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Annapolis Man Starts 9-Day Bay Paddle Trip

  • Anne Arundel County
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HARVE DE GRACE, Md. - Annapolis native Chris Hopkinson began a 9-day paddleboard trip from Harve de Grace to Virginia beach early Friday morning, all in the name of raising money and awareness for the Oyster Recovery Partnership.

A sparse, socially-distanced crowd was on hand at Concord Point to see Hopkinson off on his Bay Paddle journey. The 46-year-old Annapolis man aims to raise $200,000 in donations for a paddle board trip that mirrors the route Captain John Smith when he set out to explore the Chesapeake Bay in 1608.

Power of Oysters

Ward Slacum, executive director of Oyster Recovery Partnership was on hand with dignitaries and sponsors to wish Hopkinson well on his journey. "It's been obvious from the start that Chris is seriously passionate about the challenge of the Bay Paddle and the power of oysters. He has has committed countless hours to prepare for this 240- mile trek down the bay. The fact that all of us are here on this beautiful morning is testament to the fact that we believe in the bold concept that oysters can help create a healthier bay."

The Oyster Recovery Partnership has seeded nearly 8.5 billion baby oysters in the Chesapeake Bay in the past 25 years. 

We Want To Bring The Bay Back

Harve de Grace Mayor William Martin presented Hopkinson with a challenge coin and thanked him for choosing Harve de Grace as a starting point. "We want to bring the bay back to what it was. That's what today is all about."

Brigitte Peter, from the Maryland Commerce Department gave Hopkinson a secretary's citation on behalf of her department.

Hopkinson, a father of three, joked that the Bay Paddle was just a way to get some alone time during the COVID-19 pandemic. "The real goal is to raise money for the Oyster Recovery Partnership. I'm just a big believer and really grateful for having the bay. We need to protect it. I think oysters are answer. A single oyster filters 50 gallons of water a day. It's my job is to paddle it. All everybody else needs to do is donate 10 dollars. Right now we are at $125,000 on a $200,000 goal.  Hopefully by the end of the Bay Paddle, we'll hit that goal.

Bay Paddle Route

Hopkinson's route is scheduled to follow this timeline:

● Sept. 18: Concord Point Lighthouse to Fort Smallwood Park in Pasadena: 40 miles
● Sept. 19: Fort Smallwood Park to Annapolis City Dock: 30 miles
● Sept. 20: Annapolis City Dock to Chesapeake Beach: 25 miles
● Sept. 21: Chesapeake Beach to Cove Point Light Station in Lusby: 25 miles
● Sept. 22:Cove Point to Point Lookout Lighthouse in Lexington Park: 25 miles
● Sept. 23: Point Lookout to Hughlett Point Natural Area Preserve in Kilmarnock: 25 miles
● Sept. 24:Hughlett Point to New Port Comfort Lighthouse in Port Haywood: 30 miles
● Sept. 25:New Port Comfort to Old Point Comfort Lighthouse in Fort Monroe: 25 miles
● Sept: 26: Old Point Comfort to Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia Beach: 15 miles

To follow Chris's route in real time or contribute to his fundraising efforts, follow this link: https://www.baypaddle.org/

 

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