, Director of Swimmable Water Programs
Posted: June 1, 2015 at 12:22 pm

We have good news, Idahoans.

The Snake River Basin is now on the map thanks to Buck Ryan and the crew at Snake River Waterkeeper.

What a stunning place to have on Swim Guide, running under all that Idaho sky. The Snake River is a powerful river. It travels through six US states and is the largest tributary feeding the Columbia River. It is also very steep, making the Snake River one of the US’s most important hydrologic resources.

The river’s majestic qualities have supported communities in Idaho for centuries. Unfortunately the advancements the river has provided to those living and working on its banks have not been easy on the river. Hydroelectric dams, natural resource extraction, development, industrial and agricultural pollution, and wastewater discharges have crippled the Snake River.

The Snake River Basin means a lot to Idahoans, who count on it for their heritage and depend on it for their livelihoods. It means a lot to the people who travel from all over to see its beauty. And it certainly means a lot to Buck Ryan who works full time to protect, restore, and celebrate its waters.

Buck Ryan and the Snake River Waterkeeper volunteers monitor 110 sites on the iconic Snake River and on the Salmon River. Now, thanks to their efforts data from the Snake River Waterkeeper monitoring program is now available on Swim Guide. Consider this time last year there wasn’t even a Snake River Waterkeeper.

The Snake River water quality monitoring program has two major jobs. The first is to gather and to share data about the health of the Snake River’s waters in order to address the water qualities issues in the Basin. The second is to share easy to access information on 110 places to float, wade, paddle, and of course, swim on the Snake so that people can make the most out of what the Snake River Basin has to offer. Impressive.

A hearty welcome to Buck Ryan and everyone from Snake River Waterkeeper. It’s great to have you, Idaho!

Photo credit via Bureau of Land Management.

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