov/americasgreatoutdoors.

Heather Claybrook, Public News Service - MO