Indiana's first Rivers Rally aims to form Indiana Rivers Alliance

May 14, 2007
Indiana has 35,000 miles of rivers and 100,000 acres of lakes. Helping to protect the state's rivers and water resources and educating the public are two reasons why organizers of the first Indiana Rivers Rally, June 7-9, will also address launching the state's first Indiana Rivers Alliance. Organizers see a non-profit Indiana Rivers Alliance as creating a resource center and united voice on environmentally sound policies. It would also provide a framework for the more than...

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, May 9, 2007 -- Indiana has 35,000 miles of rivers and 100,000 acres of lakes. Helping to protect the state's rivers and water resources and educating the public are two reasons why organizers of the first Indiana Rivers Rally, June 7-9, will also address launching the state's first Indiana Rivers Alliance.

Organizers see a non-profit Indiana Rivers Alliance as creating a resource center and united voice on environmentally sound policies. It would also provide a framework for the more than 70 different river organizations and watershed protection projects already in Indiana to work together to protect Indiana's water and educate the public on the importance of water conservation and aquatic habitats.

The Indiana Rivers Rally, June 7-9, on the Purdue University-West Lafayette campus, offers more than 40 presentations, 14 workshops and five field trips and provides information and hands-on knowledge on ways to protect the state's rivers and watersheds. A highlight of the three-day conference will be a special session titled "Where from Here?, Saturday, June 9, 6:30-8:30 p.m., designed to organize the state's first Indiana Rivers Alliance. Two national leaders, Katherine Luscher, River Network, and Rory Robinson, National Park Service, will facilitate the planning.

"It's a long-range project that needs to take hold and we need to work together on it," said Molly Dodge, Hanover College co-chair of Indiana Rivers Rally. "Other states are further ahead and Indiana has wonderful waterways to enhance and protect. The Indiana Rivers Alliance would collaborate with other groups, educate the public, be an information resource and promote sound public policy," Dodge added.

The following facts about Indiana's water underscore the need:
• Hoosiers use about 1,500 gallons of water each day, per person. That includes industrial, agricultural, community and residential uses. (Source: USGS)
• Most Indiana waterways have fish consumption advisories and many Indiana waters are unsafe to swim or play in.
• Rivers and reservoirs provide drinking water for 40 percent of Hoosiers.
• Indiana has more river and stream miles than road miles served by the state Department of Transportation.

The Rivers Institute at Hanover College is one of the conveners of the Indiana Rivers Rally. In 2009, it will be held along the banks of the Ohio River at Hanover College, Indiana's oldest independent liberal arts college.

"It's part of the mission of the River Institute at Hanover College to find collaborative opportunities and to work with other organizations that have rivers as part of their higher mission and a stake in the environment of our state," said Rick Haskins, Vice-President for Advancement, Hanover College.

"The Indiana Rivers Rally and the launch of an Indiana Rivers Alliance are part of a growing awareness nationwide of the importance of being good stewards of our natural resources – and of what happens to our society as a result of changes in our environment," Haskins added.

2007 Indiana Rivers Rally Updates:
• Deadline extensions: The deadline for early registration has been extended to May 10 for the Rivers Rally. Early registration fee is $185 for the entire Rally; after May 10, it is $235. One-day registration is $125. To register online, visit: www.indianariversrally.org .
• The scholarship deadline has also been extended to May 10. More than 60 individuals have been awarded scholarships to attend the Rivers Rally at a reduced fee of $85.
• Highlights: Nationally-recognized speakers, including award-winning author, conservationist and photographer Tim Palmer and best-selling Native American author James Alexander Thom, will offer keynote addresses.
• Other key attractions: the National Paddling Film Festival Road Show; canoe trips along the Wabash River and Wildcat Creek; and hiking Fall Creek Gorge Nature Preserve.
• The 2007 Indiana Rivers Rally features 40 workshops, panels and research sessions led by college, university, governmental and environmental groups.

Click here to download a Rivers Rally schedule

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