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Roundtable: The State of Water Trail Programs
Tuesday, December 12, 2023, 3:30 AM - 4:30 PM EDT
Category: Events

The State of Water Trail Programs

The State of Water Trail Programs

River Management Roundtable
Dec. 12| 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. ET

Join us for an engaging discussion on State Water Trail Programs! The Pennsylvania Water Trail Program, a 15-year-strong partnership between the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, state agencies, and the National Park Service, has designated 29 Water Trails spanning 2,355 scenic miles of rivers and creeks. The program provides technical assistance, administers a small grant, runs an extensive website and coordinates learning and networking opportunities for the water trail managers. While we've come a long way, there's always more to explore.

In this Roundtable, we'll delve into the world of Water Trail Programs, sharing insights and learning together. We'll explore:

  • State Presence: Discover which states have their own water trail programs.
  • Collaborative Efforts: Learn about the key players in program coordination, administration, and management, and understand the roles of our valued partners.
  • Funding Insights: Explore how these programs are funded and sustained.
  • Defining Water Trails: Uncover the criteria that define a water trail.
  • Water Trail Management: Get to know who's responsible for managing designated trails and the formal agreements in place.
  • Benefits of Designation: Understand the advantages of having an official state water trail designation.

Whether you're involved in a state water trail program or simply curious about these topics, join us to exchange ideas and insights. We can't wait to engage in this enriching conversation. Don't miss out – sign up now!


Tali MacArthur

As Program Manager for Watershed Outreach with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Tali MacArthur’s chief responsibility is to advance the mission of the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR), a 509(a)-supporting organization of PEC. She joined PEC in 2018 with a mandate to support local efforts to protect Pennsylvania’s streams and rivers, and to encourage opportunities for recreation and fun in and along them. MacArthur has deep expertise in water resource restoration, conservation, and outreach, including more than 12 years with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Coastal Zone Management Program, and a stint as Program Manager with the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited. Tali holds a Master of Marine Affairs degree from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina Honors College. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program.

John Wenck

John Wenck is the state water trails coordinator in Iowa. In his 13 years with the Iowa Department of Natural resources, he has worked with communities across the state to improve river access, develop water trail plans, and install and maintain signage. He administers DNR water trail grants and teaches canoe and kayak classes.  Though a lifelong resident of the state, he says he really didn't see Iowa until he started canoeing.

Andrea White

Andrea White, Community Programs Coordinator with Georgia River Network, has been a water safety advocate and river kayaking instructor and leader within the southeast paddling community for years. She began at Georgia River Network in late 2021. In her short time with the organization, she has helped see the Georgia River Guide mobile app project over the finish line, trained many paddlers in kayaking safety and partnered with various entities to expand river access across Georgia. Andrea brings her passion for increasing safe access to Georgia’s waterways to her partnerships with local groups looking to build water trails on their local rivers. She has an extensive background in public relations, marketing, project management and public affairs.


River Management Roundtables are free and open to River Management Society members and non-members. Registrants will receive a link to the recording following the discussion. You can also access dozens of previous Roundtables, webinars and workshops in our River Training Channel.

Watch the recording

About RMS River Management Roundtables

Each month, the River Management Society hosts virtual conversations with professional river, greenway, and water trails leaders, planners, and managers whose community, region, state and federal river will benefit from the experiences of peer-to-peer sharing. Our goal is to facilitate an open forum to support your work managing rivers. We work together to tackle common issues by asking questions, sharing solutions and building comradery.