By Doug Alderson, Apalachicola Riverkeeper Outreach & Advocacy Director

It is easy to get discouraged during this pandemic. Many people are more isolated and communication seems less personal, while the issues facing the river and bay are still present and ominous, requiring a strong response and sometimes a legal challenge.

For Apalachicola Riverkeeper’s annual RiverTrek, we are taking steps to ensure that the trip itself will be safe for all 14 participants. Group meals will be spread out and served by volunteers wearing masks. Any group photos will be spread out as well, some taken by drone. Campsites are large, allowing folks to easily separate. It is the pre-RiverTrek events that have been changed or cancelled. Our June ice-cream social was virtual and fun, but all others such as the wine and cheese social at Richard Bickel’s Photography Boutique, bingo at Bowery Station in Apalachicola and a fundraiser at Tallahassee’s Deep Brewery have been cancelled since they would have involved large numbers of people in close proximity to each other.

Since RiverTrek is our major fundraiser for the year, it makes the task of reaching our financial goal of $60,000 more challenging, but then you get notes from friends and supporters that lift your spirits and remind us we can meet this goal!  Take this one from former RiverTrek participant Micheal Taber in late August: “Sorry it’s taking me awhile to get back with you, but I just made my contribution… We all live in such a crazy world, especially this year, so I appreciate the fond memories of peaceful paddles and listening to your wonderful tales. Have a great and safe trip and fingers crossed I might see you guys at the finish. Thank you for all the great work you do keeping our world so wild and interesting!”

It is uplifting to have so many steadfast friends and supporters. Thank you! Apalachicola Riverkeeper will persevere and celebrate with all of you on the other side of this pandemic. And keep in touch. We enjoy hearing from you!

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