Wednesday, February 29, 2012

CFS Grant Awarded for Improvements to the Autauga Creek Canoe Trail!

Assembled by the mayor of Prattville in July 2011, the Autauga Creek Improvement Committee is comprised of a group of citizens to discuss the cleanup and improvement of Autauga Creek, a historical and scenic waterway that flows through Prattville to the Alabama River.  The committee began a volunteer cleanup effort that has been very successful in improving the aesthetics and navigability of the creek, which has now been designated as the Autauga Creek Canoe Trail.

Clearing fallen debris is being done to expand the Autauga Creek Canoe Trail. Currently, the Trail extends from the Alabama River to the historical Daniel Pratt Mill Dam (6 mi) and another 4 miles above the dam. Volunteer efforts will eventually clear the trail for another 16 miles along the main stem of the creek.

The Autauga Creek Improvement Committee was awarded a $1,000 grant through the ACA CFS Program to install informational kiosks at the trail head and just downstream of the dam. The kiosks will include a map of the trail, advice relative to paddling beyond the kiosk points, safety information, and  a map of the lower creek and river with potential take-out sites. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

ACA Regional SUP Summit in San Diego

Come join the ACA for a regional Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) Summit. The purpose of this summit is to bring together all aspects of the discipline (flatwater, coastal, surf and river users) along with the manufacturers, retailers, liveries, competitors, and instructors.

The SUP Summit will focus on education and instruction. San Diego SUP Summit Agenda

There will be discussions on:

  • Best Practices
  • Course Curriculum Development
  • Tips & Techniques
  • Expansion of the sport
The San Diego Regional SUP Summit will take place at the Mission Bay Hyatt, San Diego, CA from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM in Bayview Ballroom 2 and on the water from 1:00 - 3:00 PM on March 4, 2012. Please contact the ACA with any and all questions.

Monday, February 27, 2012

ACA at the Quiet Water Symposium

The ACA is excited to participate in the 17th Annual Quiet Water Symposium at the Michigan State University Pavilion on Saturday, March 3, 2012. We are proud that our support along with that of other environmentally conscious groups and businesses has made this the largest one day show of its type in the nation.

This year’s program will include entertaining presentations on outdoor activities such as canoeing, camping, hiking and general outdoor skills. Along with these seminars will be interactive displays manned by knowledgeable enthusiasts and experts on topics such as wooden boat building, camp cooking, cycling, kayaking and protecting our watersheds and environment.

For more information on the Quiet Water Symposium visit


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Friends of the Rappahannock hosts Wild & Scenic Film Festival

The ACA is sponsoring a local event hosted by Friends of the Rappahannock: the SYRCL's (South Yuba River Citizen's League) Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival on tour. This festival is the largest of its kind and is shown in over 100 cities around the country. Aiming to inspire activism, this festival will feature award winning films about conservation, water, energy, climate change, wildlife, environmental justice, agriculture, Native American and indigenous cultures.

This year's selections will not only take audiences to some of the most remote and beautiful places on the planet, but introduce them to the courageous individuals who are working to protect and preserve them for future generations. This year's films instill a deep appreciation and a sense of wonder for the natural world that surrounds and supports us.

When? March 10, 2012. Doors open at 8:30 am. Show starts at 9:30 am.

Where? Village 12 & Splitsville behind Spotsylvania Towne Centre. Come by the ACA table and talk with ACA National Office Staff, Candy Patten.

Tickets? Tickets are $10 and available at the FOR Website. Tickets will also be available at the door. If you are currently a Friends of the Rappahannock member, you can get in free by bringing a non-member to the festival.
To learn more or for tickets visit the FOR website.

Friday, February 24, 2012

ACA at International Boating Water & Safety Summit

The ACA will be at the 2012 International Boating and Water Safety Summit.  This year the ACA has 2 pre-summit certification courses in kayaking and SUP.  The ACA will also be presenting on SUP Education and Risk Management.  The is ACA is once again glad to support and be a part of this great event and represent the paddlesport public at IBWSS. 

The ACA will also be participating in the IBWSS "Day at the Beach" as a partner in the U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Safety Strategic Plan 2012-2016.

Be sure to come see the ACA at one of the presentations, the "Day at the Beach" or stop by the booth to talk to ACA National Office Staff.

