White River Wins Blueway Designation
The White River of Arkansas and Missouri, together with its watershed, has been named the nation’s second National Blueway. The blueway program, started in 2012 by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, recognizes river systems whose economic, recreational and natural values are protected by conservation partnerships.
The White River watershed includes White River National Wildlife Refuge and Cache River National Wildlife Refuge, both in Arkansas. White River Refuge was established in 1935 to protect migratory birds. Cache River Refuge was established in 1986 to protect wetland habitats and provide feeding and resting areas for migrating waterfowl. Both conserve some of the last remaining bottomland hardwood forest in the Mississippi River Valley.
In making the announcement Wednesday, Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes praised area conservation partners for working together to protect the river, which he called “the recreational and economic lifeblood of communities from the Ozarks to the Mississippi.”
The first national blueway was the 410-mile Connecticut River.
Read more about the new blueway designation here.