Thursday, November 5, 2009

Green Paddle for Waterway Conservation Award

Local Canoe/Kayak Group Wins Prestigious National Award

ACA Recognizes Elmer Eddy & the Stewards of the White Oak River Basin for Outstanding Work in Waterways Conservation

Celebrating 130 years as a nonprofit, member-supported canoeing and kayaking organization, the American Canoe Association this week awarded Elmer Eddy & the Stewards of the White Oak River Basin with its annual “Green Paddle Award for Waterway Conservation.”

Nominated by ACA members, the award recognizes the individual or group that has made an outstanding contribution to paddlesports by protecting America’s waterways.

The Stewards of the White Oak River Basin are a group of paddlers in the coastal region of North Carolina. Led by the hardy octogenarian Elmer Eddy, the Stewards have a simple phi­losophy: Always try to leave the rivers and bays that they paddle cleaner than when they arrived. The Stewards pick up trash and remove invasive plants whenever and wherever they paddle.

In 2008, the Stewards decided to do some public education to complement their trash removal efforts. They applied for an ACA Club-Fostered Stewardship grant to purchase anti-littering signs for their volunteers to post throughout the watershed. The ACA awarded them a grant to assist with their efforts. The signs tell the public that people are taking care of the waterways, and discourage them from littering.

“The American Canoe Association is proud to support more than 140 Paddle America Clubs around the nation,” said Martin A. Bartels, Executive Director of the ACA. “Our Club-Fostered Stewardship Grants, sponsored by longtime partner L.L. Bean, gives us the opportunity to support important environmental work at the grassroots level.

“Over the past four years, the ACA and LL Bean have funded more than $40,000 worth of stewardship efforts—from water trail construction to river clean-ups—and the work of the Stewards of the White Oak River Basin is a great example of the commitment and dedication of our large network of volunteers.”

Tom Lindblade

The ACA National Office Staff

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