Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Recap: ACA Expansion of On-Water Paddlesports Instruction Grant

Todd Johnstone-Wright (right) and Ben Morton (left) on Eklutna Lake in the Chugiak National Forest.
The ACA's Paddlesports Training Grant Coordinator, T.J. Turner, recently wrapped up a year-long grant project with the focus of promoting on-water paddlesport instruction and safety standards on a regional, state, and national scale. 

Funded by the US Coast Guard, this grant project allowed the ACA to conduct 17 courses and certify a total of 136 new ACA instructors. 

We asked T.J. to share some anecdotes from his work that took him all over the country this past year. Here are just a few of the highlights he had to share:

  • In Tennessee, we earned a spot on Tennessee's Wildside, to be aired on PBS.
  • Paddling in Oregon and watching the sea lions surfing in the river wave next to us on the Willamette River with Sam Drevo.
  • There was never a dull moment paddling with the officers of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Gator wrestling is a thing there. Nothing is better than homemade crawfish etouffee.
  • In Puerto Rico, we offered a course to Paddle Paradise PR which has since served over 1,000 people with on-water paddlesport instruction. The founder of this company is now State Director of Puerto Rico. Congratulations, Omar!

The grant concluded on September 30, 2014. Thank you, T.J., for all your hard work on behalf of the ACA. And congratulations to all the newly certified ACA instructors across the country!

Practicing rescues in cold water, Essentials of River Kayaking Course in Oregon City, Oregon.

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