- Posted September 16, 2012 by
San Diego, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Photo essays: Your stories in pictures
HUNDREDS TURN OUT TO PADDLE FOR CLEAN WATER
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
The 21st Annual Paddle for Clean Water, sponsored by the San Diego Surfrider Foundation, was held under perfect conditions on Sunday morning, Sept.16, at the foot of Newport Ave. in Ocean Beach.
Channel 8 News claimed "hundreds of surfers from across San Diego hit the water and paddled around the (Ocean Beach) pier to raise awareness about the need for clean water and healthy coastlines" But local Surfrider San Diego chapter coordinator Haley Jain Haggerstone told me she estimated it to be closer to a thousand participants. Whatever the count, many clean water enthusiasts hit the crystal clear and surprisingly warm waters to show support. Many were families with children. The heat wave San Diego suffered through the past two days was gone--replaced by azure skies and surprisingly good surf.
While a local reggae band played, there was free coffee and bagels courtesy of Hummingbird Cafe. Cliff Bars--a very loyal supporter of Surfrider, gave out free samples of their bars. Chris Cantore did a fantastic MC job. A big charity raffle was held to give away donated prizes from surf-related companies. Even lovely Mermaid Shelly turned up on the beach to take pictures with ocean lovers. A very nice time was had by all.
Paddle Around the Pier is one of the biggest fund-raisers of the year for Surfrider San Diego. The T-shirt table was rocking with sales of the Paddle T-Shirt--something all the little groms want to buy to honor their first big paddle around the Pier. It really was a wonderful time. There were lots of activities keeping people busy in San Diego this weekend: the Chargers first home game at Qualcom Stadium, the boat races taking place in Mission Bay, and a big music shindig up in North Park. So it was very nice that so many turned up out to make a classic statement about the need for clean water and the protection of our beaches and bays.