Campaigning in New Hampshire, Vice President Al Gore urged Americans to protect the nation's environment for future generations.
"To me, these are more than public policy issues, they are moral issues," he said in a campaign speech delivered on the bank of the Connecticut River.
Gore spoke at an event celebrating the river's designation as an American Heritage River. Before giving his address, the presidential candidate went canoeing with a fellow Democrat, Gov. Jeanne Shaheen.
The river, as one of 14 designated an American Heritage River, qualifies for special federal money. Gore announced that $819,000 had been earmarked for various projects related to the river.
The vice president praised communities near the river for cooperating to preserve the Connecticut.
He also took the opportunity to discuss his own memories of growing up by waterways in Tennessee. Those early experiences and later ones with his own children led him to urge President Clinton to adopt the American Heritage Rivers Initiative, he said Thursday.
Gore stressed that environmentalism and economic prosperity are intertwined.
"Environmental protection and economic growth are not opposing forces, but go hand in hand," he said. "We have to make the 21st century the time we right the environmental wrongs of the past."
Gore later met with voters in Newport. He greeted and shook hands with people who lined up along Main Street for a chance to meet him. At a daycare center, he read to children before telling their parents that preschool and daycare would be high among his priorities, if he's elected.
Gore's two-day New Hampshire trip included stops in Lebanon, Hanover, Durham, Hampton, Stratham and Rochester.
By Ann S. Kim