We are excited to announce the newest Swim Guide affiliate, White River Waterkeeper! Not only are they a new affiliate, but they are also bringing the first swim sites in the state of Arkansas with them. This means we are welcoming and celebrating both a new affiliate and a new state to the Swim Guide family!
White River Waterkeeper is a grassroots non-profit organization, and member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, working to protect the public health and natural resources of the White River watershed through advocacy, education, and research. White River Waterkeeper conducts its own water quality monitoring to provide the public with readily accessible, transparent data and information about the health of their watershed.
Monitoring efforts for the 2018 swim season are focused on the Buffalo River watershed, a tributary of the White River and America’s first national river. Through their Swim Guide program, White River Waterkeeper staff, interns, and volunteers will be conducting recreational water quality monitoring at 12 locations along the river for E.coli and total coliform. Test results will be shared weekly as they become available, from Memorial Day to Labour Day.
The White River flows 1100 km (720 mi) through the Ozark Mountains, stretching through the states of Arkansas and Missouri. Internationally recognized as one of the world’s premier trout fishing destinations, the White River holds several national and a few international angling records. The White River watershed has a long history of providing for its inhabitants, as both traditional territory of the Indigenous Osage people, and then for European settlers.
The Buffalo River, arguably the most famous of the White River tributaries, was America’s first national river. Stretching 246 km (153 mi) total, the Buffalo River’s lower 217 km (135 mi) is located within an area protected by the National Park Service where it holds the official title of the Buffalo National River. This designation was established through congressional legislation passed in 1972. To this day, the Buffalo River remains a popular destination for camping, canoeing, and fishing.
The geography of the Buffalo River varies greatly along its 246 km. The upper portion of the river is home to the most dramatic features, including white water rapids, caves, waterfalls, limestone bluffs, and striking rock formations. The river is home to over 300 aquatic species, including fish, insects, and plants.
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