ARA Announces 3rd annual #DefendRivers paddle on the Alabama River


July 29, 2015



The paddle will send a message to state officials to find the funds to continue important programs in Alabama.

 Birmingham, AL – The Alabama Rivers Alliance (ARA) will host the 3rd annual #DefendRivers paddle on Friday, August 14 with the purpose to send a message to state legislators to Find the Funds during the special session to continue important programs in Alabama. ARA expects more than 100 people will travel down the Alabama River in a bright flotilla of boats, including kayaks and canoes.


“The State is facing a major budget crisis during the special legislative session that has the potential to eliminate or deeply hurt many important programs,” Cindy Lowry, executive director of Alabama Rivers Alliance, said. “We have worked so hard over the last few years to develop a Water Management Program for Alabama, and we do not want to lose the momentum we have gained with Governor Bentley on this much-needed plan. We also do not want to see funding cut for ADEM, State Parks, public safety programs and more.”


River advocates from all across the state will be sending a message to elected officials to Find the Funds to keep all of these programs and avoid the crisis. Everyone throughout the state– regardless of age or paddling experience – is invited to join the flotilla. Canoes, kayaks and personal floatation devices will be provided on a “first come first serve” basis to those who register before August 7.
“Most concerned citizens and river advocacy groups lack big money to hire professional lobbyists or buy expensive advertisements to influence policy, but we do have a voice.” Mitch Reid, program director of ARA, said. “We expect our elected officials to represent us as constituents. The #DefendRivers campaign is about helping people get involved in government and let their elected officials know that they care about our rivers and other state programs.”


For more information about the paddle or to register, please visit our website at

The #DefendRivers Campaign engages citizens across Alabama in raising awareness of water issues and communicating their significance to state elected officials and those seeking to become elected officials.
About the Alabama Rivers Alliance
The Alabama Rivers Alliance is Alabama’s statewide nonprofit water protection organization. ARA’s mission is to protect and restore Alabama’s rivers. ARA advocates smart water policy, organizes at the grassroots level and teaches citizens how they can protect their water. Our goal is to achieve healthy rivers, healthy people and a healthy system of government for the state of Alabama. For more information, please visit


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