“It is a gathering of the tribes for Surfrider and people here in San Diego who care about clean water,” said Bill Hickman, Surfrider spokesman. “This is a peaceful and happy rally to promote the need for clean water.”
More than 1,000 people are expected to join the paddle-out that supports clean water initiatives. All types of paddlecraft are encouraged in the free, noncompetitive event. Last year, Paddle for Clean Water featured outrigger canoes and paddlecraft made from trash and recycled materials.
“If you don’t paddle, we still welcome you to come down and participate in the event by being present on the beach and being a part of our group photo,” Hickman said.
This year’s event is a scaled-down version of the previous all-day festivals. Hickman estimates this year’s program will be about a three-hour event.
“It got pretty expensive to have permits for the event in the afternoon, so we’re just focusing on the morning,” Hickman said.
Things get started at 9 a.m. with a light breakfast that includes Clif Bar products, bananas, bagels and cream cheese, and organic coffee from North Park’s Caffé Calabria. Hickman said Surfrider’s goal is to keep the paddle green-conscious.
“We’re encouraging people to bring their own reusable mugs for the coffee and water as we try to make it a zero-waste event,” Hickman said.
Before the 10 a.m. paddle, District 2 City Councilman Kevin Faulconer will address participants. Other speakers are scheduled after the paddle, along with a group photo, raffle and beach cleanup. Out in the water, paddlers will welcome ocean activist Margo Pellegrino as she completes a 1,500-mile West Coast trek to highlight coastal conservation and pollution prevention.
“We want to make it a fun event for the whole family and anyone who wants to protect our coastline,” Hickman said.
Surfrider will feature its “Know Your H2O!” program during the event. The program educates people about the impact freshwater management can have on the coast.
“Right here off Point Loma, we pump over 150 million gallons a day of treated wastewater out into the ocean. We don’t have to dump our treated wastewater out in the ocean. We can use it here in San Diego as part of our water supply,” Hickman said. “We’re in a semi-desert climate, so we really need to conserve water and maximize our resources.”
For more information about the Paddle for Clean Water, visit www.surfridersd.org.