ELBA, Ala. (WDHN)—Recently, Elba officials and business owners met with representatives from the National Park Service.

Wiregrass officials hope the federal government will designate the Pea River and accompanying tributaries as part of a natural resource.

If the Pea River is designated as a “Blueway Trail”, it will bring grant dollars to mark the river and whitewater creek as navigable for recreational use. That would bring eco-tourists to the western wiregrass.

Elba natives often say the pea river has been the city’s blessing and curse over the decades.
For instance, in the 1990s, it brought three devastating floods which destroyed much of the downtown square. But now, the National Park Service is looking at the possibility of giving it a Blueway Trail. That would mark it as a navigable waterway with unique wildlife along its banks.

Laurie Chapman of Restoration 154 says “So we believe we’re safe from flooding in the future and we want to make attention on the river a positive. A positive spin because it is a beautiful asset we have in our backyard.”

It seems almost on a daily basis you hear of mass shootings and other tragedies when you have a large group of people. Now on vacations, many are trying to get away from people.

Restoration 154 is a non-profit agency working in Elba. A federal Blueway designation would bring tourists from across the country and around the world to enjoy the unique wildlife of the western wiregrass.

Justin Maddox of Restoration 154 says “Utilizing the Pea River and its tributaries. It’s a great opportunity to look at the natural resources that we have in this community and this region and find ways to make them more accessible. Look at the entryways, and exit points to the river and make it the best it can be.”