Learn more at:

The ACA Office will be closed on Friday - February 24th.

If you have a rush insurance request, we will check email and reply before close of business.

The Office will reopen Monday morning at 9:00am EST.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

ACA Stewardship Newsletter

The ACA is proud to present our first ever Stewardship Newsletter! This quarterly electronic newsletter from the Stewardship Department provides valuable information to members and paddlers about the ACA's initiatives to create more sustainable paddling environments. 

Take a look for news about new initiatives, upcoming events, and more! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Battle of the Bayou

The ACA is glad to be sponsoring and sanctioning the 3rd annual Battle of the Bayou, March 3, 2012.  The race generals and their soldiers are planning another fine event. They expect to ride the momentum of prior BOTB success to further gain in 2012. Join them in getting 200+boats on the water in 2012.
Great Swag (Stuff We All Get) -- Live music at the finish -- Lunch by the The Shed BBQ Blues Joint --  Card Board Boat Race, the night prior (Mar 2) -- Proceeds benefit conservation efforts of Old Fort Bayou -- visit the website for more details .....
For more information

Paddle Without Pollution

"Low Impact, Big Results." That's the slogan for this Pennsylvania-based non-profit working to restore and protect the health of rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands through hands on stewardship and education. Almost exclusively using non-motorized boats in their efforts, Paddle Without Pollution utilizes volunteers of all paddling abilities to paddle into ecologically sensitive or shallow areas and clean waters that can't typically be reached by motorized boat or land-based cleanups. 

Paddle Without Pollution was founded in 2011, and their 2012 campaign, "Bridges Over Troubled Waters," promises to be a year filled with cleanups, stewardship initiatives, and partnering with youth to educate and raise awareness about the issues that plague our water's health. Paddle Without Pollution was recently awarded an ACA Club Fostered Stewardship (CFS) Grant to help fund their efforts and clean Pennsylvania's waterways. 

Interested in becoming a CFS recipient? Find out how today!

Monday, February 20, 2012

ACA in California

The ACA will be in California in March!

  • Level 1: Introduction to Kayak Instructor Certification Workshop
  • Level 2: Essentials of SUP Instructor Certification Workshop
  • National Safe Boating Council Board of Directors Meeting
  • NASBLA Education Standards Committee Meeting
  • Regional SUP Summit
  • International Boating & Water Safety Summit
  • National On-Water Boating Standards Committee Meeting
  • Mickey Munoz's Waterman Expo & Clinics @ The Mongoose Cup

To learn more, please contact the ACA's Education & Outreach Coordinator Trey Knight.

Office Closed - Monday

The ACA National Office will be closed on Monday, February 20th in observance of President's Day.

The office will reopen at 9am EST on Tuesday.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

SUP - Instructor Certification Workshops

In 2011, the ACA hosted 15 SUP Instructor Certification workshops and certified 116 new SUP Instructors. 

So far in 2012, we have SUP Instructor courses scheduled in:
  • Long Beach, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Lynchburg, VA
  • Richmond, VA
  • Charleston, SC
  • Folly Beach, SC
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Rockville, MD
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Maitland, FL
  • Germany
  • Austria

Course information.

Learn more about the ACA's involvement in SUP education.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Preserving Florida's Paddling Trails

Since its inception, the ACA's Club Fostered Stewardship (CFS) program has been able to provide nearly $70,000 in grants, funded by L.L. Bean, to more than 80 stewardship initiatives across the country! And 2012's projects are already underway!

The Florida Paddling Trails Association (FPTA) is a statewide association of paddlers, clubs, outfitters, and other water trail supporters working together to develop water trails and protect the environments surrounding them. As part of this mission, the FPTA provides environmental training to paddlers, promotes water conservation to preserve their many spring fed waterways, and assists with Ocean Conservancy coastal cleanups and other waterway cleanups throughout the state.

The FPTA received a $1,000 grant to leverage the cost of cleanup supplies, trail signage, and educational materials promote the preservation, protection, and awareness of Florida's waters. 

See who else has received a CFS grant this year!
Apply for funding today!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

AORE & ACA - New book

19 different ACA Instructors and Instructor Trainers contributed to a new book, Outdoor Program Administration, edited by the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) and published by Human Kinetics.

