50 years of river cleanup and restoration in North Carolina boosts state economy

Over the weekend thousands of people flocked to North Carolina‘s beaches, rivers and lakes to enjoy the recreation the state’s natural landscape offers.

But nothing can taint a day on the water more than unsightly and even unsanitary conditions.

George Santucci, president of the New River Conservancy, says after almost 50 years of increased environmental awareness, he sees progress.

According to the Outdoor Industry Association, almost half of North Carolinians participate in outdoor recreation each year, generating $1.3 billion in state and local tax revenue.

RiverLink, a regional nonprofit group in western North Carolina, works to revitalize the economic and environmental potential of the French Broad River.

And volunteer coordinator Dave Russell says in addition to the improved health of the waterways, the visual cues that come from clean waterfronts make a huge difference.

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