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Home > The Gateways Network > Tools > Water Trail Toolbox > Managing a Water Trail > Water Trail Toolbox: Protecting the Resource
Water Trail Toolbox: Protecting the Resource

The water trail's success now hinges on keeping the waterway as pristine as possible or improving its condition through a variety of conservation programs ranging from cleanup campaigns to habitat restoration projects.

Strengthen the Organization

Recruit staff members and volunteers who can run the organization's office, conduct conservation programs, supervise habitat restoration projects, present interpretive programs, assign volunteers, purchase equipment, enlist new partners, and conduct fundraising campaigns.

Maintain Facilities

Clean and repair parking areas, launch ramps, campsites, fire rings, toilets, portage trails, signs, exhibits, and other facilities. Establish a regular maintenance schedule and keep records of repairs and replacements.

Conduct Cleanup Campaigns

Organize public campaigns to clean up trash along the waterway at least twice a year, before and after the busy season.

Monitor Water Quality

Enlist volunteers to establish and conduct an ongoing water-quality monitoring program. Alert officials about illegal dumping, floodplain encroachments, and damage to natural, archeological, and historical resources.

Track Usage

Document the use of access points, campsites, picnic areas, and other facilities, including private shuttles, to help formulate conservation programs and restoration projects.

Restore Habitats

Use volunteers to remove invasive nonnative plants and restore native vegetation along the waterway. Conduct or participate in fisheries surveys and other wildlife studies.


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