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Posts Tagged ‘healthy water’

   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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catawba 2Today was our longest paddle at a little over twenty miles. With 5 successful and exuberant days behind us, everyone’s confidence level and enthusiasm in being a part of, and continuing this awe-inspiring journey was soaring high.catawba 1

Evan Newman even convinced his parents that he was fine to continue paddling after breaking his finger the previous evening while horsing around!

Now that’s what I call a kid having a blast on the river…

Joe Kidd caught a Catawba caterpillar that he explained is a favorite food of many fish, as it commonly drops into the river from the leguminous Catawba tree leaves it munches on. The Catawba tree is a popular tree planted along rivers by fisherman looking to use the ‘worm’ as bait.

turtle 3Some of the wildlife seen along the way demonstrated the not so peachy parasitic side of life, including a swing 1leach attached to a baby yellow-bellied slider turtle. Every organism has its own unique role to play in the web of life.

P1050486Another interesting sight was the white egg cases of the Dobsonfly dotting the underside of trees and leaves along the riverbank. These little aquatic insects hatch out and drop into the water as nymphs and are fearsome top invertebrate predators with well-developed jaws. After one to three years they pupate into flying adults, mate, lay eggs and begin the life cycle again.

The sun came out in all its glory and paddlers were quick to leap out of their boats to enjoy the various rope swings along the way.

P1050733Of all the mascots gracing paddler’s boats the most historic was a photo of 19th century Naturalist, William Bartram who Georgia River Network board member, rain 1Dorinda Dallmeyer said she always takes with her on paddling trips.

After getting our dose of sun, refreshing rain showers moved in overhead giving the water a silvery hue speckled with sculptural like water droplets.

P1050889We ended our day on the river at Chattahoochee Bend State Park where we were welcomed with open arms, cold watermelon, and refreshing drinks.

Oh so delicious! P1060016

We were also excited and honored to have Georgia House of Representatives Natural Resource Committee Chair, Lynn Smith; Eagle Scout, Harrison Blair, and DNR Parks, Recreation, and Historic Sites Division Director, Becky Kelley show their support and pay us a visit.

After a fun-filled day on the river, a short rejuvenating nap on the bus was just what some people needed to be energized for the ‘No Talent Show’ that took place later in the evening.IMG_8915

P1060025The talent show was a big hit with performances ranging from horse-head hoola-hooping, acapella trio’s, and a recorder virtuoso, to comedy routines and a hilarious, skit celebrating Georgia River Network’s Executive Director, April Ingle and some of her memorably funny moments on Paddle Georgia over the last 10 years.P1060170

P1060258So sad that we have only one more day on the Chattahoochee River! But what amazing memories we will have to take back home with us!

 

 

Keep on rollin’ on the river ~

Gwyneth Moody

 

 

 

 

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Although we awoke to cool temperatures and overcast skies it was a nice respite Michelle Nunnfrom the hot steamy weather of the last few days.

Today was a particularly special day on Paddle Georgia as it is the one day that we invite professionals and legislators to join us on the paddle and get a taste for the adventure and all our river restoration and protection programs.S

We were delighted and honored to be joined by Michelle Nunn, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Georgia as well as representatives from watershed coalitions and environmental groups throughout the state.

This was also our ‘Trash Cleanup Day’ led by P1050119Trash Queen Bonny Putney. In the 10.5 mile stretch that we paddled- the shortest day on the water- paddlers collected a whopping 2500 lbs of P1050116trash!

And boy did we find some interesting, hilarious, strange, and scary things. From a larger than life-sized Bart Simpson, a Big Wheel tire, balls of all sports and sizes to crates, tires, old glass bottles and creepy baby dolls. It’s amazing what finds itself in the river.S

P1040056But amongst all the trash, we found wildlife such as an adorable baby soft shell turtle as well as fascinating artifacts such as pottery shards, arrow heads, and milk glass.

The Chattahoochee Riverkeeper team was P1050177instrumental in helping gather the large amount of trash overflowing from paddler’s kayaks and canoes with their snazzy motor boat.

Believe it or not, after 4 full days of paddling there were many pouty paddlers, who upon arriving at the take out wished that the day on the river was not over so soon.

Café Campesino’s delicious Ice Mochas and Fresh Fruit Smoothies awaited the sun-kissed paddlers – the perfect waP1050082y to ease into a lazy afternoon in a hammock with a book at Riverside Landing on the banks of the mighty Hooch.P1050185

Although the rain returned with a vengeance in the late afternoon, this didn’t put a damper on dinner and the informative ‘Politics of Water’ evening program.P1050226

It seems to just keep getting better with each passing day.

So glad to share it with everyone!

