STONEVILLE, N.C. (WSET) — In order to provide equitable access and safety along the Dan River, and in direct response to the ongoing tragedy in Eden, North Carolina, Good Stewards of Rockingham has commissioned Spanish signage to be displayed upstream of impoundments along the Dan River.
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“Our community is hurting and we feel the need to act now rather than later. It is amazing to see action being so quickly taken, but we feel that current actions are once again leaving a large portion of our community behind,” says Dan Riverkeeper, Steven Pulliam.
“If equity and inclusion are not at the forefront of each of the conversations we’re having about this tragedy, they should be. We can’t say if equitable signage would have prevented the accident last week, but we as a group can say that we need to be and do more to fully represent our population," Pulliam said.
Good Stewards will be coordinating with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to install the first round of signs on the Dan River at the Highway 14 bridge in Eden, NC.
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This location is upstream approximately one-half mile from the site of last week's devastating accident.
This signage location will give more adequate time to move your vessel toward the river’s upcoming exit on the right side, even if you are in a tube.
“As our rivers and resources continue to be promoted and tourism increases, our communities must be vigilant to assure every person is protected and informed, especially communities of Color.” said Pulliam. “Not only do we need to provide a place for that education to happen, we must provide a space that is safe and welcoming as well.”
Good Stewards is also working with a national foundation to provide free life jacket rentals, starting later this summer.
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Youth to adult sizes will be available to sign-out from Good Steward’s office in Stoneville and at future remote locations along the Dan River and Belews Lake.
The intent of each of these initiatives is to remove at least one barrier to safe, equitable access to our water.