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Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-5045.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 11, 2002

Governor announces Virginia Rivers Month

(RICHMOND, VA) - Following an annual national tradition of celebrating rivers this month, Gov. Mark Warner recently declared June as Virginia Rivers Month. June 2002 also marks the 30th anniversary of the nation's Clean Water Act.

The governor's office issued a proclamation declaring, "Virginia's rivers are arteries of commerce and sources of water and nourishment that benefit our Commonwealth's communities, homes and businesses."

The proclamation encourages all Virginians to use responsibly and preserve Virginia's rivers for the enjoyment of future generations and for the good of the state's environment.

"From the coast to lush green mountains, Virginia communities are surrounded by unrivaled splendor, including Virginia's precious and important rivers," said Joseph H. Maroon, director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). "The Commonwealth's natural resource base is in part why this state is such a special place to live, work, recreate and visit."

The proclamation also recognizes that Virginia's rivers are among the most beautiful of its natural resources. Nineteen river segments are designated Scenic Rivers; 10 more have been evaluated and qualify for the designation, according to DCR's 2002 Virginia Outdoors Plan.

In addition to their natural benefits, Virginia's rivers are used by industry, for commercial fishing and hydropower. These waterways provide innumerable sources of recreation for the state's citizens and attract visitors to the state.

Of the top 10 recreational activities Virginians enjoy, three are water-dependent: swimming, fishing and boating. Figures from the American Sportfishing Association in 1996 show that state anglers helped create more than 20,000 jobs and $441 million in income.

Citizen demand for "combined" stream use in Virginia - fishing, human-powered boating, rafting and tubing - is projected to increase almost 40 percent by the year 2010.

In the most recent Chesapeake Bay Agreement, a 15-year commitment among Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland and Pennsylvania, Virginia is responsible for developing 66 new river access sites and 500 miles of water trails by the year 2003.
For a public access guide to Virginia's rivers, or information about Adopt-A-Stream in Virginia, contact the Department of Conservation and Recreation toll-free at 1-877-42-WATER, or visit the website at www.dcr.virginia.gov.

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