Face the River
The Clark Fork River plays an important role for Missoula residents and visitors and it is time that we all ‘Face the River’ and take a look at our city centerpiece and dream about what it could be. There is little doubt, based on research and empirical evidence, that Brennan’s Wave has had a positive influence on the city. There is also a long list of cities and towns that have cleaned up their rivers making them accessible, esthetically pleasing and community gathering places of civic pride. In locations where outcomes have been evaluated, results have been universally positive citing greatly improved quality of life, strong economic growth, increased tourism, a sense of community pride and a renewed vibrancy to downtowns. See a slide showof what other towns have done as well as an economic impact report from Cascade, ID.
The MAX WAVE, with enhancements on both banks of the Clark Fork River, will greatly improve a long neglected stretch of the river. The rip raft, rebar, concrete blocks, hunks of metal trash on the banks and entrance to the irrigation ditch will be rejuvenated to become a source of civic pride. The entire project includes many river enhancements: two surf waves in tandem, a boat and fish passage, bank stabilization, two ADA compliant accessible river access points, improvements to the boat ramp and many enhancements to the ditch exit including a state of the art fish screen to protect bull trout. Flow modeling has shown that the project will not impede fish migration, and at most flows will allow enhanced upstream fish movement.