Economic importance of water trails highlighted
By Bob Frye
Published: Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, 10:46 p.m.
Water trails mean money.
A study conducted for Pennsylvania's Legislative Budget and Finance Committee determined that four trails — one of them the Three Rivers Water Trail, which takes in 12 miles each of the Allegheny and Ohio rivers and 16 miles of the Monongahela — generated about $750,000 in economic activity and supported 11 full-time jobs this year.
The study, conducted by a consultant, involved surveying about 10 percent of the nearly 3,500 people counted on the Three Rivers, Juniata, Schuylkill and North Branch Susquehanna waters trails between July and September.
The interviews revealed that about half of those on the water lived nearby. About 40 percent of those said they were on the water primarily to fish; another 30 percent were there to picnic, relax, enjoy the scenery and look for wildlife. There was plenty of overlap, though. Seventy percent of visitors were looking to do some combination of fishing, canoeing and kayaking or motor boating.
Most visitors, about 85 percent, were just out for the day. Of those out for longer, about half were expecting to spend three days on the water, the report said.
The Schuylkill and Susquehanna river trails were the most heavily visited during the survey time frame. The Three Rivers trail ranked third.
Pennsylvania has 21 water trails. Others, such as one on Loyalhanna Creek, are in development. The survey shows that all are important to local economies and more, said Fish and Boat Commission executive director John Arway.
“Water trails make it easier for both powered and non-powered boaters to participate in the sport,” he said. “They provide safe access to, and information about, waterways while also providing connections to the diverse history, ecology, geology, heritage and wildlife of Pennsylvania.”
The study also showed there's room for growth in usage. Some demographics are underrepresented.
About three quarters of river trail users were men, and 90 percent were white. Blacks made up just 6 percent of water trail users, Hispanics just 3 percent. People between the ages 30-69 accounted for 80 percent.
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-838-5148.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Outdoors notices: April 13
- Frye: New permit to address deer wasting disease
- Study shows Pennsylvania bears like to put down roots
- Outdoors notices: April 12
- Chronic wasting disease found in another deer in state
- Opening day of trout season features warm weather, large crowds