By Doug Alderson, Outreach & Advocacy Director
The Apalachicola RiverTrek is more than a 5-day October kayak trip down the entire Apalachicola River. Participants become ambassadors for the river and bay as they raise funds for Apalachicola Riverkeeper, and many become closely involved with the organization during subsequent years.
Take a look at Apalachicola Riverkeeper’s (AR) board of directors. Board president Kim Sash and Secretary Katie McCormick started their involvement by participating in RiverTrek as did Riverkeeper and Executive Director Georgia Ackerman and yours truly, AR Outreach & Advocacy Director. That’s because there is no better way to get to know the river and bay than to paddle its waters and camp along its shores, experiencing the river’s many moods first-hand.
“Fumbling from a tent in the pitch dark on a cold morning, I was rewarded with the eventual break of sunlight and a view of undulating mist rising from tea-stained tannic water,” Georgia wrote of her first RiverTrek experience in for The Marjorie online journal. “The river’s restorative powers offer peace and tranquility.”
And on RiverTrek, guest speakers often include scientists, naturalists, historians and local officials who share their knowledge and personal history with the river system. They enlighten paddlers about the system’s diverse fish, wildlife, plants, geology, environmental threats and the livelihoods that depend upon clean and abundant freshwater flowing down the river and through the floodplain and bay.
This year’s RiverTrek group has a good mix of RiverTrek veterans and newcomers who both live in the region and hail from as far away as Asheville, North Carolina and Punta Gorda. The group includes teachers, writers, kayak guides, business people, military veterans, a video journalist and a woodworker. You can support Bob Ackerman, Cameron Barton, Dodie Alber, Doug Alderson, James Kimbrel, Joe Webb, Kim Miller, Lee Rigby, Martha Haynes, Mary Allgire, Ray Jones, Wayne Douchkoff and Whitney Sanford, or contribute to the entire team. Rob Diaz de Villegas will cover the trip for WFSU TV. Please support RiverTrek today!