Thanks to the efforts of conservation groups and the effectiveness of federal, state, and local clean-water policies, many of New England’s most iconic rivers—including the Connecticut, Housatonic, and Merrimack—are cleaner today than they were in decades past, says Kristen Sykes, AMC’s director of conservation strategies. Despite the improvements, there is no guarantee better conditions will remain. “River-goers play a big part in ensuring our waters continue to thrive by following the seven Leave No Trace principles,” says Sykes, an avid paddler of the 410-mile Connecticut River Paddlers’ Trail (CRPT). Originally developed by the U.S. Forest Service to minimize hiker impacts, the following principles were adapted by the American Canoe Association for paddlers to practice.
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Dispose of Waste Properly
Leave What You Find
Minimize Campfire Impacts
Be Considerate of Other Visitors