About the National Blueways System
National Blueways are nationally significant, large river systems supported by diverse stakeholder partnerships that use an integrated and adaptive watershed approach to resource stewardship. River systems eligible for inclusion in the National Blueways System share the following characteristics:
- A large river system (Hydrologic Unit Code 4 to 6) that contains significant natural, recreational, economic, and cultural resources
- A committed, diverse stakeholder partnership or association that has developed a common vision and long-term goals for their entire river system from the headwaters to the mouth, including the entire watershed
- Demonstrated ability to successfully undertake an integrated and adaptive management strategy that employs a diversity of approaches for land and water resources that address outdoor recreation, environmental education, conservation, and/or sustainable economic activities.
National Blueways will be nominated by their stakeholder partnership. Participation in the National Blueways System is entirely voluntary and locally-driven. There are no new regulations, rules, or requirements associated with recognition as a National Blueway, nor are there any changes in private property or water rights. Federal, state, and local authorities and responsibilities are not affected. Learn more about the National Blueways System here.
The National Blueways System was established on May 24, 2012, through a Secretarial Order, by Department of the Interior's Secretary Ken Salazar.Return to Blueways homepage.