April 17, 2012

CRBI celebrates Earth Day with paddle trips

Submitted by the Coosa River Basin Initiative

— The Coosa River Basin Initiative (CRBI) will host a pair of canoe/kayak paddles on the Etowah River, giving participants a chance to explore a 17-mile section of the river in Bartow County to celebrate Earth Day weekend April 21-22.

On Saturday, April 21, the local Riverkeeper group will lead a ten-mile trip from Euharlee Road to US 411, and on Sunday, April 22, they will run a seven-mile  trip from “Floyd’s Landing” to Euharlee Road.

“The Etowah is one of North Georgia’s natural treasures so there’s no better place to celebrate Earth Day,” said Joe Cook, CRBI Executive Director & Riverkeeper.

Interested parties must pre-register at www.coosa.org/events/paddle-trips. The trip is free to CRBI members. Non-members may pay annual membership dues at the online registration page. Canoe and kayak rentals are available. For more information contact, Alan Crawford, CRBI Volunteer Adventure Trip Coordinator, at ibwheelin2@yahoo.com or call (706) 346-3509 or call CRBI at (706) 232-2724.

Both trips will utilize a new boat launch constructed by Bartow County at the Euharlee Road Bridge over the Etowah.

CRBI is working to establish a new boat launch at US 411 as part of an effort to create a 160-mile-long Etowah River Water Trail stretching from Dawsonville to Rome. Construction on the US 411 launch site is expected to begin later this year.

Additionally, in the next month CRBI will launch an Etowah River Water Trail website that will provide maps and information about launch sites, historic sites and other points of interest along the river.

The Earth Day paddle trips will give participants an opportunity to see Native American fish weirs — rock dams constructed 500-1000 years ago to capture fish — as well as some of the Etowah’s fish diversity. CRBI staff will collect fish from the river and educate participants about the various species found in the river. The Etowah is considered one of the country’s most biologically diverse river systems with 76 native fish species.

CRBI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. Its mission is to inform and empower citizens to protect, preserve and restore North America’s most biologically diverse river basin.