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Connecting to the River

Free canoe paddles for environmental focus

7/5/2017, 1:52 p.m.
Free guided big canoe excursions along the lower Columbia River and its tributaries started up last week and will continue ...
Free guided big canoe excursions along the lower Columbia River and its tributaries keep the public informed on efforts to restore and protect habitat, improve water quality and reduce pollution.

Free guided big canoe excursions along the lower Columbia River and its tributaries started up last week and will continue all summer as a non-profit works to keep the public informed on efforts to restore and protect habitat, improve water quality and reduce pollution.

The Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership was established in 1995 by the Governors of Washington and Oregon and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide regional coordination on environmental concerns, advance science, and get on-the-ground results in the lower Columbia River and estuary.

The paddle tours give riders a unique perspective on the water. Binoculars are provided to view birds and other wildlife. Professional environmental educators lead the group outings and provide interpretation.

Participants help paddle one of two stable 29-foot canoes, each seating up to 14 people. The paddles are ideal for beginners and no experience is necessary. Trips are family-friendly and suitable for all ages 5 and older. The Estuary Partnership provides paddles and personal flotation devices in standard sizes.

The tours run through Sept. 6 and are quite popular, according to officials, with reservations already taken through the month of July. Reserved space is available on a first come, first served basis. For more details and to register, visit estuarypartnership.org.