Congressman kayaks to change river's bad reputation - WNEM TV 5

Congressman kayaks to change river's bad reputation

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GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Congressman Dan Kildee tested out the water on the Flint River, kayaking there for the first time.

“I think I'll survive, let’s put it that way. But I hope it's not a race,” Kildee said.

Kildee was optimistic before heading out on a kayak trip.

“I'm anxious to see this stretch of the river. A lot of people tells me it's just a beautiful part of the Flint River,” Kildee said.

Looking out over the canoe launch off Irish Road, the Flint River looks picturesque.

And that's the point behind today's trip. Making Genesee County residents aware of the beauty in their backyard.

Rebecca Fedewa, the executive director of the Flint Watershed Coalition, said the Flint River can be an alternative to trips up north.

“The Flint River is a fabulous amenity to our communities,” Fedewa said. “It's a really beautiful river as well and offers a lot of recreational opportunities.”

The 90 minute trip took kayakers from the launch site to the Stanley Road fishing site. Along the path, there is a lot of wildlife, including a nest of bald eagles.

“I'm always anxious to see how the work we support, conservation work we support, farming work we support, other aspects of environmental policy can have a positive effect on resorting which was once, frankly, an open sewer,” Kildee said.

The river may still have a bad reputation, but many hope that can one day change.

“It's getting healthier every day,” Fedewa said. “We do water testing twice a year and can show all the trends are moving up. It's just a fabulous river, it's lots of fun, and it's great for our communities.”

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