Imagine crossing ALL of the Great Lakes on your paddle board. That is what three paddlers decided to do to protect these great waterways.
Stand up paddling across the Great Lakes: Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario is a task only for the great of heart. To do it as a way to protect these natural resources makes the team at Standup for the Great Lakes, an environmental non-profit seeking to protect these great waterways and the rivers that feed into them, heroes here at Standup Journal.
This year’s paddle across Lake Ontario has been postponed until 2021, but you can still help.
Great Lakes are Greatest Collection of Fresh Water in the World
It all started as a waterman’s dream to cross Lake Michigan. Jeff Guy, Kwin Morris and Joe Lorenz- three avid water athletes with a passion – decided that one way to advocate and protect beautiful, natural water resources like the Great Lakes from the blight of oil pipelines, invasive species, sewage leakage and pesticide from agricultural run off, was to cross each one via stand up paddle board.
Lake Michigan: 60-Mile Open Water Crossing
Standup for the Great Lakes began with their first Great Lakes crossing happened in 2015, when the trio accomplished a 60-mile open water paddle across Lake Michigan in just under 25 hours. Cold weather and frigid waters did nothing to deter the paddlers who were guided by the stars and witnessed the northern lights above. They raised $10,000 for Alliance for the Great Lakes on that inaugural crossing.
Lake Michigan to Lake Superior: Ain’t No Stopping ’em Now!
Lake Huron: 90 Miles of Marine Sanctuary
In June 2017, the trio paddled the 90-mile vast expanse of Lake Huron in another successful crossing. The trip took over 28 hours to complete but the paddlers were motivated to donate their $7,000 raised to Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, headquartered in Alpena, Michigan.
Lake Superior: 60 Miles & Shipwrecks in the Deep
Recently, in 2019 this growing tribe of paddlers continued their Great Lake challenge with a 60-mile paddle journey across Lake Superior from Ontario to Michigan in 22 hours. Through donations and support, Standup for the Great Lakes assisted in preserving this amazing natural resource.
All monies from the trip were donated to The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society to help with ongoing underwater research. The society was founded in 1978 by a group of divers, teachers, and educators to commence exploration of historic shipwrecks in eastern Lake Superior. That’s pretty cool.
Lake Ontario Postponed!
Standup for the Great Lakes paddlers had planned their crossing of Lake Ontario for this year. However, the onset of COVID-19 restrictions requires them to push this next challenge to 2021. Here’s what organizers have to say:
“Five years ago this week, we crossed Lake Michigan. Three years ago, we crossed Lake Huron. One year ago, we crossed Lake Erie. We were planning to cross Lake Ontario this week but postponed until next year!” – Standup for the Great Lakes
The need to educate and raise awareness for the preservation and protection of the Great Lakes is as important as ever. Follow Standup for the Great Lakes’ efforts:
Please help these efforts by donating HERE: http://standupforgreatlakes.com/
Whatever you decide to do, we wish you ALL happy paddling!
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