St. Johns River Alliance to apply for blueway application for St. Johns River

Application for state-designated paddling trail will be filed in summer, officials say

Published On: Jun 27 2013 04:38:59 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 27 2013 04:46:37 PM EDT
JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -

The St. Johns River Alliance will attempt to establish the St. Johns River as a state-designated paddling trail or blueway.

The application will be filed in the summer and reviewed at the September meeting of the Florida Greenways and Trails Council, according to a news release.

Officials said the 47 state-designated paddling trails raise environmental awareness, create a sense of place, promote good health through outdoor recreation and boost eco-tourism.

Among the 47 trails already included in the state-designated trails are two along the St. Johns tributaries.

The blueway designation, along with the St. Johns River specialty license plate, would increase  visibility for the St. Johns River as an important Florida recreational, historical and environmental resource, officials said.

“The proposed St. Johns blueway designation will be an important economic development engine for the communities along the river,” Alliance Chair and St. Johns County Commissioner Cyndi Stevenson said in a release. “Nature-based tourism supports many river-based businesses and jobs.”

The St. Johns River is the longest river in Florida, stretching 310 miles from Vero Beach to Jacksonville