NAME & PROFESSION: Matt Perry, President and co-owner Riverside Outfitters.
WHY YOU LOVE THE JAMES: It’s incredible, natural beauty that changes with the seasons. Diversity of recreation options. Nature dictates the character of the river — not men and dam release schedules. It’s a collective backyard for us all in a time when “apart” seems to be more prevalent than “together.”
HOW YOU HELP THE RIVER: Help people fall in love (or back in love) with it. Advocate publicly for its protection and conservation. Donate time and money to river-based causes. Clean up litter. Dislodge severe strainers. Ensure my kids understand its importance and magnificence. Keep it company every chance I get. Deeply appreciate it.
WHAT WOULD YOU IMPROVE OR CHANGE: Spread the love from two or three areas of high-density river use (Belle Isle, Pony Pasture, Huguenot Flatwater) to five or six areas of lower-density use (including better access and parking at Bosher’s Dam, Powhite or maybe the Pump House).