"To dam or not. That is the question the City of Ann Arbor, environmentalists, and community recreation groups are considering for the Argo Dam. Matt Naud, City of Ann Arbor Environmental Coordinator; Laura Rubin, Executive Director of the Huron River Watershed Council; and Coach Rich Griffiths of the Pioneer High School Crew Team each weigh in on this controversial issue affecting our Huron River."
COMMENT: posted by Huron River Paddlers
"One point that continues to get lost in the discussions about Argo Dam is that a whitewater paddling community has existed in Ann Arbor for over 40 years. The University of Michigan’s Recreation Sports Program has been the home of the Raw Strength & Courage Kayakers (RSCK) since 1967. RSCK introduces 200 new students and community members to the sport of kayaking each year. Winter months are spent training in the pool at the U of M’s North Campus Recreation Building. In the Spring, new paddlers get checked out on the Huron River. A few locations upstream of Barton Dam allow for the most basic practice of whitewater maneuvers, but these sites are not maintained and are steadily losing their value (after all, they were mill sites over 100 years ago).
Whitewater kayaking is far from a “new group of paddlers,” as some have suggested. Businesses, such as the Kayak Corral in Saline, the Bivouac, and Sun and Snow Sports have catered to Huron River paddlers for decades. New businesses such as REI and Moosejaw do the same. Paddlers from as far as Windsor, Toledo, and Lansing drive to the Huron each Spring and Fall to take advantage of favorable water flows. We support local businesses and feed Ann Arbor’s famous parking meters.
It’s time that whitewater kayakers are recognized as a real, sustaining, and growing user group of the Huron.