Starboard Blue is supporting the Chesapeake Bay Paddle to help gather momentum. Supporting Chris in his mission to paddle 240 miles and to plant 20 million oysters! 

Ocean Ambassador Chris Hopkinson will be the first-ever person to embark on a full-length paddle of the whole of the Chesapeake Bay for the Bay Paddle.

How Far Will Chris Be Traveling During The Bay Paddle?

240 miles. That’s the distance that Annapolis native, Chris Hopkinson, hopes to cover in 9 days. Starting this journey on the 18th of September. Chris embarks on an epic journey to raise awareness and funds to plant more oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. Called the Bay Paddle, presented by Flying Dog Brewery, what he’s undertaking is no small feat. Through the journey from Havre de Grace, MD to Virginia Beach, VA, Chris will face unpredictable and often strong winds. During this time it is hurricane season, so he is likely to be met with unsteadying waves, boat traffic, beating sun, fatigue, hunger, pain and soreness… 

Why Is Chris Wanting To Complete The Chesapeake Bay Paddle?

It all started with a paddleboard gift from my wife as way to get me out of the house,” says Hopkinson, jokingly.

His passion for oyster restoration ignited by helping his daughter with a science project, “We recreated the oyster filtration demonstration and I was hooked. I thought to myself if people knew that a healthy adult oyster could filter up to 50 gallons of water per day, then helping the Bay would become an easy and accessible thing. Imagine the impact of millions of new oysters.” And, voila, the idea for the Bay Paddle was born. 

Water Filtration By Oysters

Chris reached out to the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP), a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to helping restore Maryland’s native oyster population, with his out-of-the-box idea. “We thought he was a little crazy at first,” says Allison Albert Guercio, marketing manager, ORP. But ORP’s team loved the adventure and audacity of Chris’ idea and soon “hopped on board” as the nonprofit beneficiary. 

How Is Starboard Supporting The Bay Paddle?

After finding out from Chris how well oysters can improve water quality, the Eco Projects Manager of Starboard was so happy to hear of another aspect of nature that helps our planet heal. 

With this being the case, Starboard has agreed to plant 1 mangrove per every million oysters planted in the Bay. The ultimate goal by Chris is for 20 million oysters to be homed in the Bay. Therefore, Starboard is planting 20 mangroves to further support the epic paddle!

Starboard Team Paddling Through The Mangrove Park In Myanmar. Photo By Trevor Tunnington
Supporting The Paddle Through Mangrove Planting

Why Mangroves?

1 Mangrove = 1 tonne of CO2 removed from the atmosphere. Starboard’s mantra is to plant 1 mangrove tree for every board produced. On average, one board emits 100 kg of CO2. Therefore, by planting one mangrove tree, these emissions will be absorbed 10 times over within the first 20 years of the mangrove’s life. 

Not only are mangroves great CO2 absorbers and help reduce the effects of the mix of greenhouse gasses, but they also provide a strong root system for the ground and soil below them. The root system also protects the land from strong waves and damaging weather. Looking at the biodiversity side of things, the mangrove trees are also a home for baby fish, elephants, insects, plants, and seagrass which is what Dugongs feed on! 

The Goal Of The Chesapeake Bay Paddle

The goal of the Bay Paddle is to raise $200,000 to plant 20 millionnew oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.   You can help by donating $10, which supports the planting of up to 1,000 juvenile oysters in the Bay, and enters you into a raffle to win a custom-wrapped #paddleboard from @FlyingDog! Give at baypaddle.org or text BAYPADDLE to 44-321.

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