Over 45 hardy and brave paddlers from stand-up boards to kayaks and outrigger canoes hit the water this past Saturday for the 3rd Annual Stand UP! For the Bay in Coos Bay. The event, hosted by the rapidly growing Coos Bay Chapter of Surfrider Foundation (now #2 in the state in membership behind PDX), was held despite the impending storm, which canceled the SOLVE Statewide Beach Cleanups for the day. This year the Surfrider Chapter partnered with South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve as part of National Estuaries Day, who brought about a host of awesome activities, bolstering this year’s educational opportunities.While the weather held back the larger crowds, the hardy souls of the Coos Bay community put on their best to make this year’s Stand Up! For the Bay probably one of the best events yet, despite the stormy weather. The event helped raise nearly $2,000 for the Coos Bay Chapter’s Blue Water Scholarship Program and ongoing Blue Water Task Force Monitoring.
The luau and educational activities following the paddle event were moved to the Rock Hall, graciously offered up by the crew at Sharkbites Cafe, instead of along the boardwalk as traditionally held. Inside the hall, participants warmed up from the paddle and were fed gracious amounts of BBQ and libations while listening to rad sounds of The Dale Inskeep Band.
South Slough’s awesome educational activities and rad volunteers hosted great learning opportunities just outside the hall for kids and families to learn more about the local estuary and the importance of water quality. Educational Program Leader Tom Gaskill and Public Involvement Coordinator Deborah Rudd helped lead up the “Data Geeks” portion of the paddle, where various “themed” characters from “Mudflatt Matt” to “Eelgrass Annie” towed water quality data loggers as they paddled searching for the darkest, lightest, warmest and coldest parts of the bay. Kids were able to view the graphed data after the paddle to learn more about what affects the bay’s water quality.
And of course the final showdown of the event was the ever-so-popular Stand Up Paddle Jousting! While the wind created a huge new element in the jousting competition, Mike Schleis retained his title defeating all of his competitors…what’s that guys secret? A few photos of the event can be found here, more to be added to that page soon!
This event would not be possible without the amazing support of the Coos Bay community, partner organizations and sponsoring businesses. We would like to give a special thanks to South Slough Estuarine Research Reserve staff and volunteers for partnering to make this year so special. Our title sponsors Waxer’s Surf Shop, Shark Bites Cafe and Hobie. Our sponsoring businesses Pepper Pappy’s BBQ, Fisherman’s Seafood Market, Walt’s Pour House, Dutch Bros. Coffee, Green Coast Plumbing and the many others who supported this event!