From seven states across the region, 86 paddlers advanced the mission of Clean Ocean Access on August 17, 2019 by paddling around Rose Island and Goat Island to bring awareness to the importance to protect and preserve shoreline access as part of the 2nd annual Paddle for Access hosted at the Newport Shipyard, Newport, Rhode Island. The combined effort generated over $8,000 to be used directly to take action to adopt all the rights of way on Aquidneck Island, and remain vigilant to resolve obstructions and encroachments that limit the ability to enjoy the ocean.
Together, with entry fees and sponsorship from Peoples Credit Union, Bank Newport, and Narragansett Engineering, Clean Ocean Access raised over $8,000 with additional funds from the generous support of Vermont Ski & Sport, Sara Campbell, Three Islands, Custom House Coffee, Midtown Oyster Bar, Secret Garden and Liberty Donuts who donated a percentage of their daily proceeds to Clean Ocean Access to support the event. Liberty Donuts and Empire Tea & Coffee provided excellent morning refreshments and Narragansett Beer providing refreshing beverages after the race.
Clean Ocean Access extends gratitude to all that helped including the Newport Shipyard for providing an excellent venue. On the water safety and buoy operations were all made possible because of committed in-kind support from Sail Newport (Kim Hapgood), Bio Process H20 (Tim Burns), Old Port Marine Services (Tony Iacono) and individual contributions by Ben Tuff (who recently swam around Jamestown to support Clean Ocean Access) and Clean Ocean Access Board Treasurer Ian Estaphan Owen. On the water photography taken by Eric Full.
All our efforts to achieve our mission are actioned by a small team of dedicated full-time staff and a small army of interns and volunteers, and this amazing team put together the entire event! From planning to permitting, insurance, course maps, venue setup, execution, results and breakdown – the entire team worked hard for many months, weeks, and many hours today to put together a safe, fun and impactful event. We also want to give a big shout to the Paddle for Access Committee members Patrick Sheerin, Kyle Borsare, Andrea Breyer, Kristin Andel, and John Andel.
Whether it is fishing from a rocky coastline, or launching a paddling craft from the same spot, protecting public access to the shoreline is of crucial importance. The community support and participation send a strong message that public shoreline access does matter, and Clean Ocean Access will continue the good fight to protect and expand shoreline access and work together to make sure future generations can enjoy the ocean just as much as we do today.
Next up for Clean Ocean Access is the 6th Annual Swim to Skim event is on August 25 at 7 a.m. in Newport Harbor. This event has a focus on raising awareness and funds for our efforts to eliminate marine debris and the marina trash skimmers that they have been operating in Newport, Portsmouth, Fall River, New Bedford, Providence and soon to be Stamford CT.