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the vehicles into movable pieces, and then volunteers dragged six tons of car parts to the road using winches and brute strength. From there, a recycling company hauled them away. Of the five cars, only a portion of one car remains on site, buried too deeply in the mud to be removed. The river bank is now otherwise free from trash and returning to a natural condition.

The Saukenuk Paddlers Canoe and Kayak Club from the Quad Cities of Illinois/Iowa built a new portage on Sylvan Island in Moline. This portage allows paddlers to safely bypass dams and locks on the Mississippi River, and is an important part of the Quad Cities Water Trail. With a $1,000 CFS Grant from the ACA, the club bought concrete, gravel, pipe and five large limestone blocks to construct a stepped access at the portage site. Saukenuk volunteers and local Boy Scouts installed the blocks and handrail during three half-day work projects. With the new portage installed, the Quad Cities Water Trail will host several events in the coming years, among them Floatzilla and the River Rumble, which draw 1,500 participants. Because the portage is built from stone blocks, it should be able to serve paddlers for many years into the future.

ACA Fights for Paddler Access

As we kick off the 2011 paddling season, the American Canoe Association is working to expand access for paddlers.


The Chesapeake Bay watershed in the eastern U.S. offers a range of great paddling opportunities. There are great whitewater runs in the West Virginia mountains, peaceful floats on the Chester and Rappahannock rivers, and challenging open water on the Bay itself. Unfortunately, accessing the Bay can be difficult, because only a small portion of the 11,000 miles of shoreline in the Bay watershed is in public hands.

The ACA is part of the Chesapeake

Bay Treasured Landscapes Initiative, a broad coalition of federal agencies, the seven states in the watershed and several nonprofit organizations. Together with its initiative partners, the ACA is developing a Chesapeake Bay Public Access Strategy, with the goal of creating 300 new access points within the watershed by 2025. Many of these new access points will be available to paddlers. Stay tuned for more on this important initiative.


For many years, the ACA and American Whitewater (AW) have been leading the fight for boating access to the headwaters of the Chattooga River. Together with a group of dedicated paddlers and paddling clubs, we recently had our day in court. We are happy to be able to report a significant victory! For 34 years, the U.S. Forest Service

(USFS) has prohibited boating on the uppermost 21 miles of the river. It has done so even though the Chattooga is a designated Wild and Scenic River, partly because of its spectacular paddling. USFS management of the river has been a series of arbitrary and internally inconsistent decisions that single out one user group—paddlers—for the tightest restrictions on access, without adequate justification. If allowed to stand, it would set a troubling precedent that could lead to closures on other rivers. To prevent that, AW sued the Forest

Service to reopen the river in October 2009, and the ACA joined the suit as a co-plaintiff. On October 13, 2010, a federal judge in South Carolina held a hearing in the case. During the hearing, the court heard moving testimony from paddlers who remember paddling the Chattooga Headwaters before the ban was put in place. On December 2, the judge issued a

decision rejecting the Forest Service’s motion to dismiss the case, and said the case can go forward. The judge’s decision means that AW, the ACA and their co- plaintiffs will be able to present evidence of why the boating ban is unjustified, in hopes of having the USFS ban overturned. For updates, visit the ACA website.

EDUCATION / INSTRUCTION With over 4,500 certified instructors, the ACA curriculum is taught in the coastal environment, on lakes and on rivers throughout the country. As the gold standard for paddlesports instruction, the ACA offers skills, assessments and instructor certification courses from Level 1 (Introduction) to Level 5 (Advanced) for the following disciplines:


SUP New for 2011, the ACA is rolling out the new Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) courses and curriculum across the country. The first SUP Instructor Certification Workshop will take place at the East Coast Canoe & Kayak Festival in April. In addition, the ACA will be hosting the first SUP Summit in Louisville, KY, in the fall.

SIT-ON-TOP First instruction courses available April 18–20 in Charleston, SC. Check the ACA website for details and other course times.

COMPETITION Currently, the ACA hosts six different national championships each year in a range of different paddlesports disciplines, from slalom and downriver to canoe poling. In addition, we sponsor and support over 200 local races and competitions, from coast to coast.

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