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CRBI paddles Etowah, aims for expansion in accessibility

Published in Cartersville Daily Tribune News August 2010

CRBI paddles Etowah, aims for expansion in accessibility

by Matt Shinall

9 days ago | 617 views | 5  |  | 

Johnathan Ingram studies the course map for the Coosa River Basin Initiative Etowah River paddle yesterday. The course began at Allatoona Dam and ended at the Highway 411 bridge in Euharlee. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News

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More than forty paddlers from across Northwest Georgia descended upon the Etowah River Saturday morning launching their crafts just below Allatoona Dam.

The Coosa River Basin Initiative, a Rome based nonprofit, led the guided paddle trip down 17 miles of the Etowah River in Bartow County. Beginning at River Side Day Use Area, the group of kayaks and canoes made its way through ancient Native American fish weirs, under bridges and around the Thompson-Weinman low-head dam for a day-long paddle on the water. The trip gave paddlers an opportunity to tour the Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site before concluding the trip at the Highway 411 bridge in Euharlee.

CRBI was formed to protect, preserve and restore the waters of the Coosa River basin and in doing so they aim to promote the rivers use for recreation. By getting people on the river to enjoy the resource available to them, CRBI hopes to increase the knowledge and passion of those living within this regional watershed.

Rome resident Pam Young participates with CRBI often but joined the group Saturday for her first journey on this leg of the river. "These are really good events that the CRBI puts on. We're just interested in protecting this resource and getting people out to enjoy it," Young said.

Mike Holland, of Canton, is a newcomer to the sport. Introduced to kayaking a week earlier with CRBI, he came to the Etowah for another chance to be on the water. "It was my first trip with these guys and my first trip of any significance," Holland said about his initial experience. "This river is a good resource and paddling out there is a lot of fun."

Paddlers coming out Saturday were passionate about the river and the sport. For CRBI the biggest challenge to getting people on the river is the lack of access on the Etowah.

"There's a lot of development pressure in the Etowah corridor and so we have the opportunity now by working with local government and perhaps state government to create public access points and maybe protect on a permanent basis some key parcels of land so that that river corridor and the river will always be available for the public to use. And so this Etowah Blue Trail project has a way to improve access to the river -- get people out there on the river so that they can learn to appreciate the river," said Joe Cook, CRBI executive director.


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