Friday, February 24, 2017

Thank You T.J.!

On behalf of the ACA, we would like to thank Education and Outreach Coordinator T.J. Turner for his outstanding dedication to the paddlesports community during his time on staff at the ACA National Office.
T.J. grew up in the Lower Shenandoah Valley, where he gained appreciation for the outdoors and the mountainous terrain and the waterways of Virginia. In 2001, he started his career in recreation by obtaining a snowboard certification through the Professional Ski Instructors of America/American Association of Snowboard Instructors in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. In 2006, he attended James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia to study kinesiology focusing on sport and recreation management. While attending JMU, he worked with the University Recreation Center Outdoor Program running programs all around the Shenandoah Valley area and even some paddling trips through West Virginia and Maryland. In 2009, he traveled to Macomb, Illinois to pursue his outdoor recreation education at Western Illinois University. In May 2010, he graduated with a Master’s degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration. In May of 2010, he interned at the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission to continue his outdoor recreation training with a water-sports focus. In the Fall of 2010, he moved out to Wyoming and directed a ski school in the Medicine Bow/Routt National Forest. In April 2011, he took his first ACA course with Josh Hall, Charlie MacArthur, and Roger Schuman for L-2 Stand Up Paddleboard. Since that date, he has been pursuing his passion for teaching and educating others about watersports. In May 2011 and 2012, he helped manage the CCPRC camp program and helped train incoming summer staff.  From August of 2013 through February of 2017, in addition to providing great customer service, T.J. has managed a wide range of U.S. Coast Guard grants for the ACA and as provided ACA outreach at numerous events across the southeast.
He currently holds an L-2 Instructor Trainer certification for Stand Up Paddleboard, helped to write the L-3 SUP surf curriculum for the ACA, and paddles mostly in the greater Charleston area and Folly Beach.
Best wishes on your future endeavors as the Outdoor Recreation Specialist at the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC)!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Fearless Formosa

The adventure begins shortly. These two fine women, Kelly Henry and Laura Zulliger, are going to paddle 250 miles of Taiwan's beautiful and rugged eastern coastline! This expedition, Fearless Formosa, will start on April 24th and conclude on June 3rd. Kelly and Laura will teach a range of classes in collaboration with local paddling clubs and organizations. Their instruction aims to not only teach advanced kayaking skills - like kayak surfing and rock gardening - but also to further female outdoor leadership among Taiwanese women paddlers. We are so proud of you ladies! 

Follow their adventure:

To learn about their ACA connection:

Friday, February 3, 2017

By Land or Lake, Inc.

At the most recent Surf Expo, our staff had the pleasure of meeting with By Land or Lake, Inc., which is a non-profit dedicated "to give back to the great community we live in." This organization is run by students in the Business Institute of St. Cloud High School and will be a leisure boat rental business, scheduled to open at the beginning of this summer. This is an amazing opportunity for the Associates (the students of St. Cloud High School) and for the community! 

The ACA is working with the Associates over the age of 18 to become certified instructors and the others will be involved in the Paddlesports Safety Facilitator (PSF) Program. We are very excited to see how this business, the first of it's kind, will grow! 

To learn about our PSF Program, please follow:

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Giving Back to Your Stomping Ground

Each paddling journey begins a little differently, but they each involve falling in love with a beautiful sport that allows you to connect with a part of the world that is otherwise inaccessible. Who spends time paddling down rivers, into coastal caves, or across a remote lake? These are places that paddling has enabled us to embrace. These are important places that require attention. 

It is up to each individual to decide how they want to give back to the waterways that helped them develop passion. You can organize a clean up, write to your congressional representative to express your concern for an area, or host outreach events raise awareness about it's sanctity. Whatever you choose to do, let us help! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

American Rivers, Final Letter

The Department of the Interior published a Request for Information regarding the proposed development of new dams to generate electric power. 

The American Rivers letter, signed by over 80 organizations, including the ACA, uses published data to argue that “we should focus our resources and efforts on upgrading existing hydropower projects and adding hydropower capabilities to existing non-powered dams rather than building new projects.” The rationale behind American Rivers’ position is presented in their letter to the DOI.

Photo of the Snoqualmie River in Washington, where a new dam could be built. Photo from Thomas O'Keefe.

To learn more about some of the public policy that the ACA is involved in, please follow:

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Paddle Green Stewardship

The ACA is incredibly lucky to have volunteers and partners who care about waterways as much as we do! A great big thank you goes out to all the people who have helped to keep our water trails healthy!

If you, or an organization you are a part of, would like to organize a clean-up, we can help you by providing insurance, Paddle Green Bags, or publicity! 

Check out this inspirational video from the StreamSweepers about a clean-up on the Rapidan and Robinson Rivers! 

Check out some of our Stewardship opportunities here:

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Paddling Challenge

Are you looking for a new paddling goal this coming year? Maybe you are hoping to paddle more than you did last year, maybe you are hoping to pick up a new discipline, or maybe you would like to participate in a 72-mile race! Whatever your next paddling goals are, we can help you achieve them! ACA skills courses are taught all over the world and we regularly partner with various races for you to compete in. 

On January 1st, registration opens for the South Dakota Kayak Challenge. Racers have 30 hours to complete this course on the Missouri River! If you are the kind of person to take on a challenge, this is the race for you.

For more information, please follow:

For the ACA schedule of events, please follow: