Swimming with Sharks for a Good Cause

by: Doug Alderson, Outdoor & Nature Expert

Kayakers on the foggy Apalachicola River near Tallahassee, FloridaThe game is on! Two heavyweight contenders with incredible connections, Leon County commissioner Bryan Desloge and Wilderness Way owner Georgia Ackerman, are leaping ahead in fundraising and I'm left wondering if there is any chance for a little guy like me to compete. No, I'm not talking about running for office. I'm talking about raising money for the Apalachicola Riverkeeper.

This October, I'm joining Bryan and Georgia and several others for this year's five-day RiverTrek on the mighty Apalachicola River. We'll kayak the entire 107-mile river from Lake Woodruff Dam near Chattahoochee to Apalachicola Bay, one of the most productive estuaries in North America. We're raising awareness about the plight of this unique river system-especially how it is being starved for water by Alabama and Georgia-and we'll also try to raise at least $10,000 for the main river protection group, the Apalachicola Riverkeeper. That's where the friendly competition comes in, and I need to show that a minnow can swim with sharks. Can you help? Check out the Rivertrek donation page and specify the paddler you are sponsoring in the comment section: http://www.apalachicolariverkeeper.org/rivertrek_20120.aspx. The Riverkeeper is on a shoestring budget, so any help is greatly needed.

Why protect the Apalachicola River? For one, the Apalachicola is one of Florida's most dynamic rivers, the only Florida waterway to emerge from the Appalachian Mountains. It has the largest volume of water flow of any Florida river and it supports an incredible number of unique plants and animals, not to mention those sumptuous oysters in Apalachicola Bay. A huge seafood-based economy is dependent upon a sufficient volume of fresh water flowing into the bay. Plus, with the creation of the Apalachicola Blueway for paddlers, along with other endeavors, the Apalachicola is becoming a draw for more and more eco-tourists. Come see for yourself and support RiverTrek 2012!


Doug Alderson Author:

Doug Alderson

Outdoor & Nature Expert


Doug Alderson is the author of several books, including Waters Less Traveled: Exploring Florida's Big Bend Coast (University Press of Florida 2005), The Vision Keepers: Walking for Native Americans and the Earth (Quest Books 2007), New Dawn for the Kissimmee River: Orlando to Okeechobee by Kayak (University Press of Florida, 2009), Encounters with Florida's Endangered Wildlife (University Press of Florida, 2010), and his newest book, Wild Florida Waters: Exploring the Sunshine State by Kayak and Canoe (Earthways Press, 2011). Additionally, his articles and photographs have been featured in magazines such as Sea Kayaker, Coast and Kayak, Wildlife Conservation, American Forests, Sierra, Mother Earth News and Shaman's Drum. He has won several state and national awards for his books and magazine features. Doug also works as the paddling trails coordinator for the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails.

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