Joe Joe Jacobi, CEO of USA Canoe/Kayak, and an Olympic gold medalist, paddled a section of Columbus’ new whitewater course for the first time a few weeks ago, seeing the changes that have been completed since his first trip, prior to the modification of the Alabama channel and partial removal of the Eagle and Phenix Dam. See him and hear his comments, confirming what project advocates have believed for years about the ‘game changing’ difference represented by this restoration.
Columbus City Council member Judy Thomas:
- “When John Turner first started talking to us about the Whitewater project on the Chattahoochee River here in Columbus, I told him that I would be one of those 10 people predicted to be on the shore watching for each person actually in the water. Well, yesterday, I got my chance to watch and what an exhilarating experience that was!Richard Bishop of UpTown Columbus invited me to come down to see some outfitters from the Ocoee River (in Tennessee) who were taking some raft-loads of locals down the river…Here came the rafts – five or six of them – filled with locals who were ready to raft! According to the professional outfitters and guides that I talked with yesterday, this will be one of the best rafting and kayak venues in the Southeast and we will have hundreds of tourists coming to take advantage of the river and to stay to eat and sleep. Even if only half of those predicted come, we’re ahead of the game! So stay tuned – it’s about another ten to twelve months before the project is completed and we see what happens. All in all, it was a great afternoon. And to John Turner I would say, all that was missing yesterday afternoon was that hot dog cart that you said would be on the bridge so that I can have my lunch while I watch these phenomenal goings on in the Hooch!”