The Shenandoah Riverkeeper organization has released a smartphone app for IPhone and Android users designed to show people where to access the Shenandoah River and tributaries for swimming, fishing and boating. The App is free and is meant as a gift to the Shenandoah Valley Community from Award Winning Non-Profit Shenandoah Riverkeeper for nearly seven years of support.
For those with compatible phones, the free app will show users a map of the Valley with pins marking public access points along the North Fork, South Fork and Main Stem Shenandoah River. Search for “The Swim Guide” in the App store. Those without smart phones can just as easily access the resource from work or home at http://TheSwimGuide.org.
Throughout the next few weeks and months, users will see even more locations added to the app, with photographs, GPS coordinates, and descriptions by Shenandoah Riverkeeper. The map pins are “hot” and can be selected for more detailed information. As of this press release, more than a dozen sites are already online. Our goal is to provide not only access information but also information about river floats, history, safety precautions, and eventually bacterial testing data.
The Shenandoah River is one of the most beautiful rivers in the world and flows through a valley that can only be described as stunning. Despite historic pollution issues in the Shenandoah Valley, the types of pollution have not normally been dangerous to recreational users (except for fish consumption). Estimates are that 250,000 to 500,000 people safely recreate on rivers in the Valley in each year. Unfortunately, many Valley residents are resistant to swimming and boating on Shenandoah.
The primary threat during river recreation is bacterial illness or infection. The majority of bacterial testing during the summer recreational period shows the Shenandoah River meets or exceeds criteria for swimming and fishing but significant exceptions do exist. Dedicated sources of daily or weekly testing are not available at this time like they are for beaches but if there is enough demand Shenandoah Riverkeeper will work with partners to develop a testing program.
Shenandoah Riverkeeper wants to promote safe use of the river and to encourage Valley residents to get back on the water and enjoy their local rivers and streams.
Shenandoah Riverkeeper is a program of Potomac Riverkeeper, Inc, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Shenandoah Riverkeeper’s mission is to use citizen action and enforcement of clean water laws to protect and restore water quality in the Shenandoah River watershed for people, fish and aquatic life. Shenandoah Riverkeeper is located in Boyce, VA, and has over 400 members.