Sunday, February 14, 2010

Rally for the Rivers

Headed over to Rodman/Kirkpatrick Damn at the resevoir this morning to participate in the annual Rally for the Rivers. This event is put on by the Putnam County Environmental Council which advocates for the removal of the DAM and the restoration of the Ocklawaha River. The creation of the cross Florida barge canal was responsible for the destruction of the natural flow and route of the Ocklawaha on its journey to the St. Johns River south of Palatka. Read the book "Ditch of Dreams" by Noll and Tegeder for the story.

Anyhow, my trip was to supply kayaks for the river cleanup and some paddle lessons for festival goers. It was 44 deg. at 10 AM, and only the stoutliest paddlers with their own kraft ventured forth, all five of them. They made quite the haul, 6-7 large trash bags.

Sat around until 2 PM, and talked politics of paddling, nature, and tourism. Lots of birdlife in the sky included immature bald eagle, osprey too numerous to county, anhinghas, and black and turkey vultures.

Had five brave souls for the paddle lesson which started at 2:30 PM. They enjoyed their hour of learning how to mix up right from left side, going forward and turning. May even get some future customers out of the endeavor.

Talked with a retired biologist from the FWCC about the evolution of air boats and the Everglades, and the complicity of the FWCC in supporting those noise makers. Then listend to recipes for fish including mullet, catfish, gar, and 'jacks'.

All in all a low key kind of day with only the sound of the water rushing over the dam, osprey's and red tail hawks vocalizing over food and territory, and some guitar music.

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