Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 8, 1998


-Supporters in Congress Outnumber Opponents by More Than 4 to 1-

Twelve of 126 communities applying for a new White House initiative to help revitalize rivers will not be considered because of opposition by their local Congressman or U.S. Senator. Stretches of 14 other nominated rivers also are out of the running because of Congressional opposition.

White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Kathleen A. McGinty announced today that the 26 rivers and river sections will not be eligible for Presidential designation as an American Heritage River because their nomination was "vetoed" by a Member of Congress. McGinty said her office received 45 letters from Members opposing specific nominations, and 197 Congressional letters supporting nominations.

"Comments by Members of Congress have run more than 4-1 in favor of the American Heritage Rivers initiative and we are pleased by this overwhelming show of support," said McGinty. "Regrettably, 26 rivers or stretches of river are now out of the running. I hope these communities will continue working nonetheless to realize their visions for their rivers."

The American Heritage Rivers initiative, announced by President Clinton in his 1997 State of the Union address, recognizes and assists voluntary river restoration efforts. Communities were invited to nominate their rivers for designation, and the 10 selected will receive help tapping existing federal resources to carry out their plans for restoring their rivers and riverfronts.

The 126 nominations, from 46 states and the District of Columbia, include rivers large and small -- from the Santa Rosa Creek in California to the Cedar River in Iowa to the Hudson River in New York.

An advisory committee appointed by the President will convene in Washington, D.C., on May 11 and 12 to review the remaining nominations. The committee will recommend up to 20 of the nominations to the President, who will make the final selection. It is expected the 10 American Heritage Rivers will be named in June.

At a hearing of the House Resources Committee on September 24, 1997, the majority members of the committee strongly urged the Administration to allow Members to "veto" any river or river stretch running through their districts. The Administration agreed, and Members were asked to inform CEQ of their opposition by January 23. If a river runs through more than one district, any section not opposed by a Member remains eligible for designation.

The designation of three river sections, the South Platte in Colorado, the Willamette in Oregon and the Missouri in Nebraska, have been opposed by one Senator from each state, but will still be considered because local members of the House support the nominations or are neutral. The Senator's opposition will be appropriately weighed in the selection process, McGinty said.

Each community submitted a detailed plan for restoring and protecting the environmental, economic and cultural values of its river and riverfront. A community's plan could aim to clean up pollution, attract businesses, improve flood protection, protect farm land, rebuild historic docks and buildings, restore eroded stream banks or promote new economic opportunities.

For each American Heritage River, a "River Navigator" will be appointed to help the community identify federal programs and resources that can be used to carry out its plan. Federal agencies also will make field staff available to help match community needs with available resources. Federal agencies will have no regulatory powers or control over local decision-making.

All communities that submitted nominations will be encouraged to continue their river restoration efforts. Each will be invited to a symposium to exchange ideas with other communities and to learn about government and private resources that can help. Each also will receive site-specific data on its river, including planning software and economic modeling tools.

Information on the American Heritage Rivers initiative, including a complete list of nominated rivers, is available on the Web at

A list of members of the House and Senate who opposed nominations is attached, along with a list of Members who supported specific nominations.

American Heritage River Nominations Opposed by
Members of the House and Senate

Rivers Eliminated From Consideration
The entire river is removed from consideration due to the listed Members' opposition.

Clearwater River, ID -- Rep. Helen Chenoweth (ID-1); Sen. Conrad Burns (MT); Sen. Larry Craig (ID); Rep. Rick Hill (MT-ALL); Sen. Dirk Kempthorne (ID)
Gunnison River, CO -- Rep Scott McInnis (CO-3)
Lake Brazos River Corridor, TX -- Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX)
Osage River, MO -- Rep. Ike Skelton (MO-4)
St. Mary's River, MI -- Rep. Bart Stupak (MI-1)
Sabine River, TX -- Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX)
San Antonio River, TX -- Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX); Representative Lamar Smith (TX-21)
San Joaquin River, CA -- Rep. George Radanovich (CA-19)
San Juan River, NM -- Rep. Bill Redmond (NM-3)
San Luis Rey River, CA --Rep. Randy Cunningham (CA-51); Rep. Ron Packard (CA-48)
Snohomish River, WA -- Rep. Jack Metcalf (WA-2)
Upper Rio Grande, NM -- Rep. Bill Redmond (NM-3); Rep. Steve Schiff (NM-1); Joe Skeen (NM-2)

River Sections Eliminated From Consideration
River sections that run through the listed Members' district(s) will be excluded from any designation, but the remaining part of the nomination will still considered.