Keep on rollin’ on the river,

Gwyneth Moody

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Leslie Avra's Toes Paddle Georgia 2014 has finally arrived for the four hundred and fifty lucky paddlers who won the lottery to attend this year’s 110 mile journey on the Chattahoochee river through Atlanta, and like Leslie Avra, they are toe-tally ready!P1030329P1030331

Volunteers, staff and Paddle Georgia interns arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed at Lambert High School  to prepare for everyone’s registration en-mass and we can’t thank them enough for their hard work and support… P1030332We couldn’t do it with out them!     H I G H    F I V E!

We are always excited to have a large Paddling workshopnumber of novice paddlers join us every year and to assist in boosting their confidence we offer a paddling workshop, which this year was led by extraordinary paddler Steve Kramer.

The excitement and fervor heightened as the shuttle buses arrived  and people dropped their luggage with yelps of joy as theP1030355y reunited with Paddle Georgia buddies from year’s past.

Not only is this year special because it’s Paddle Georgia’s 10 year anniversary, but also because we are stepping up our sustainability goals a notch by going beyond recycling-  and composting all of our food P1030356waste for the first time, thanks to help from Kevin SP1030333mith with Keep Forsyth County Beautiful.

So exciting!

 

 

The classic Paddle Georgia ‘Tent City’ quickly emerged from the Lambert High playing fieP1030409lds complete with pirate flags and mansion sized abode’s. Paddle Georgian’s don’t mess around when it comes to comfort after a long day paddling.

 

By 8 o’clock the crowd was a buzz with exuberant conversation, as everyone settled in, found friends,  made new ones, and devoured a delicious dinner provided by Satterfields Restaurant & Catering.

Paddle Georgia is not just for the hard-core paddler or the river rat, but inclP1030387udes the young and old, and  people of different abilities and backgrounds.

Paddle Georgia allows everyone to join together as a community of paddlers and become part of a bigger movement of river restoration and protection efforts, achieved through getting to know the intimacies of a river.

You just have to be prepared to get a little dirty, spend 7 days on a beautiful river, learn a lot, and have a whole lot of fun with great people!

Can’t wait for our first day on the Hooch to begin!

Keep on rollin’ down the river,

~Gwyneth Moody

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The 6th day of Paddle Georgia has finally arrived and paddlers really have become P1010798true “river rats” with theirP1010660 sun tans/burns- giddy attitudes and desire to linger as long as possible enjoying the river.

It seems that every day people come off the river exclaiming it was their favorite day yet – and today was no exception.

P1010626Kids played incessantly, discovering mussels, snails, and flint in the sand between their toes as well as a few awesome rope swings to jump from on the limestone cliffs.

Paddle Georgians love to have their boats decorated with a mascot every year rangP1010560ing from a flock of flamingos and Hippo’s to a Re-Egret, a Happy Turtle, and a  Recycled TraP1010670sh Dude. Gotta love the creativity!

The Camp Horizon youth ‘made like a caterpillar’ and rolled down a giant sand dune- screaming and hooting for joy the entire way down.

Those with their hearts set on catching fish were not disappointed- as George Gibson a first time paddle Georgian caught 3 Shoal Bass over a 15 minutes period.photo

P1010714Bobby Marie recounted his incredible tale of a 3 foot Gar jumping out of the river into his boat- and flipping him over after giving him a major arm abrasion. P1010563Although this sounds a bit “fishy” it was verified by 2 eye witnesses who saw the incident in its entirety and were completely awe-struck. So amazing and only on Paddle Georgia!

The Bovine Spring gurgled away and paddlers whipped out their snorkels to get an underwater look at the spring water spewing forth from the depths below.P1010790

The most magical spring we have encountered thus far was Westrick Spring about a mile from the take-out. Although hidden within the Cypress forest, once discovered it was an oasis of crystal blue water – so clear you could see to depths of 20 feet.P1010862!

The night ended with the best talent in Georgia showing off their smooth moves, great rhythms, and beautiful poetry and voices.

It was truly a magical day and we are so sad that tomorrow is the last.

Keep on rollin’ down the river…

Gwyneth Moody

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Join Georgia River Network and Flint Riverkeeper for the Paddle Georgia 2013

“End of Journey Celebration!”

Fish Fry and Party

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Bainbridge, GA – Earle May Boat Basin/Cheney Griffin Park

Friday, June 21

2:00 PM – 8:00 PM with dinner at 6:00

Tickets – $15 and are available at: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/6772090505/efblike#

Welcome the 350-member Paddle Georgia navy as it arrives at its final destination – Bainbridge, Georgia – after their 7-day, 106-mile adventure on the Flint River from Warwick to Bainbridge.

There will be live music, a fish fry with all the fixins’, games and celebration.

To purchase tickets for the fish fry go to: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/6772090505/efblike#

Bring your lawn chair and join the fun!

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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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