Special thanks to the following ACA members:
  • Geoff Harrison - Editor
  • Amy Anslinger
  • Brent Anslinger
  • Todd Bauch
  • Bryan Cavins
  • Jerome Gabriel
  • Steven Guthrie
  • Will Hobbs
  • Steve Hutton
  • Leigh Jackson-Magennis
  • Rob Jones
  • Jennifer Kafsky
  • Todd Miner
  • Bruce Saxman
  • Brien Sheedy
  • Christopher Stec
  • Tom Stuessy
  • Jeff Turner
  • Mark Wagstaff
The ACA is proud to have been able to support another organization in their efforts to promote water based education.

Did you know, AORE and the ACA recently signed a new partnership agreement?

Learn more...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Canoe Kayak and Paddle Company - ACA Pro School

ACA Pro School Canoe Kayak and Paddle Company offers ACA Instructor and Trainer certifications in Kayak or Canoe as well as skill development classes for beginners through advanced paddlers. CKAPCO also offers ACA and BCU Skill and safety Assessments, as well as full and half day trips just for fun! Top end boats and gear provided. CKAPCO is proud to be the first ACA Pro School! DC and Baltimore metro locations.

For information contact CKAPCO at

Sunday, February 12, 2012

L2 Surf Kayak Instructor Certification Workshop

Savannah Canoe & Kayak has an ACA L2 Surf Kayak Instructor Workshop and Exam at the beginning of March. We are big proponents of sit down surfing... it's fun and easy and really catching on!! If you have an aptitude for the surf and are already an instructor in another discipline, this is a great workshop. Some, but not much, previous experience is required. "It's really about beach safety and etiquette for the beach break user," said one of the Instructor Trainers earlier today. And he should know, right?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ferbruary Edition of the SEI Focus Released

Welcome to the February 2012 Edition of the SEI Focus!

Highlights in this issue:
  • ACA Regional SUP Summit
  • Improved IT / ITE Search Capability
  • ACA Safety, Education & Instruction Council Meeting
  • Advanced Canoeing Course
  • ACA Journal of Paddlesports Education
  • Instructor Audit Information
  • ACA Event Sponsorships
  • ACA Affiliate Organizations
  • ACA Pro Schools
  • Important Dates
Read Now (Issuu / PDF)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Helping Paddlers on the Raritan Bay

"Everyone’s support, including the groundbreaking support by the American Canoe Association, contributes to an energized partnership to revitalize the Raritan into a great American river."

--Denise Nickel, Senior Project Manager of Middlesex County Improvement Authority

The ACA's Club Fostered Stewardship (CFS) Program, funded by L.L. Bean, provides grants to local paddling clubs and organizations to help clean, restore, and protect the waters that they paddle on. Believing that every paddler can make a difference, this program allows the ACA to help support grassroots stewardship initiatives in your community!

One recipient of this year's funds is the Raritan Bay Paddlers Club! Less than a year old, this club is working to promote paddling in urban environments and conservation of their local waters. They applied for a grant to help build their capacity by purchasing a recreational kayak to be used by non-kayak owners on club trips and for stewardship initiatives in conjunction with the Raritan Riverkeeper.

"The Raritan Bay Paddlers Club is the first local community paddle club on the Lower Raritan. Their ideas and efforts should contribute to bringing greater attention to the recreational opportunities and needs on the Raritan. Our congratulations go to them. Thanks again," said Denise Nickel.

Check out other recipients of this year's CFS funds!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Buffalo Bayou Regatta

The ACA is excited to be a sponsor for the 40th Buffalo Bayou Regatta.  The Buffalo Bayou Regatta is Texas’ largest canoe, kayak and paddleboard race . Houstonians of all ages are encouraged to participate in the 15-mile ACA-sanctioned race along the scenic Buffalo Bayou, whether you are entering competitively, or paddling for pleasure, the Regatta is the event for you and your family.

Those not wanting to paddle can catch the outdoor fun and cheer on the racers. Free live music, awards ceremony, and food and drinks will be available for sale at the finish line at downtown’s Sesquicentennial Park.

For more information visist

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Win a PFD from MTI!

Want to win a new PFD from MTI? Tell MTI, HOW MANY YELLOW MTI REFLEX JACKETS ARE FLOATING ON THE RIVER IN FRAME # 5:30/ 13:12 in this informative and fun video by the ACA: "Life Jackets Float. Do you?"

