The French Broad River Partnership (FBRP) will host its Fifth Annual Meeting on Wednesday, November 8 from 8:30–11:30 a.m. at the Ferguson Auditorium at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. The meeting is open to the public and free to attend. The program will include three moderated panel discussions featuring State and Local Elected Officials and Government, Industry Stakeholders, and Business and Tourism Leaders. “The moderated panel discussions are designed to be energetic, informative, collaborative, and representative of multiple perspectives followed by a brief audience Q&A,” says Lisa Raleigh, executive director of RiverLink and a member of the FBRP Steering Committee.
Panelists include NC State Senator Julie Mayfield, Canton Mayor Zeb Smathers, and Henderson County Manager John Mitchell, among others.
“The panel participants include leaders and decision-makers from each of their respective categories and will represent different regions of the French Broad River watershed,” says Raleigh. “They were each selected to share their broad and unique perspectives and to speak to their first-hand experiences with the intersection of the environment and the economy when it comes to the river corridor.”
The FBRP is a collaboration of business, nonprofit, and government stakeholders all interested in the water quality and economic impact of the watershed in our region. According to a recent study by the FBRP, the French Broad River contributes $3.8 billion annually to local economies in the region. “At the same time,” says Raleigh, “19 miles of the mainstem and several tributaries are classified as impaired for fecal coliform. The watershed provides a recreational and environmental backbone to the area and it is imperative we continue to address the challenges and opportunities, gain more understanding, and advocate for this priceless resource to the region.”
A-B Tech is located at 340 Victoria Road, Asheville. To learn more visit FrenchBroadPartnership.org. Register for the annual meeting at bit.ly/fbrp2023.