Symmes Creek deserves honor

Published 11:11 am Friday, May 8, 2009

Don’t let the name fool you. Symmes Creek needs to be considered a scenic river, at least as far as the State of Ohio is concerned.

Lawrence County organizations, led by the county commission, the Greater Lawrence County Area Chamber of Commerce and the Symmes Creek Restoration Committee, are asking the state to give the waterway that designation.

This would open the door for more state funding, increase tourism opportunities and essentially give groups like the restoration committee more tools to preserve and develop this natural resource.

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At approximately 66 miles long and running through a large portion of Lawrence County, Symmes Creek is as much a river as several others on the state’s designation list.

We urge state lawmakers to include Symmes Creek on the list of Ohio’s Scenic Rivers — becoming the first in southern Ohio — and help Lawrence County share this hidden gem with the entire Tri-State.

Not only would this benefit Lawrence County, it could become a tourist attraction or outdoor destination for the entire southern part of the state. Right now, outdoor enthusiasts would have to drive through three or four counties to get to one of the state’s 16 scenic rivers.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, “Ohio pioneered the river preservation movement in 1968 with the passage of the nation’s first scenic rivers act. This legislation created a state program to protect Ohio’s remaining high quality streams for future generations. Scenic rivers retain most of their natural characteristics at a time when many rivers reflect the negative impacts of human activities.”

Symmes Creek embodies that as well as any other waterway in the region.