Paddling the Penobscot with Reeds Brook Middle School
Lucas, one of our PRCC volunteers, joined up with the team at Penobscot River Keepers and dropped an oar into the Penobscot River on May 31st. As a volunteer, he helped the organization welcome around 60 eighth graders who had the chance to take canoeing lessons and enjoy a day on the largest river in Maine.
Beginning their day at the Penobscot Salmon Club, the volunteers all met up bright and early at 8:00 am and the students arrived around 8:30 am. First, they all worked together to unload the canoes off the trailer. Then they circled up as a group to discuss some safety information, paddling techniques, the history of the river and the ongoing importance of efforts, both large and small, to ensure that the river can be paddled by students for generations to come.
For example, the students learned both about the importance of the Clean Water Act and the importance of making sure they always respect the carry in - carry out policy to help keep the river free of trash and other litter. Many were surprised to learn about the past condition of the river. Most only remember it how we see it today - clean, with fish having returned and without the foul odor.
The moral of the day was teamwork. It takes teamwork to paddle a canoe and takes
teamwork to leave this river better than we found it.
In an interview for the news station covering the events that day, Doug Been, Community Coordinator for the Penobscot River Keepers said, "We all have experienced the Penobscot when it was the fifth most polluted river in the nation, and now it is something far different from that, it is much much better."
Here at the PRCC, we really enjoy getting to volunteer for such a terrific group and can't wait to get back out there again. There's nothing better than seeing the next generation of stewards in action. Next time, we hope to spot a bald eagle while we're paddling!