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National Geographic Online Geotourism MapGuide Open for Nominations

The National Geographic Society and the Southeast Watershed Forum, a non-profit organization supporting communities throughout the southeastern United States to better protect their land and water resources, have launched the nomination process for the “East Tennessee River Valley” Geotourism MapGuide project – one of only 15 such projects in the world.

 
 
 
 
 
Organizations, businesses and individuals are encouraged to go online to www.EastTNGeotourism.org and nominate destinations and events authentic to the region, including historic sites, parks, museums, restaurants, scenic byways, trails and wildlife areas, that make the greater Chattanooga corridor to Knoxville and the Smoky Mountains such a great place to live, work, and play, as well as a world-class tourist destination. Communities in the Alliance for the Cumberlands region whose rivers and streams flow into the Tennessee River are included in the project area. The nomination website will be open until August 8, 2011, but early nomination is encouraged.
 
After the nomination process closes in August, a regional Geotourism Stewardship Council will review and recommend sites for the map. National Geographic will use those nominations to build the East Tennessee River Valley Geotourism online MapGuide. The site will be launched for a national and international audience later this fall, and MapGuides reside on National Geographic's online sight that averages 10 million viewers per month.
 
National Geographic Maps Development Associate James Dion says, “The National Geographic Maps Division is pleased to have the opportunity to spotlight this region and, in doing so, support and sustain it as one of the treasured natural places on the globe. The MapGuide will celebrate the area’s abundant scenic, cultural and historical attributes from the unique vantage point of those who live there."
 
"We are excited to be offering the first U.S. MapGuide celebrating a major river valley," said Forum Executive Director, Christine Olsenius. "Our rivers are the lifelines of our communities." Principal project supporters to date include the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Chattanooga Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Knoxville Tourism and Sports Corporation and World Wildlife Fund's Southeastern Rivers and Streams program. Additional project partners are welcome.
 
Attached is an e-flier which provides more information on the nomination process. For more information on the project, contact Christine Olsenius at co@southeastwaterforum.org or Jane Fowler at jf@southeastwaterforum.org.a
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