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The River Alliance: Creating Vibrant Riverfront in the Midlands

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Night at the Saluda Riverfront Park
Eric P. Harkins
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Courtesy of The River Alliance
Night at the Saluda Riverfront Park

For decades, Columbia’s rivers were seen as dividing lines between cities and counties. In 1994, the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce along with the Cities of Columbia, Cayce and West Columbia as well as Richland and Lexington Counties began to look at what the Midland’s over 90 miles of river could be. They saw a need for a dedicated organization that could provide to the community the benefits of the Congaree, Broad, and Saluda rivers, and The River Alliance was formed.

The River Alliance is uniquely involved in the goals of protecting the region’s rivers, creating public river access, and providing positive benefits to the surrounding communities. The Three Rivers Greenway; the Congaree National Park access and the Visitors Center; the Broad River Blueway; and the concurrent economic activity along the riverfront are the result of The River Alliance’s vision and direct action.

River Alliance CEO Mike Dawson talks with Walter Edgar about how the Alliance has worked together with riverside communities, city and county governments, and many other organizations to create community resources along the Saluda, Broad, and Congaree rivers in the Midlands of South Carolina.

News and Music Stations: Fri, Aug 06, at 12 pm; Sat, Aug 07, at 7 am
News & Talk Stations: Friday, Aug 06, at 12 pm; Sun, Aug 08, at 4 pm

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.