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More than 20 people will begin a three-day kayaking adventure to explore the waters of the Delaware River near Camden and Philadelphia.  The trip will coincide with “Marches for Science” happening nationwide in honor of Earth Day on Saturday, April 22.

Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. talked about the incredible changes that have taken place throughout Camden County’s waterways in the last 40 years.

“The Delaware River and its many tributaries are a national model in successful recovery because of the restoration work that has occurred due to the Clean Water Act and many of the efforts of the CCMUA,” Cappelli said. “Camden County and our municipal partners are working to develop a variety of public access points so all people can enjoy the river and its full network of waterways.”

The trip brings together education, science, and environmental leaders to learn more about the Delaware River watershed and to help connect people to the rivers of the region. The paddlers will investigate the rarely visited waterways to evaluate their condition and envision creative ways to educate about them.

“We are at a tipping point to where economic development depends on a clean river, while making the river accessible to as many people as possible. Brady said. “We will use science to tell that story and bring the river alive to visitors.” 

CEO of the Adventure Aquarium, Brian Duvall, talked about the environmental assets these bodies of water play in our ecosystem.

“This first-hand exploration of local urban tributaries of the Delaware River should be an especially effective way to demonstrate that the watershed includes an amazing diversity of land and water features that have impact on the quality of the water and habitats within the main river,” DuVall said. “We hope to get people involved in water experiences of this kind to develop a sense of caring and stewardship for the river system they depend on for so many important things.”

The expedition begins on Friday at Big Timber Creek as participants paddle to the Delaware River, and upriver to the historic flagship Olympia, the crown jewel of the Independence Seaport Museum vessels. On Saturday, the crew will paddle up the Delaware River and Pennsauken Creek to its headwaters, and back to Olympia.  On Sunday, the team will paddle up the Delaware River to the Cooper River, through the heart of Camden City.

Like other ocean-connected rivers, the Delaware is tidal – changing tides reverse the direction of water flow twice every day. The trip’s total paddling distance is 31 miles, but by timing travel to be assisted by the river’s tides, travelers will feel like they are paddling 20 miles.