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Paddling 15 marathons - for the planet

Words by Abi Scaife

A small non-profit is launching ‘Race for Rivers’, to encourage paddleboarders to monitor our rivers.

Tell me more!

Non-profit Planet Patrol is dedicated to cleaning up our waterways through community collaboration and water sports such as paddleboarding (psst, you can read our interview with Planet Patrol founder Lizzie Carr here!).

That’s why they are encouraging people to get out on the rivers on their paddleboards this September and take part in a massive relay. It starts on the 11th of September in Godalming, Surrey and finishing on the 8th of October in Stainton, Lake District. 

Along the way, paddleboarders will be testing the water quality every 5km, culminating in over 750 readings by the end.

How do I get involved?

Volunteers will undertake distances varying from 2km to 20km before handing over the paddleboard to the next participant. You can sign up here to get involved. 

“Race for Rivers is not just a challenge; it's a pressing call to action to protect our blue spaces,” said Lizzie. “Retracing this route as a community rather than an individual feels incredibly poignant. We’re running out of time and the value of citizen science must be recognised and formally incorporated as part of the solution to tackling gaps in monitoring.”

To learn more about Planet Patrol, as well as the Race for Rivers relay, you can visit the Planet Patrol website.

Charity check-in 

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

Charity: Water. This is a global nonprofit organisation on a mission to end the water crisis by bringing clean and safe water and sanitation programs to all. Learn more here.

The Canal & Rivers Trust. The Rivers Trust are conservation experts who work to create wild, healthy, natural rivers. Support them here.

Rewilding Britain. They aim to tackle the climate emergency and extinction crisis, reconnect people with the natural world and help communities thrive. Find out more here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Clean Water and Sanitation.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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