I received the following email from Surfrider and Coastal Urge:SUP CleanupOn Sat 7/25 Coastal Urge and the Cape Fear Chapter will be holding another SUP cleanup. Meet at the Fish House near the Wrightsville Beach drawbridge at 9 AM and paddle your SUP or kayak to a local island to keep it clean. Be sure to wear shoes.
This was my response:
I was wondering if you’d consider doing cleanups after the weekend? Putting SUPs in the waterway on busy Saturdays has been causing a lot of problems behind Masonboro, Motts Channel and the ICW. People have been stuck in front of huge boats and there will be a horrible accident soon. While SUPs have every right to be on the water, the reality is that being in the channels during busy summer weekends is more like the bicyclist who rides in the center of the road to prove a point and not getting out of the way while traffic backs up behind them.
I spend a lot of time on the water on a SUP and I’ve learned the hard way to stay clear of that area during the weekends. I’m hearing a lot of people complaining and it’s bringing heat down on the whole SUP community.
Not only would cleaning up during the week keep paddlers safe, but it would have us cleaning up after the weekend is over and after the trash has been dropped. This way, we could clean after it gets dirty and stay out of the way during peak weekend/holiday hours. I do realize that having people people cleaning will raise awareness, so I understand that benefit. I also realize that having people see SUPs on the water during the weekends is good for business. I’m just not sure if the diminishing opinion of the SUP community and increased chance of injury is worth it.
I’m not criticizing the great jobs you’re doing. There just may be a more constructive way to clean the area while keeping people safe. You are doing a great job and I love what you do and why you do it. That’s why I’m a member of Surfrider.
Thanks again for the feedback. I agree that safety should be priority number one when doing anything on the water.
Cape Fear Chapter