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Reclaim Our River Eco Paddle and lunch at Laurel River Park

LAUREL – DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship, the National Parks Conservation Association, Delaware Nature Society, Abbotts Mill Nature Center, and Nanticoke Watershed Alliance invite kayakers and canoeists to Roger C. Fisher Laurel River Park for the third annual Eco Paddle from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, June 23. The event is part of the Reclaim Our River (ROR) Nanticoke Series, a program offering monthly events, workshops, and recreational activities designed to raise water quality awareness in the Nanticoke Watershed.

Experienced paddlers and first-timers alike are welcome to bring the family and learn about wildlife, water quality, and the river’s history while floating on the water and exploring a portion of Broad Creek. After the paddle, lunch will be provided, with ROR partnership exhibits on display. A $5 registration fee (plus a credit card transaction fee) includes food and beverages, along with kayak or canoe rental, if needed. Attendees should dress appropriately for the weather, wear clothes that can get wet, and bring water to stay hydrated while paddling. Space is limited.

The Eco Paddle is a family-friendly event, with children welcome. However, all participants younger than 18 years old must have a waiver signed onsite by an adult, and participants younger than 15 years old must be accompanied by an adult. A refund of the registration fee will be offered for cancellations up to 72 hours before the paddle. In the event of severe weather, the otherwise rain-or-shine event will be held Sunday, June 24.

One of the most iconic and scenic rivers in Delaware’s part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, the Nanticoke River Water Trail spans a 26-mile segment of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail through Delaware and Maryland. In 1608, Smith explored the river, and named it the Nanticoke after the Native Americans who lived along its banks. Today, the 725,000-acre watershed supports a diverse range of wildlife and more rare plants than any other landscape in the Chesapeake. The event will educate residents on techniques used to improve water quality by reducing nutrient and sediment pollution entering Delaware’s waterways.

The Reclaim Our River Nanticoke Series offers participants fun opportunities to connect with the state’s waterways and provides important information on water quality to help protect aquatic resources. The Reclaim Our River Partnership includes Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Delaware Nature Society, Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, and National Parks Conservation Association. For more information on the Reclaim Our River Program, visit www.delawarewatersheds.org.