AIWA annual meeting starts Thursday

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The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association will highlight the alliance that was created more than a decade ago between recreational boaters and commercial navigation interests at its annual meeting Thursday and Friday in Portsmouth, Va.

The conference will be held at the Renaissance Hotel and Conference Center.

A highlight this year is a luncheon presentation on last summer's East Coast Ocean Policy Expedition with a team from Duke University that examined the waterway's role as a transportation system and its identity with the fabric of life in the Southeast.

Led by Linwood Pendleton, ocean and coastal policy director at the university's Nicholas Institute, the expedition covered the northern 200 miles of the Atlantic Intracoastal from Beaufort, N.C., to Norfolk, Va., aboard Pendleton's 38-foot trawler, Indicator.

Although tourism interests, the academic community and state and local governments recognize the waterway as an asset to the region, funds for dredging and maintenance are lacking. For that reason the meeting agenda includes a post-election update on the new Congress and sessions covering the environment, tourism and coalition building.

A full agenda and other information are available at www.atlintracoastal.org.

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