American Whitewater

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American Whitewater
TypeAdvocacy group[3]
FocusEnvironmentalism, Conservation, Recreation
Coordinates35°18′35″N 83°11′01″W / 35.309722°N 83.183611°W / 35.309722; -83.183611
Area served
United States
Key people
President: Chris Bell
Vice President: Courtney Wilton[4]
$1,197,774 (2012)[3]
Expenses$1,111,428 (2012)[3]

American Whitewater is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 membership organization with the declared mission "to conserve and restore America's whitewater resources and to enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely".[3][1] The organization can broadly be classified as an advocacy group that engages in a variety of tactics to ensure rivers are accessible to those who wish to use them.[5] This includes working on lobbying efforts[6] at local and national levels as well as maintaining and publishing information about river conservation,[7] statistics on river use, accident reports,[8] and river sports safety.[9]


The organization was founded in 1954 as the American White Water Affiliation incorporated in 1961.[2] Upon its founding, the organizational members set to advance four principal objectives. (1) Encourage the exploration, enjoyment, and preservation of America's recreational waterways for human-powered craft. (2) Protect the wilderness character of waterways through conservation of water, forests, parks, wildlife, and related resources. (3) Promote and celebrate safety, proficiency and responsibility in all aspects of whitewater activities such as the navigation of moving water, teaching, teamwork, leadership, and equipment design, by publishing and demonstrating our support for instructional development in these and related fields. (4) Promote appreciation and respect for the value of wilderness activity and whitewater sports.[1] In 1997, the name was shortened to American Whitewater (AW).[10]

The American Whitewater started publishing a journal in 1955. The American Whitewater Journal was considered the first whitewater magazine in the United States.[11] Traditionally it consisted of stories, safety information, equipment information, and paddling technique instruction.[12] In 2004 the association created a digital archive making the previous 50 years of journals available for online access.[12]

Major achievements[edit]


American Whitewater opposed the Water Rights Protection Act, a bill that would prevent federal agencies from requiring certain entities to relinquish their water rights to the United States in order to use public lands.[17][18] According to opponents, the bill is too broad.[18][19] They believe the bill "could also block federal fisheries agencies like the United States Fish and Wildlife Service from requiring flows that help salmon find fish ladders and safely pass over dams."[18] American Whitewater called the bill a "sneak attack designed to force federal agencies to put private uses of river water ahead of other beneficial public uses like fish, wildlife, and recreation."[19]


  1. ^ a b c d "American Whitewater Mission". American Whitewater. Retrieved 2014-03-14.
  2. ^ a b National Park Service (1994). 1994 River Conservation Directory. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 11. ISBN 0-16-037918-0. Retrieved 2014-03-18.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Nonprofit Report for American Whitewater". Guide Star. 2012-12-31. Retrieved 2014-03-14.
  4. ^ "Board of Directors". American Whitewater. 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-14.
  5. ^ Yochim, Michael J. (March 2005). "Kayaking Playground or Nature Preserve? Whitewater Boating Conflicts in Yellowstone National Park". Montana: The Magazine of Western History. 55 (1): 52–64. ISSN 0026-9891.
  6. ^ Lovering, Daniel (2010-09-06). "Kayakers Win Battle To Open Falls For a Plunge: [National Desk]". New York Times (Late Edition (East Coast) ed.). New York, N.Y., United States. pp. –12. ISSN 0362-4331. ProQuest 749585496.
  7. ^ "House Passes Bill That Will Harm Rivers Nationwide". Targeted News Service. Washington, D.C., United States. 2014-03-14. ProQuest 1507565963.
  8. ^ Carlson, Suzanne (2013-06-20). "High Water, High Risk: Rain-Swollen Waterway Presents Dangers; Farmington River". Hartford Courant. Hartford, Conn., United States. ISSN 1047-4153. ProQuest 1369835987.
  9. ^ Grantham, Russell (2013-06-22). "'PileUp' puts Columbus on whitewater map". The Atlanta Journal - Constitution. Atlanta, Ga., United States. pp. –1. ISSN 1539-7459. ProQuest 1370317117.
  10. ^ "American Whitewater magazine". American Whitewater. July 1997. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  11. ^ "American Whitewater - The AW Journal". American Whitewater. Retrieved 2014-03-18.
  12. ^ a b Singleton, Mark (2004-12-01). "American Whitewater Announces a 50-Year Journal Archive Available On-Line". Outdoor Industry Association. Archived from the original on 2014-03-18. Retrieved 2014-03-18.
  13. ^ United States Congress Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs (1967). Wild and scenic rivers: Hearings, Ninetieth Congress, first session. U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
  14. ^ a b Garren, Laura Ann (2013). The Chattooga River: a natural and cultural history. Natural history. Charleston, SC: The History Press. ISBN 9781609499853.
  15. ^ Power, United States Congress House Committee on Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and (1999-01-01). The Federal Hydroelectric Relicensing Process: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Energy and Power of the Committee on Commerce, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fifth Congress, Second Session, September 25, 1998. U.S. Government Printing Office. ISBN 9780160579998.
  16. ^ "About". Outdoor Alliance. Archived from the original on 2014-03-19. Retrieved 2014-03-18.
  17. ^ "H.R. 3189 - CBO". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  18. ^ a b c Nathan Fey; Matt Rice (20 December 2013). "'Water Rights Protection Act' puts rivers at risk". Post Independent. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  19. ^ a b Fey, Nathan (12 November 2013). "The Water Rights Protection Act is Bad For Rivers - Take Action!". American Whitewater. Retrieved 12 March 2014.

External links[edit]