Contest fine print: All correct answers received by 2/14/12 will be entered to win in a drawing to be held on 2/15/2012. Winner can choose the life jacket model of their choice, subject to availability. Limited to USA and Canada (All jackets USCG approved.) Free shipping/ no PO Boxes.

To submit your guess visit MTI on Facebook
Contest Deadline: FEB 14th
(Love your Life [Jacket] Day!)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

ACA Mobile EZ Skills Course Report

Smartphone Reporting for Instructors!

Just finished your course? Go to the ACA's mobile website on your smartphone and click on the EZ Skills Course Report Form link.
 A few simple clicks later: your course is reported, you've received your teaching credit and you're pulling out of the take-out.

Monday, February 6, 2012

ACA Regional SUP Summit Agenda!

Wear a leash or not?
We have now released the agenda for the ACA Regional Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) Summit in San Diego. The purpose of this summit is to bring together all aspects of the discipline (flatwater, coastal, surf and river users) along with the manufacturers, retailers, liveries, competitors, and instructors. There is no cost or registration for the summit.

The San Diego Regional SUP Summit will take place at the Mission Bay Hyatt, San Diego, CA from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM on March 4, 2012. Please contact the ACA with any and all questions.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Instructor Search Function Improved

Photo Courtesy of ACA Pro School - CKAPCO
 The SEI Department has uploaded PDF's that list all the certified Instructor Trainers (IT) and Instructor Trainer Educators (ITE) by both discipline and state.

Additional improvements to the instructor search function are in the development phase.

Click here.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Did you know that today is World Wetlands Day?

On February 2, 1971, countries around the world came together in Ramsar, Iran, for the first ecologically focused convention. The Convention on Wetlands, an Intergovernmental Treaty, provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. Today, 160 countries have signed the Treaty, and 1,911 wetland sites have been designated as Wetlands of International Importance. 

In the U.S. there are currently nearly 30 designated Ramsar sites amounting to more than 6,300 square miles of wetlands. Not only are wetlands an integral component to a healthy ecosystem; they are also a great place to paddle! Ramsar’s focus this year is on responsible ecotourism, and the ACA encourages you to visit your local wetlands by canoe, kayak, or SUP--check out the boards in Ramsar's poster! While you’re there, be sure to leave our wetlands cleaner than the way you found them!  

The Adventure Summit

The ACA is proud to be presenting and exhibiting at The Adventure Summit in Dayton, Ohio, taking place on February 10th and 11th, 2012 at the Student Union in Wright State University. The summit will feature:
  • An exposition of outdoor clubs and retailers
  • Kayak, canoe, and bouldering competitions
  • A duathalon (run/walk & bike ride)
  • Educational and instructional sessions
  • Presentations, including a keynote address by and ledgendary mountainbiker Gary Fisher
  • Beer tastings
The ACA's very own Kelsey Bracewell will be presenting on Stand Up Paddleboarding. For the instruction schedule and more see ACA SUP Instruction at

For more information on The Adventure Summit be sure to check out

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Making Wisconsin a Better Place to Paddle!

"The City of Prairie du Chien's efforts to increase canoeing and kayaking on the Mississippi River have been greatly improved with the announcement of a $1,000 grant from the ACA."
- January 20th press release announcing being an ACA CFS Grant recipient

 The soon-to-be upgraded Washington Street Park

2012 brings with it many new and exciting stewardship initiatives to help improve our waters and paddling experiences! The Great Rivers Paddling Club is partnering with the City of Prairie du Chien to help revitalize the Washington Street Park and its waterfront. The club was awarded $1,000 to go towards the construction of a new dock and storage building for canoes and kayaks to increase recreational paddling on the Marais de Saint Feriole, the Mississippi River slough between the mainland and St. Feriole Island. 

“We sincerely appreciate the donation from the ACA and their CFS program,” said Aaron Kramer, Prairie du Chien City Administrator. “I have been very proud of the work undertaken by Park and Recreation Director Mike Ulrich, and the commitment of our Parks and Public Works Committees to this initiative. In addition to the work at Washington Park, we are excited to be adding a canoe and kayak launching area at the Campion Street Boat Landing in 2012.”