American River, CA -- Representative John Doolittle (CA-4), Richard Pombo (CA-11)
Arkansas River, AR, CO, OK, KS -- Representative Marion Berry (AR-1), Senator Sam Brownback (KS), Representative Tom Coburn (OK-2), Representative Jay Dickey (AR-4), Representative Jerry Moran (KS-1), Representative Todd Tiahrt (KS-4), Asa Hutchinson (AR-3), Senator Tim Hutchinson (AR), Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (CO)
Cold Water Creek, MO-- Representative James Talent (MO-2)
Columbia River, OR --Senator Gordon H. Smith (OR)
French Broad River, NC -- Representative Charles Taylor (NC-11)
James River, VA -- Representative Thomas Bliley, Jr. (VA-7)
Jordan River, UT --Representative Christopher Cannon (UT-3)
Mississippi River, MO -- Representative Pat Danner (MO-6), Representative James Talent (MO-2)
Missouri River, MT, MO, NE, SD -- Representative Pat Danner (MO-6), Representative Rick Hill (MT-ALL), Representative Kenny Hulshof (MO-9), Representative James Talent (MO-2), Representative Ike Skelton (MO-4), Senator Sam Brownback (KS), Senator Conrad Burns (MT), Senator Chuck Hagel (NE), Representative John Thune (SD-ALL), Representative Vincent Snowbarger (KS-3)
Ohio River, IN -- Representative John Hostettler (IN-8)
Ouachita River, LA/AR -- Representative Jay Dickey (AR-4), Representative Asa Hutchinson (AR-3), Senator Tim Hutchinson (AR)
St. John's River, FL -- Representative David Weldon (FL-15), Representative Cliff Stearns (FL-6)
Santa Cruz River, AZ --Senator Jon Kyl (AZ)
Yellowstone River, WY, MT -- Representative Barbara Cubin (WY-ALL), Representative Rick Hill (MT-ALL), Senator Conrad Burns (MT), Senator Michael Enzi (WY), Senator Craig Thomas (WY)

River Sections With Senatorial Opposition Only
River sections are opposed by the listed Senator, but supported by a member of the House or the other Senator from the state's delegation. Will still be considered for designation.

South Platte River, CO --Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (CO)
Willamette River, OR -- Senator Gordon H. Smith (OR)
Missouri River, NE -- Senator Chuck Hagel (NE)

Senators Supporting American Heritage River Nominations

(Senator, River(s))

Akaka, Daniel K., Hanalei

Baucus, Max, Yellowstone

Biden, Jr., Joseph R., Delaware, Broad Creek

Boxer, Barbara, San Luis Rey, San Joaquin

Breaux, John, Lower Mississippi

Byrd, Robert C., Potomac, Kanawha

Chafee, John H., Blackstone-Woonasquatucket

Cleland, Max, Chattahoochee, Coosa, Savannah

Coverdell, Paul D., Chattahoochee, Savannah

D'Amato, Alfonse M., Hudson

DeWine, Mike, Mill Creek

Dodd, Christopher J., Connecticut

Durbin, Richard J., Chicago-Illinois, Kaskaskia, Upper Mississippi (Quad Cities)

Faircloth, Lauch, Lower Neuse

Feingold, Russell D. Fox, Milwaukee, Rock

Feinstein, Dianne, Santa Rosa Creek

Frist, Bill, Mississippi (Memphis), Tennessee

Glenn, John, Mill Creek, Muskingum, Great Miami

Graham, Bob, St. John's, Everglades

Grassley, Charles E., Upper Mississippi (Quad Cities)

