An Open Source Signage Toolbox from American Whitewater

American Whitewater is proud to announce the release of our new turn-key toolbox for developing river signs! We’re all about open-source, river information sharing and this is the motivation and rationale behind our Open-source Signage Toolbox. The first of its kind in the river community, the Toolbox houses a database of templates for safety messaging regarding life jackets, caution messaging, river kiosk information, map content and river rapid classification info.


“The annual death toll on America’s whitewater rivers is filled with the names of people who were looking for a fun day on the water and blundered into a dangerous situation. American Whitewater’s Safety Signage Project is designed to alert people to downstream dangers and suggest simple safety practices. This Open-source Signage Toolbox will make it easier for river managers, landowners, and others to get the word out.” – American Whitewater Safety Chairman, Charlie Walbridge

A sample page from the Toolkit. Hi-resolution vector graphics are available for all of the designs included in the Toolkit.

American Whitewater Communications Director, Evan Stafford said, “The years of river safety experience that went into American Whitewater’s Safety Signage Project is hard to even put a number to, but suffice it to say it should be counted in centuries. Everyone from public lands agency river managers who’ve been working to educate river users for decades, to swiftwater rescue instructors who’ve been teaching courses for generations gave their input. The end result is a comprehensive, open-source toolkit, that will push river signage to be the most informative it can be, while maintaining consistent messaging that can be recognized across jurisdictions and from watershed to watershed.”

American Whitewater’s ultimate goal in the Open-source Signage Toolboxinitiative is to reduce boating fatalities and accidents under the premise that more effective information at river access points will result in a greater percentage of individuals engaged in safe boating practices. We hope you’ll utilize these open-source graphic templates and instructions in your professional work and will also help us spread the word on the Toolbox’s availability. Thank you!

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