Monday, May 4, 2015

Canoe Poling National Championships

Have you ever wanted to stand tall while paddling? If so, join canoe polers from across the country as the ACA hosts the 2015 Canoe Poling National Championships on the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, VA on June 6 & 7th.

In addition to the championship races, there will be free clinics and intermediate/novice events. We hope to see you there!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Stewardship Saturdays!

We're starting a new weekend tradition here on the ACA Water Blog - Stewardship Saturdays! And to start things off, we'll be highlighting each of our 2015 Club Fostered Stewardship (CFS) Grant recipients. 

Today, we'd like to recognize Boardman River Clean Sweep. These Northern Michigan river cleanup veterans will be using their CFS Grant funds to tackle a slightly different waterway stewardship project: native plant restoration. 

Following the removal of the Brown Bridge Dam on the Upper Boardman River, the barren bottomland previously covered by water is now exposed. Boardman River Clean Sweep hopes to reforest the bottomland with native plants, increasing soil stability of the river banks and encouraging a healthy ecosystem.

For the past 13 years, the ACA has partnered with L.L. Bean to provide the CFS Grant to grassroots stewardship initiatives across the country. From cleaning up waterways, to improving local access for paddlers, to conducting environmental education programs, these organizations deserve some serious recognition for their excellent stewardship work.

Inspired to start your own local stewardship project? Apply for the CFS grant next year! Get more information here.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Read the May Issue of Paddle, the ACA's New eMagazine

The 2nd issue of Paddle is here! Don't miss a stroke, visit to read it today.

Thanks for sending us your feedback in March; we made some changes to the May issue that we think you will love. The emagazine is now easier to read with larger print, and you can download a PDF version as well as read it on Issuu

In this issue:

-Individual state updates
-Adaptive Paddling: It's About Freedom, by Janet Zeller
-April & May Instructors of the Month
-USACK Slalom National Team Named
-Personal updates from your ACA National Office Staff
-International: Paddling in Venice, by Natasha Vugrinec

Please send all questions, concerns, or ideas for future issues to ACA Communications Coordinator Catharine Lloyd at 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium

Don't miss the oldest kayaking symposium on the Great Lakes! The Greak Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium will be held July 16-19, 2015. 

Grand Marais Michigan has a protected harbor that is ideal for class sessions and skills practice while offering a perfect starting point for unforgettable trips along the scenic Pictured Rocks.

Visit for more information.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Raw Video Footage From TowBoatUS Rescue of Texas Kayakers Has Lessons For All Boaters

The first kayaker Capt. Michael Windham came upon last week on the open waters of Galveston Bay.
Capsizing on open water can mean life or death to a boater suddenly finding themselves bobbing in the sea. As a wall of thunderstorms approached Galveston Bay late one day last week, two kayakers suddenly found themselves in the water, unable to re-board their swamped craft – and made two near fatal mistakes, captured on video

The incident is a reminder to all boaters that if they ever find themselves aboard a vessel that’s sinking or capsizing, always stay with the stricken craft. It may also help boaters, who are now preparing for the new boating season, understand why life jackets are so important.

While TowBoatUS is not an emergency rescue service, Captain Michael Windham of TowBoatUS Clear Lake TX, overheard on his VHF radio USCG Sector Houston hailing “pan-pan” asking mariners to provide urgent aid to two persons reported in the open bay about 1,000 yards offshore a few miles south of the Kemah Channel. Leaving Clear Lake and with USCG permission, Capt. Windham raced through the empty channel’s no wake zone and was on scene in less than five minutes, initially finding one kayaker hanging on to two semi-sunk kayaks, but in good shape. Windham asked the kayaker for the location of her friend, and headed in the direction the woman pointed, proceeding cautiously.

While conditions were calm, skies were threatening with lightning coming from a not-so-distant wall of dark, ominous clouds. Knowing how difficult it is to see a single person in the water and concerned that he may run over the swimmer, Capt. Windham proceeded slowly until he saw the woman’s head barely above the water. She made a feeble attempt to raise one arm – it was clear she was exhausted. Capt. Windham safely brought her aboard and within minutes both kayakers were safely ashore – including the kayaks.

Visit for more information on how to stay safe on the water, and download the Paddle Ready app (free for iPhone and Android users) for easy access to safety information and ACA certified instructors near you. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Save the Date

Don't miss the 2nd annual Swiftwater Rescue Conference!

Date: October 9-11, 2015

Location: Western North Carolina
Venue: Tuckaseegee River
Registration: Available online - June 2015

The 2015 ACA Swiftwater Rescue Conference will focus on a series of on-water safety and rescue educational sessions taught by the best of the best in swiftwater rescue instruction. In addition, there will be a range of social functions, including BBQ and mountain music on Saturday night. For those simply looking for an Instructor Update, you can accomplish that too, but there will be so much more available in the realm of on-water rescue!

Visit for more information. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

We're in this Together!

Did you know? An estimated 6.14 million tons of debris enter marine environments each year, and 80% of this debris is land-based trash that enters oceans via freshwater rivers and streams. As paddlers, we are in a unique position to make a difference! Are you doing your part? 

Join the ACA Stream to Sea Initiative today and help stop marine debris at its source. Whenever you grab your paddle, make sure you grab a Paddle Green Bag, too. 

Click here to learn more about the ACA Stream to Sea Initiative, and become part of the solution. 

Paddle sustainably, paddle often!