Gregg, Judd, Connecticut, Merrimack

Harkin, Tom, Cedar, Upper Mississippi (Quad Cities), Missouri

Inouye, Daniel K., Hanalei

Jeffords, James M., Connecticut

Kennedy, Edward M., Connecticut, Blackstone-Woonasquatucket, Merrimack, Taunton

Kerrey, J. Robert, Missouri

Kerry, John F., Acushnet, Blackstone-Woonasquatucket, Connecticut,

Merrimack, Taunton

Kohl, Herbert, Fox, Milwaukee, Rock

Landrieu, Mary L., Lower Mississippi

Lautenberg, Frank R., Passaic, Delaware, Raritan, Rahway

Leahy, Patrick J., Connecticut

Levin, Carl, Detroit, Grand, Muskegon

Lieberman, Joseph I., Connecticut

Mikulski, Barbara A., Anacostia, Potomac

Moseley-Braun, Carol, Chicago-Illinois, Upper Mississippi, Kaskaskia

Moynihan, Daniel Patrick, Buffalo, Bronx, Hudson

Murray, Patty, Puyallup

Reed, Jack, Blackstone-Woonasquatucket

Robb, Charles S., Potomac, James, Rappahannock

Rockefeller IV, John D., Kanawha

Roth Jr., William V., Delaware, Broad Creek

Santorum, Rick, Schuylkill

Sarbanes, Paul S., Potomac, Patuxent, Anacostia

Shelby, Richard, Chattahoochee

Smith, Robert C., Connecticut, Merrimack

Specter, Arlen, Schuylkill, Delaware, Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna Watershed, Lehigh, Rivers of Steel

Thompson, Fred, Cumberland, Tennessee, Mississippi (Memphis)

Thurmond, Strom, Waccamaw

Torricelli, Robert G., Raritan, Passaic, Delaware

Members of Congress Supporting American Heritage River Nominations

(Member, River(s))

Ackerman, Gary, Hudson

Barrett, Thomas M., Milwaukee

Bartlett, Roscoe G., Potomac (with exception of Old Town)

Bass, Charles F., Merrimack

Bishop Jr., Sanford D., Chattahoochee

Blagojevich, Rod, Chicago-Illinois

Blumenauer, Earl, Willamette

Boehlert, Sherwood L., Hudson

Bonilla, Henry, Rio Grande

Borski, Robert A., Delaware, Schuylkill

Boucher, Rick, Levisa

Brown, Corrine, St. John's

Brown, Sherrod, Black, Cuyahoga

Bryant, Ed, Tennessee

Burr, Richard, New

Castle, Michael N., Delaware, Broad Creek

Chabot, Steve, Mill Creek

Clay, William L., Cold Water Creek

Clayton, Eva M., Lower Neuse, Roanoke

Clement, Bob, Cumberland

Clyburn, James E., Edisto

Collins, Mac, Chattahoochee

Conyers, Jr., John, Detroit

Cooksey, M.D., John, Ouachita

Costello, Jerry F., Chicago-Illinois, Kaskaskia

Coyne, William J., Rivers of Steel

Crane, Phil, Chicago-Illinois

Davis, Danny K., Chicago-Illinois

Davis, Thomas M., Potomac, Tripps Run

DeGette, Diana L., South Platte River

Deutsch, Peter, Everglades

Diaz-Balart, Lincoln, Everglades

Dingell, John D., Detroit

Doyle, Mike, Rivers of Steel

Engel, Eliot L., Hudson, Bronx

Ehlers, Vernon J., Grand River

Evans, Lane, Chicago-Illinois, Upper Mississippi (Quad Cities)

Everett, Terry, Chattahoochee

Ewing, Tom, Chicago-Illinois

Fattah, Chaka, Delaware, Schuylkill

Fawell, Harris, Chicago-Illinois

Foglietta, Thomas, Schuylkill

Forbes, Michael P., Hudson

Ford, Jr., Harold E., Mississippi (Memphis), Tennessee

Fox, Jon D., Schuylkill

Frank, Barney, Acushnet

Franks, Bob, Passaic, Rahway, Raritan

Frelinghuysen, Rodney P., Passaic

Furse, Elizabeth, Willamette

Gejdenson, Sam, Connecticut

Gekas, George W., Swatara Creek

Gephardt, Richard A., Cold Water Creek

Gilman, Benjamin, Hudson

Gutierrez, Luis V., Chicago-Illinois

Hall, Tony P., Great Miami

Hamilton, Lee H., Ohio

Hastert, J. Dennis, Chicago-Illinois

Hastings, Alcee L., Everglades, St. Lucie

Hefner, Bill, New

Hinchey, Maurice D., Hudson

Hobson, Dave, Great Miami

Holden, Tim, Schuylkill

Hoyer, Steny H., Anacostia, Potomac, Patuxent

Hyde, Henry, Chicago-Illinois

Jackson, Jr, Jesse, Chicago-Illinois

Jefferson, William J., Lower Mississippi

Johnson, Jay W., Fox

Johnson, Nancy L., Connecticut

Kanjorski, Paul E., Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna Watershed

