Paddle boarding may be known as the trendiest watersport
right now but, for urbanites who wouldn’t want to fall into the local bodies of water available to them should a board go wobbly, another vessel is keeping them afloat in metropolitan rivers. Indeed, urban kayaking programs are spreading across the country, giving city folk a taste of the great outdoors without giving up their beds for the night
LA River Expeditions
: Most Southern California residents equate watersports with the pursuit of the almighty wave, yet some are bypassing the city’s famous beaches in favor of a lesser known body of water. LA River Expeditions
, an organization devoted to revitalizing its namesake waterway, offers a sanctioned program
that allows rebel kayakers to paddle their way down portions of the relatively undiscovered 51-mile riparian ecosystem
. The endeavor is more than just a recreational outlet, however. By altering the public’s perception about what most think of as a sewage basin, this initiative aims to establish the environmental stewardship necessary to protect the river.
North Brooklyn Boat Club
: Swimming in the East River
is not a pastime that interests many New Yorkers, but more city folk are testing the waters via kayak lately. North Brooklyn Boat Club
, one of a number of local kayaking outfits
, is a volunteer organization promoting “human-powered boating on and environmental restoration of the waterways” in neighborhoods more widely recognized for the so-called ruination of the borough
. The group provides waterway access to rowers intrepid enough to explore the river’s infamous estuary, Newtown Creek
. So intent is NBBC on restoring the polluted inlet for public recreational use that it’s secured funding for a proper community boathouse
set to open in 2014.