Potomac River Watershed Cleanup
FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA- The 24th annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup held on April 14th was once again, a massive success. With over 4,000 volunteers collecting a staggering 81 tons of trash and counting, that number could double with the sites that are still being tabulated.
This year, volunteer Patricia Tikkala decided to hop on her Tahoe SUP Zephyr for the event and combine her two passions of Standup Paddleboarding and keeping her local waters clean. “On the board, you can get close to certain areas and of course the vantage point that standing provides made it perfect”, said Tikkala. “It’s amazing the stuff that gets picked up and sadly, it’s clear that once a year is not enough to keep up with the trash. The bags on my board weighed about 100lbs.”
Being one of the growing number of Standup Paddlers that enjoy the Potomac River, Tikkala has anextra concern for keeping the water clean. The river winds through the most historical areas of Washington D.C. and offers paddlers amazing perspectives of landmarks and landscapes. Tikkala sees Standup Paddling as a portal into environmental awareness. “Once people get out on the water and realize how much fun paddling is, then they realize how important it is to protect our waterways.”
Tikkala herself is new to SUP and is enjoying every minute of being on her board. “Standup Paddling changed my life!” proclaimed Tikkala. “I got my board last summer from the great guys at Stand Up Outfitters, they gave me a lesson and some great tips and now I can’t get enough. I used to have lower back problems but now I have gained strength and lost weight. If you would have told me a year ago that I would be paddling for 4 hours at a time, I would have laughed!”