Background: I am a leader in the world of Whitewater Kayaking… specifically, the founder and director of its largest association, World Kayak. I am also Chief Marketing Officer for its largest manufacturer, Jackson Kayak. I am also the America’s representative for freestyle kayaking to the ICF (Olympic committee for paddlesports). AKA I can drop a World Championships, a PanAm championships and/or a national championships in our back yard. I can also bring heavy revenue from kayak school business (municipally run!) to Almonte. I deal with artificial waterway manipulation on a daily basis and have some interesting standards that would be wonderful to apply to the Mississippi river as Town and Regional policy.
In states like Colorado, ANY hydro electric project submitted to council for approval HAS to include 10% to 25% of its total budget for the development of recreo-tourism projects. So, for example, If you want to create a system to manage water levels for better power production, fine, but include a budget and plan for how to use this mechanism to control flow and releases for kayaking on the weekends, a budget that is used to reconstruct the river bed into something that can be navigable as a whitewater destination (waves for freestyle, make the falls easier to run)…work that use the SAME tools but produce an opportunity for recreo-tourism that attracts paddlers and their cash to our down town.
Google Reno Truckie river park, Golden Colorado whitewater park… loads of successful story all over the map… and of NO significance to the dam developers… just a way for them to give back.