The Vermont Paddlers Club

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subject The rollout of the new American Whitewater website
(from AW BETA – Feb 2019)
author Chris Weed
city Burlington
posted Thursday Feb 14th 2019, 2:04 PM

Change can be hard, if it were easy it would have happened already. Sometimes it takes a few extra strokes to stick your line; this is the case with the rollout of the new American Whitewater website. As a small organization, we have a very dense website. For example, our National Whitewater Inventory contains 5,760 river reaches and gage information collected from seven different sources plus virtual custom readings. Combine that with a database for accidents, another for permits, photos, and connected to our membership list and you get the idea.

From the very beginning, the website has leaned heavily on community involvement to share river information. One of the shortcomings of our previous site was how difficult it was to edit river pages to share important river information. Of all the goals this version of our site seeks to achieve, the ability to more easily share river information is core to our motivation for a newly redesigned website. The long-term benefits of the new editing interface of the National Whitewater Inventory should greatly enhance the quality of river information. Once we get through this rollout, users will appreciate the ability to add new information. Plus the site will play nice with your phone, and be easier to add photos and share river alerts.

We could not provide good river information without the engagement of our community, who have written detailed descriptions of thousands of river reaches. Good river information is the basis for solid judgement and knowing what to expect on the water. That is why the US Coast Guard provided funding support for this project. American Whitewater staff and volunteers will continue to make enhancements for sharing river information through new and refined tools. The endgame being that solid river descriptions and flow information are disseminated through a mix of contemporary devices.

If there is a silver lining to this rollout, it is that it happened during the major polar vortex of the winter when demand on flow information was at a low point. Hang in there with us and remember, if change were easy it would have already happened. Thanks for your patience as we manage these updates and bugs are corrected. See you on the river,

Mark Singleton 
Executive Director

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