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   P1070723 175 exuberant paddlers set off early this morning for our first day on the fabulous Flint river.

 Although we had anticipated cool fall weather, temps warmed up to the upper 80’s today- a welcome delight for those that decided to brave the beautiful but chilly 68 degree blue holes we encountered at Radium and Wilson Blue Springs.

Some folks even had the foresight to bring their snorkels to peer down into the depths where the water spewed forth.

P1070715Camm Swift and Brett Albanese- ichthyologists extraordinaire- dragged their seine net and scooped up a plethora of shiner, sunfish, minnow, and bass, etc… not to mention the scorpion water bug that resembled a walking stick but had a powerful bite for those that accidentally made a misstep.

 

The limestone topography dotted the river banks resembling a moonscape, with Floridan Aquifer spring water gurgling up from the depths below. Lush green ferns and vibrant red and purple flowers hung over the karst ledges and caves beneath like a garden, with the occasional waterfall beckoning us to come closer. 

You never would have guessed that you were paddling through downtown Albany until we made a special detour to the Flint Riverquarium.

Paddlers parked their vessels under the overhanging branches of giant cypress and made there way 200 feet around the construction of a new riverwalk and boat launch to the Aquarium.

It was such an interesting experience to go from the secluded and intimate river corridor into revitalized downtown Albany with its pedestrian street signs marking points of interest only walking distance away- such as the James Brown Memorial. 

The Riverquarium is a must see with very well done exhibits of native river life, such as catfish, gar, terrapin & alligator snapping turtles, albino alligator and even tanks with animals from the gulf- such as octopus, sea horse, piranha, shark, and urchin.

Although it was the shortest paddle of the trip at 14 miles,  the scenery along the way made us yearn to stay on the river longer. Giant cypress tress with there elbows and knees flanked almost every bank, twisting and jutting out of the water resembling picturesque statues of everything from swans and dancers, to mother and child.

Fathers paddling alongside their daughters,  mothers with their sons, such a heartening sight to see that these paddling adventures have become such a special family affair.

At the end of the paddle, the colorful assortment of kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddle boards were lined up on the sandy riverbank and the buses lined up to whisk everyone back to our lovely temporary home at Chehaw Park where showers and the evening festivities awaited.

We were thrilled to be joined by Flint river supporter, Representative Winfred J Dukes (Albany)!

Evening entertainment and educational presentations also included Brett Albanese, GA DNR and Gordon Rogers, Flint Riverkeeper,

What a fabulous day! Really excited about tomorrow’s journey…

Keep on rollin’ down the river ~

Gwyneth Moody,

Georgia River Network.
Community Programs Coordinator

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The last day of Paddle Georgia has finally arrived and paddlers – although a bit P1010890rugged- still had the same spunk and excitement as the first day, P1010900playing, lounging, and cruising along still meeting new people and catching up with paddlers from years past.P1020088

The geology of the river, with the underlying Floridan aquifer, bubbling springs, and towering  cliff banks with hidden fossils of creatures from the Oligocene epoch 35 million years ago and the importance of this resource for water supply, never ceased to amaze paddlers.

Big Slough was an enchanting side trip from the main stem of the Flint- with aquatic plants we had not seen up until now- truly a wetland sanctuary!  And even P1020046the exotic and invasive Hydrilla covering the stream bed with its green fuzzy alien tentacles was a beautiful sight.

The river was lined with dead trees standing tall like telephone poles- which had giant fist sized holes providing housing for Pileated Woodpeckers, Great Crested Flycatchers, Wood Ducks just to name a few….P1020024

P1010949It seemed that around every bend a paddler had found a cozy spot in the shade to take a snooze in their boat-drifting, and bobbing to the rhythm of the river.

We are so proud of the Camp Horizon kids for their positive attitudes and perseverance. Such a strong and inquisitive group – and so much fun to hang out with!P1020041

It was touching to see so many families out on the river together. Steve and Elliot Cousins are such a awesome father/son duo, who have been attending Paddle Georgia for many years, and as Elliot said “It’s a great way to spend quality time together, especially since Paddle Georgia always occurs on Father’s Day”.P1010956

Folks pulled into the last Take-Out with grins from ear to ear and paddles raised high! 106 Georgia river miles under their belt with fantastic stories of their adventures to bring home to family and friends.

P1020098Parrie Pinya, an avid paddler and veteran Paddle Georgian passed onto the great spirits earlier this year and it was her wish to have her ashes spread into the rivers of Georgia she loved so dearly. Needless to say it was a great honor and we took her ashes with us on our entire Paddle Georgia journey and held a Memorial ceremony, releasing her into the beautiful current of the Flint river.P1020183

This has been such a magical experience for us all and we really look forward to seeing everyone next year on the Chattahoochee for Paddle Georgia 2014.

