Paddle Georgia 2008
As many of us know organizing an extended river trip for even a small number of people can be time consuming. You have to set up shuttles, buy the food, and make sure everybody has the gear to make it through the trip. The Georgia River Network has organized an extended river trip for the last 3 years called Paddle Georgia.
This year they had the best showing yet with over 300 participants! One more time- 300 participants! The 92 mile took place June 21-27 on the Flint River in Southwest Georgia. The Flint is an incredible river, in fact it is one of only 42 free flowing rivers over 125 miles long in the lower 48. Learn more about the Flint.
I was only able to paddle the first day (long enough to catch my first shoal bass on a fly). It was a beautiful 13 mile stretch of river but unfortunately the water was extremely low due in large to upstream water withdrawals. As weather patterns change and drought becomes increasingly common in the southeast it is going to be critically important for states like Georgia to adopt smart water withdrawal policies that protect the regions most valuable resources. Events like Paddle Georgia and programs like Blue Trails aim to connect people to these resources and to hopefully build a constituency for their protection including advocating for smart water withdrawal policies.