Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release: July 27, 1998


Communities to Get Help Tapping Federal Resources

WASHINGTON, DC -- Vice President Gore announced today the 14 "American Heritage River" designations that President Clinton will make, assuring that communities along these rivers will get help implementing their plans for restoring and protecting the environmental, economic, and cultural values of the rivers and riverfronts.

The designations will cover the Blackstone and Woonasquatucket Rivers (MA, RI), Connecticut River (in CT, VT, NH, MA), Cuyahoga River (OH), Detroit River (MI), Hanalei River (HI), Hudson River (NY), New River (NC, VA, WV), Rio Grande (TX), Potomac River (DC, MD, PA, VA, WV), St. Johns River (FL), Upper Mississippi River (IA, IL, MN, MO, WI), Lower Mississippi River (LA, TN), Upper Susquehanna and Lackawanna Rivers (PA), and Willamette River (OR).

"The message of this initiative is clear: there is nothing more powerful than water as a catalyst for economic revitalization and cultural renewal," the Vice President said. "Working together as partners, we can clean up America's rivers, create new jobs, and strengthen the communities that surround them for generations to come."

The Vice President's announcement comes three days before he will accompany the President to the New River in North Carolina, an American Heritage River, to formally designate the rivers. The American Heritage Rivers Advisory Committee last month recommended 10 designations, and the President added four.

In his 1997 State of the Union address, the President announced his American Heritage Rivers Initiative to recognize and reward local efforts to restore and protect America's rivers and riverfronts. The response was overwhelming. The Administration received 126 nominations from 46 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly 200 members of Congress, over 500 mayors, and 21 governors have expressed their support.

For each American Heritage River, a federal employee will be designated as a "River Navigator" to help communities identify federal programs and resources to help carry out their plans. Federal agencies will help match community needs with available resources. For instance, the agencies will work with the River Navigator and communities to attack pollution problems, build greenway and pedestrian paths, protect watersheds, rebuild historic docks, identify native trees and plants, and seek out other economic opportunities.

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