Kelly, Sue W., Hudson

Kennedy, Patrick J., Blackstone-Woonsaquatucket, Connecticut

Kennelly, Barbara B., Connecticut

Kilpatrick, Carolyn C., Detroit

Kleczka, Jerry, Milwaukee

Klink, Ron, Allegheny, Ohio, Rivers of Steel

Kucinich, Dennis J., Cuyahoga

LaFalce, John J., Buffalo, Genessee, Niagara

LaHood, Ray, Chicago-Illinois

LaTourette, Steven C., Cuyahoga

Lazio, Rick, Hudson

Leach, James A., Cedar, Upper Mississippi (Quad Cities)

Levin, Sander M., Detroit

Lewis, John, Chattahoochee

Lipinski, William, Chicago-Illinois

Lowey, Nita M., Hudson, Bronx

Luther, Bill, Mississippi (Twin Cities)

Maloney, Carolyn, Hudson

Manton, Thomas J., Bronx

Manzullo, Donald, Chicago-Illinois

Markey, Edward J., Mystic

Mascara, Frank, Allegheny, Ohio, Rivers of Steel

McCarthy, Carolyn , Hudson

McDade, Joseph M., Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna Watershed

McGovern, James P., Blackstone-Woonasquatucket

McHale, Paul, Lehigh

McNulty, Michael R., Hudson

Meehan, Martin T., Merrimack

Meek, Carrie P., Everglades

Menendez, Robert, Passaic, Raritan

Minge, David, Minnesota

Moakley, John Joseph, Taunton

Morella, Constance A., Potomac

Murtha, John P., Allegheny, Rivers of Steel

Nadler, Jerrold, Hudson

Neal, Richard E., Blackstone-Woonasquatucket, Connecticut

Norton, Eleanor Holmes, Anacostia

Oberstar, James L., Mississippi (Twin Cities)

Olver, John W., Connecticut, Westfield

Owens, Major R., Hudson

Pallone, Jr. , Frank, Raritan

Pascrell, Jr., Bill, Passaic

Payne, Donald M., Rahway, Passaic

Petri, Thomas E., Fox

Porter, John Edward, Chicago-Illinois

Portman, Rob, Mill Creek

Poshard, Glenn, Chicago-Illinois, Kaskaskia

Price, David, New

Quinn, Jack, Buffalo

Rangel, Charles B., Hudson

Rivers, Lynn N., Detroit

Reyes, Silvestre, Rio Grande

Ros-Lehtinen, Iieana, Everglades

Rothman, Steven R., Passaic

Roukema, Marge, Passaic

Rush, Bobby, Chicago-Illinois

Sabo, Martin Olav, Mississippi (Twin Cities)

Sanders, Bernard, Connecticut

Sanford, Marshall, Cooper, Edisto

Saxton, Jim, Delaware

Schumer, Charles, Hudson

Serrano, Jose E., Hudson, Bronx

Shaw, Jr., E. Clay, Everglades

Skaggs, David E., South Platte

Slaughter, Louise M., Genessee

Stabenow, Debbie, Grand

Stokes, Louis, Cuyahoga

Strickland, Ted, Muskingum

Tierney, John F., Merrimack

Upton, Fred, Kalamazoo

Vento, Bruce F., Mississippi (Twin Cities)

Wamp, Zach, Tennessee

Weldon, Curt, Schuylkill

Weller, Gerald J., Chicago-Illinois

Wexler, Robert, Everglades

Weygand, Robert A., Blackstone-Woonasquatucket

Wise, Bob, Kanawha

Woolsey, Lynn, Santa Rosa Creek

Yates, Sidney, Chicago-Illinois

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