On Friday, July 28, people will paddle the Charles River on their way to work to celebrate a healthy river and raise funds for Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA). People participating in Paddle to Work Day hosted by Charles River Canoe and Kayak will kayak from Soldier’s Field Road in Allston/Brighton 5 miles downstream to Kendall Square in Cambridge. Individuals who work in Kendall Square will have paddled to work, while others can take public transportation to their desired destinations.
People can purchase tickets for the event at paddleboston.com/paddle2work and may reserve a single or double kayak or sign up to bring their own boat. Charles River Canoe and Kayak will donate all ticket proceeds to Charles River Watershed Association to support its work protecting and restoring the Charles River. The paddle will begin at 9 a.m. at 1071 Soldier’s Field Road. The 5 mile paddle to 15 Broad Canal Way in Cambridge is expected to take 2.5 to 3 hours.
This section of the Charles River has almost no current making for a relatively easy trip, even for new paddlers. During the excursion, paddlers may spot painted turtles sunning themselves on a log or a great blue heron hunting for fish. Participants will also view the classic Boston skyline and pass by Harvard, Boston University and the Esplanade.
Tyler Studds, volunteer and river lower, originated the idea of Paddle to Work Day as a way to engage his coworkers and support the river.
Charles River Canoe and Kayak, has generously offered to donate all proceeds from this event to efforts to protect the Charles River. “We have been renting boats on the Charles River since 1973 and we have seen so many improvements in water quality and the parklands surrounding the river,” said Mark Jacobson, General Manager at Charles River Canoe and Kayak, “We are grateful for all the work CRWA has done to improve the Charles.”
Thanks in part due to CRWA’s effective science and advocacy, the Charles River has experienced tremendous gains since the organization was founded in 1965 in response to public concern about the declining condition of the Charles River. The Charles River is now considered one of the cleanest urban rivers in the country. However, the river continues to face many challenges to the health of its ecosystem including toxic cyanobacteria blooms, invasive plants, polluted stormwater runoff and the impacts of climate change. Funds raised through Paddle to Work Day will support Charles River Watershed Association’s science, engineering and advocacy efforts including monitoring water quality, designing and building green infrastructure projects, and advocating for policies that will protect the Charles River and its communities.
Register to participate in Paddle to Work Day at paddleboston.com/paddle2work.