Ohio River Trail Council Ohio River Restoration Initiative
River restoration and protection, including the creation of blueways, or blue trails, are cornerstones of the Ohio River Trail Council initiative. A Blue trail is a dedicated stretch of river that enjoys special clean water safeguards and is a destination for fishing, boating, and other recreation. Blue trails, like hiking trails, help people discover rivers and provide a connection between urban and rural communities and the great outdoors. Blue trails provide a fun and exciting way to get youth outdoors and are economic drivers benefiting local businesses and quality of life. Their are many benefits of Blue Trails (also known as blueways or water trails) such as health, economic, recreation, and environmental. Blue Trails connect communities to rivers, promote recreation, and safeguard clean water and riverside land. The Obama Administration has made conserving and restoring our waterways a priority of its America’s Great Outdoors initiative. Healthy rivers are essential to our health, economy, and quality of life.
A healthy river can increase property values, boost recreational opportunities and local business, reduce water pollution, and protect people and property from flooding. Sewage and pollution in our waterways is a serious threat to public health, our natural heritage, and our ability to enjoy rivers with our families. The ORTC is focusing our efforts on stopping pollution from sewage spills and stormwater runoff, we are working to ensure that our urban and suburban environments are safe for drinking, fishing and kayaking. We focus on ensuring clean water supplies through protecting wetlands and other natural landscapes that provide clean water and encouraging municipalities to effectively treat stormwater and wastewater, and consider them resources not waste products.
"Rivers are the arteries and veins of our nation," said Bob Irvin, president of American Rivers. "By protecting and restoring rivers, we are safeguarding clean drinking water, creating jobs and recreation opportunities that benefit our economy, and revitalizing our natural heritage for future generations."
Ohio River Watershed Environmental Award 2011
Monaca, an Ohio River Trail Council Partner Community, honored for conservation effort
Monaca will be honored by the Ohio River Watershed Committee today at a celebration at Station Square.
Sandie Egley, a member of the committee, said the Beaver County borough is being recognized "as an exemplary local government making an effort to restore our region's rivers as a valuable resource."
The public portion of the Ohio River Watershed Celebration, "Our Rivers: Then and Now," is free from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. A cruise for paid registrants runs from 1 to 4 p.m.
More than 700 people attended last year's event. This year's program features a talk about the past and present points of interest on the rivers and environmental education displays.
Monaca manager Mario Leone said "Monaca is honored to be recognized for our efforts. This award is very well deserved for our council's vision in promoting the Ohio River as the pioneers for the Ohio River Trails."
Last year, Monaca won one of 23 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pilot grants of $150,000 to remediate and convert brownfields along the river. It is working with Midland, Aliquippa and Coraopolis on an extensive Ohio River bike and pedestrian trail.
The watershed group is also rewarding Monaca's initiatives to save energy use in its buildings, its fleet and its water lines, with a new monitoring and metering system that Johnson Controls has guaranteed will save the borough $2.6 million over 15 years.
In addition, the borough has zoned for windmills and replaced its municipal water tank with one that is elevated and gravity fed.
"As a Beaver County rivertown," said council president Norm Ely, "the borough is humbled to be recognized for our efforts in 'leading the way' in restoring our regions majestic Ohio River."