The Ocoee River has been under contract with TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) for 35 years and soon that contract will end. A lot has changed in 35 years and by the end of the 2018 rafting season this contract runs out. The outfitters have been talking with TVA for the last eight years trying to come up with a new contract. The Ocoee River Outfitters Association (OROA), had an Economic Impact Study done on the Ocoee River. This report, which was done by a professor at the University of Tennessee, revealed that the economic impact to the Ocoee area and the surrounding region was $43.8 million and created some 660 full time jobs and countless part time jobs. This, very realistically, could all go away. If a reasonable agreement with TVA is not reached by the end of the 2018 rafting season the water will be shut off and there will be no more rafting on the Ocoee River. OROA is working diligently to make sure this does not happen. The proposed water cost from TVA is $1.8 million a year. Our rafting customers can not reasonably pay such a high price to raft and thus would find alternative recreational options. This would put all of the rafting companies out of business. OROA has hired a firm to negotiate on our behalf and over the last nine months we have tried to work with TVA to come up with a reasonable solution.
We realize the critical time frame and nature of this situation. If you would like to support our efforts please write or call your senator, your representatives, or your governor and tell them what the Ocoee River means to you. The more they hear about this fantastic natural recreational resource the more they will take interest in preserving it for generations to come. For more information, please visit their website at www.savetheocoee.org.