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Take full advantage of river life

For most Mid-Ohio Valley residents, the rivers beside which we grew up are simply a fact of life. They are constant, ever-present, sometimes dangerous, sometimes fun … but always there. That makes it easy for us to forget how important they really are.

Fortunately, the folks at the Ohio River Museum in Marietta bring us an event every other year that reinforces the importance of our relationship with the river. It is part of who we are — and it is important to the health of our environment, our economy and our culture.

That is why participants ranging from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission to a Mark Twain impersonator were right at home at this year’s event.

“Doing this so people can see the fish is so rewarding, it’s why I love this job, being able to inform people about their resources that I care deeply about, and they should too,” said ORSANCO biologist Ryan Argo.

Our rivers are more than a natural resource, as Twain impersonator Stephen Hollen pointed out.

“The rivers draw us because we travel on them and our goods get shipped up and down the river,” he said. “Rivers are the lifeblood of our nation.”

That has been for hundreds of years, and remains, true.

We are grateful, then, for those such as festival chairman Glenna Hoff, who pull together the Inland Waterways Festival in celebration of that truth.

She summed up better than we could the convergence of history, science, fun and folklore in celebration of our rivers:

“It’s been a perfect day.”

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