Riverkeeper supporters Set Sail for Clean Water!
On Saturday, April 28th, a group of Riverkeeper supporters and friends gathered at Gangplank Marina on the District’s Southwest Waterfront to participate in our Set Sail for Clean Water event, a community sailing race down the Washington Channel. The event was part of the Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Event Series, presented nationally by Toyota in partnership with national founding sponsor, KEEN. All proceeds go to local work towards a pollution-free Potomac watershed and further community engagement activities.
That afternoon, participants were greeted by Potomac Riverkeeper’s Whit Overstreet as he introduced speakers Ed Merrifield, the Potomac Riverkeeper, Justin Bloom, Easter Regional Director of Waterkeeper Alliance, in addition to Toyota Motor North America Senior Specialist, Mike Hernandez, and event partner DC Sail Board President, Kristine Dunne. After a few words from the speakers on the health of the Potomac, corporate sustainability, and accessible recreation on the river, participants were fashioned with PFDs and led by volunteer DC Sail instructors to the first race mark. All three sailing heats were filled with eager participants, from veterans to first-timers, despite the lack of strong winds and an eminent rain forecast. We want to thank Calleva for being a sponsor and for filling three boats with enthusiastic sailors!
As the sun peeked out, stand up paddlers from the DC Chapter of Surfrider Foundation did a tour of the channel and were later joined by kayakers, paddling with Potomac River Outfitter instructors. The DC Dragonboat Club intermittently rowed in the distance during their training for the upcoming Dragonboat Festival. Those that decided to retreat from the weather, took a break in Cantina Marina’s upper deck and enjoyed a full-service taco and chip bar as they watched Alexandra Cousteau’s Expedition Blue Planet installment of “Our Nation’s River: a System on the Edge.”
The event was a success, but it would not have been one without the generous support from our sponsors, donors and community exhibitors. Thank you to everyone who made it out to Set Sail for Clean Water! We look forward to future on-the-water events to connect the community with their precious water source. Winners of the sailing heats will be announced shortly.