Ocoee Whitewater in Danger!

Wildwater Ocoee River Rafting

Wildwater Ocoee River Rafting

 nat_geo_logo_small“There are few places in the country where average Joes and Janes can play Olympian for a day, but Tennessee’s Ocoee River is one of them. This waterway hosted the whitewater events for the 1996 Olympic Games, and now, all summer long, raft companies guide aquaphiles on both the Middle and Upper sections of the river”.

IMG_8755The Ocoee River is one of the best adventures anyone can go on!  However, the nation’s most popular whitewater river, will be significantly diminished or eliminated entirely after October 2018 unless a plan is developed to preserve releases at a frequency and at levels that continue to justify investment in quality outfitted services.

TVA is not subject to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensing so unlike other hydro projects, the TVA Board of Directors sets the conditions and terms for Ocoee water releases which can only be influenced by federal legislation or political support for whitewater recreation.  TVA has quoted $1.8 million per year for the first five years, which works out to $10 per person, $9 more than the current fee.  In addition, this 900% increase would be renegotiated every five years, creating a cycle of perpetual negotiations and ever increasing fees to you, our Guests.

The ultimate solution for the Ocoee is for legislation to require the TVA board to designate the Ocoee No. 2 and Ocoee No. 3 projects as multiple-purpose projects to include whitewater recreation as a project purpose.  This strategy will require TVA to consider paddlers and the economic boost they bring to the local economy.  Whitewater tourism is a major economic driver for the region.

IMG_3664Please help by telling members of Congress that the Tennessee Valley Authority should make whitewater recreation a purpose of the Ocoee No. 2 and Ocoee No. 3 projects and provide releases at least consistent with the current schedule without addition fees.  You can help by sending letters to congress here.

Save the Ocoee Website for more information

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