Keep on rollin’ down the river!

Gwyneth Moody

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We could not have asked for a more beautiful day on the river with gorgeous P1010192blue skies, intermittent puffy clouds, and the perfect cool breeze.

Upon arriving at the Put-In, our attention was quickly drawn to a display by the Department of Natural P1010200Resources who were giving awe-inspiring information about the fascinating fishes and mussels that live in the Flint, which they had seined from the river the pP1010266revious evening.P1010406

Adopt A Stream and the Environmental Protection Division have been collecting water quality data at every tributary and spring entering the main channel and are now up to a total of 80 sites sampled! We are so grateful to have such an awesome team  involved with Paddle Georgia and to learn about the water quality of the river in which we swim and fish.P1010496P1010473

We were greeted by staff of the Jones Ecological Research Center along the way. A few staff had just gathered mussels and other organisms from the river bottom and were still in their wetsuits, while others gave educational tours and presentations about the Longleaf pine ecosystem, essential to the survival of many species of wildlife, such as the Gopher tortoise and Red-Cockaded woodpecker.P1010402

The trees on this section were exceptionally large and majestic, towering over you like giant gnomes with pointy hats.P1010410

The morning forays of raccoon, mink and deer were imprinted in the muddy riverbank along with the yummy clams they had pried open for a delicious snack.

After frolicking in the shoals and whirlpools and exploring the many islands formed from the dredging that occurred by the Army P1010234Corp in the early 1800’s to facilitate steamboat passage, we reached the cool, clear, and tannin rich Ichawaynochoway Creek- which almost looked like red tea.

The evening was filled with laughter and cheers of joy as paddlers teamed up to play the game shows ‘Family Feud & Paddle Wet’ Paddle Georgia style.

Excited about boppin’ in blue holes tomorrow!

Keep on rollin’ down the river….

Gwyneth MoodyP1010505

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Have you REGISTERED for the CHATTAHOOCHEE HIDDEN GEMS PADDLING TRIP- MAY 18th?

Take a behind the scenes look at the work horse of Atlanta with not only an awe-inspiring presentation about this sections history – but also fascinating presentations on the wildlife that resides here and ways that you can get involved in water quality monitoring and river cleanups in your community.

Where: Chattahoochee River in Southwest Metro Atlanta (The stretch we are paddling is 13.1 miles and has beginner class 1 rapids).
When: Saturday, May 18th ~ 8AM – 5PM
Cost:     
$50 ~ Includes Boat Rental, Lunch, and ACA Insurance ($35 kids- 18 and under)
$25 ~ Includes Lunch and ACA Insurance, Bring your own Boat
$15 ~ Includes ACA Insurance, Bring your own Boat and Lunch

May 18th… It’s gonna be AWESOME!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR GOOD TIMES…

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 Flint Riverkeeper1

TASTE the FLINT
-River Trip Series-
First paddle of 2013 kicks off March 23rd!

Explore and understand the natural diversity of the Flint River

Join us for 2013’s first Taste the Flint River Trip

Saturday, March 23rd

Upper Flint, near Thomaston

8:00am: Meet at State Route 74 bridge

6+ hour trip to Sprewell Bluff Recreation Area

Moderate-Experience Paddling Skills Required for this trip

*Registrants will be sent additional details and directions

-SPACE IS LIMITED-

Register by emailing jayme@flintriverkeeper.org

OR call 229.435.2241, 229.220.9796

  • FRk members who bring their own canoe $15 each
  • FRk members who need to borrow canoe $25 each
  • Non-members who bring their own canoe $35 each
  • Non-members who need to borrow canoe $45 each
  • FREE trip & boat usage for up to three volunteers who will help load boats and gear at the conclusion of the trip

(non member cost includes one-year of FRk membership)
*pricing includes kayaks, too

More TASTE the FLINT River Trips are planned for the rest of the year, throughout the Flint watershed:

 

Saturday, April 20th: Middle Flint, near Montezuma

 

Saturday in May, TBA: Upson-Thomaston Chamber of Commerce

3rd Annual Poker Float

 

Saturday, June 15th- Friday, June 21st: Paddle Georgia on Lower Flint

*this event is sold-out, but you can be included on the wait list

and find other details here

*Although sold-out, Paddle Georgia coordinators are seeking solutions to accommodate those on the wait list

 

Saturday in July, TBA: Baker-Mitchell Sheriff’s Home poker Float

 

Saturday, October 5th: Lower Flint, near Albany

 

-all scheduled trips are subject to change due to weather and flow conditions-

We hope to see you on the river!

