Helping people experience the beauty of the Shenandoah River first hand is one of the best ways to foster watershed stewardship, and to encourage local support of the work that the Pure Water Forum does. Over the past several years, the Pure Water Forum has hosted a Shenandoah River float trip for a diverse group of representatives from the local watershed community. This group has included elected officials, university staff and faculty, local government staff, and representatives from both the private and non profit sectors.
“Besides being fun and interesting meeting a diverse group of people and floating a beautiful stretch of river, I was struck by the desire for cooperation. So often environmental matters focus on the extremes: one group thinks farming should not take place near streams; or that industry should not expel any water into rivers. Another group thinks crops and animals die without water and we all need food so damage to streams is irrelevant; or that water cleanup requirements will shut down businesses and destroy the economy. The float trip showed me that farmers and industry recognize the need for clean water as much as environmentalist recognize the need for growing food and having manufacturing in the economy. With that continued understanding and cooperation, there is a real chance for all to succeed.”
-John Hulvey, Director of Sponsored Programs
James Madison University