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Letter: New Hampshire’s Blueway

Recently I was invited to attend a briefing in Washington, D.C., co-hosted by Congresswoman Annie Kuster to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Connecticut River being named the nation’s first Blueway. A Blueway is a voluntary federal recognition for river systems of national significance, recognizing places where diverse local interests are working together to enhance natural systems, community education and recreation opportunities. The briefing brought together federal agencies, congressional staff, and non-profit organizations committed to conservation and recreation opportunities.

In New Hampshire, we sometimes take for granted the quality of our environment and the access we all have to enjoy our mountains and rivers. Our success has not come about by accident. For decades, communities, organizations, businesses and individuals have come together to ensure that conservation, recreation and economic development can live side by side. Nowhere is this type of partnership more evident than along the Connecticut River – where hydropower dams, wildlife refuges and traditional uses such as boating and fishing all share the waterway. The Blueway is simply a recognition that what we are doing here in New Hampshire and across the four-state Connecticut River basin is working – and that we should do more of it!

Thank you, Rep. Kuster, for pulling together this briefing and sharing the Connecticut River success story with our friends in Washington.

JIM O’BRIEN

Concord

(The writer is director of external affairs for the Nature Conservancy New Hampshire.)

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