BECOME A FRk MEMBER TO PROTECT YOUR FLINT RIVER!

The mission of the Flint Riverkeeper® (FRk) is to restore and preserve the habitat, water quality, and flow of the Flint River for the benefit of current and future generations and dependent wildlife. Flint Riverkeeper is a fully licensed member of the Waterkeeper Alliance; a participating member of the Georgia Water Coalition; and a member-group of EarthShare of Georgia.

Copyright© 2009 Flint Riverkeeper. All rights reserved
Flint Riverkeeper | P.O. Box 468, Albany Ga. 31702 | (229) 435-2241

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We would love to showcase the river issues in Georgia so people are more aware of the problems that need to be addressed and can learn how to get involved in restoration efforts!

Please share your photo for our March photo showcase!  Check out more details HERE….

trashEmail your photo to Gwyneth@garivers.org

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Paddle Georgia Logo No Date A Project of Georgia River Network

Paddle Georgia 2013 on the Lower Flint!
                               REGISTER HERE!!!
Paddle Georgia Friends,heartWe know how much you LOVE Georgia’s rivers and Paddle Georgia, and to celebrate that LOVE, we thought it would be appropriate on Valentine’s Day to let you know that Paddle Georgia 2013 registration is now OPEN! dsc_0467If you haven’t heard the news yet – Paddle Georgia 2013 will take place on the lower Flint River – from Warwick to Bainbridge – June 15-21, 2013. Read Joe’s most recent blog post for all the details. It’s going to be another GREAT trip, and it’s going to be a hot ticket.Registration will be open until all the spaces are filled. There will be 350 spaces available for thru-paddlers this year. Last year, we sold out in just two weeks – so please register before we sell out.

 
Watch our Fun Lovin’ Paddle Georgia 2013 Registration Video:
http://youtu.be/hZcqVIB1v-w

ImageWe will also have a limited number of Paddle Georgia Lite 2013 spaces that will be available by invitation only to our supporters, special guests, and by lottery. Paddle Georgia Lite is our abbreviated trip for just the first two days of Paddle Georgia – June 15-16. If you would like to be considered for a Paddle Georgia Lite invitation this year please fill out the request form at this link by April 1, 2013 and we’ll put you in the pool. Invitations will be extended by April 12.

AND, A VERY EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT! Canoe-A-Thon 2013 participants will be eligible for a very special reward for helping us accomplish two important goals of Paddle Georgia – introducing more people to our beautiful rivers and raising more money to protect these precious resources. Canoe-A-Thon 2013 participants who raise at least $200 will be GUARANTEED A SPOT ON PADDLE GEORGIA 2014* by being eligible to register during a special PRIORITY REGISTRATION period before regular open registration begins in Feb. 2014 for Paddle Georgia 2014 – our 10 Year Anniversary Trip and return to the Chattahoochee River where it all began. To learn more about Canoe-A-Thon and sign up for Canoe-A-Thon 2013 go to: http://www.garivers.org/paddle_georgia/pgcanoeathon.html. *Be sure to click here and read all the specific rules and policies for Paddle Georgia 2014 Priority Registration. As always, there will be additional fabulous prizes for our top fundraisers.

Finally, please consider making a special gift to Georgia River Network to support the tradition of enjoying and protecting our rivers in 2013. It’s easy to do by just clicking this link.

We look forward to seeing you on the Flint in June!

The Paddle Georgia/Georgia River Network Team

2013 Sponsors to Date – Georgia Power; Hennessy Land Rover Centres; Patagonia; Oglethorpe Power Corporation; StreamTechs; Cedar Creek RV and Outdoor Center; Cellairis ; Len Foote Hike Inn; Chambliss, Sheppard, Roland & Baxter LLP; China Clay Producers Association; Sea to Summit; The Outside World

2013 Partners to Date – Georgia Canoe Association, Flint Riverkeeper, Georgia Adopt-A-Stream, Project Wet

——————————————-

Georgia River Network
126 South Milledge Ave. Suite E3, Athens, GA 30605
706-549-4508
http://www.garivers.org
Become a Member Today – Join

  Georgia 2  
Patagonia HennesseyCentres CedarCreek
Len Foote Hike Inn Stream Techssmall opcbw 3
Cellairis Chambliss, Sheppard, Roland & Baxter LLP chinaclay
outsideworldlogo (3) SeaToSummit 2 Flint Riverkeeper logo_blue
ProjectWET logo gcalogoBW AAS Logo bluesmall

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