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James River Expedition Sets Sail for Sixth Year

July 12, 2016 · 1 minute read

The sixth annual James River Expedition kicked off this past weekend with 27 ecologically-minded students from across Virginia’s James River basin. The educational adventure, sponsored and led by the James River Association, in which participants collectively paddle the length of the James, teaches students conservation, responsible stewardship and the river’s history while camping and traveling aboard canoes, kayaks and bateaux.

Balcony Falls is one of the challenges the students on the James River Expedition will face.

Balcony Falls is one of the challenges the students on the James River Expedition will face.

Twenty-seven students from twenty high schools will participate in one of three six-day trips down the James. They will meet a diverse group of business owners, farmers and others along the way to learn about their livelihoods and the many uses for the river. This once in a lifetime learning adventure focuses on building confidence and leadership while helping participants understand the importance of the river and the future challenges for keeping it healthy.

Students were selected through an open application process earlier this year, based on their interests in the watershed and a desire to learn about the James River.

“We are thrilled to once again offer students a unique, hands-on experience that teaches them about the major role the river plays in our lives and educates them on the impact that they can have on maintaining its health,” said Nat Draper, Education Manager for the James River Association. “We’re incredibly proud that they then take this knowledge back to their schools, families and communities to help ensure a healthy future for the James.”

Participants involved in the Expedition represent a diverse geographic span of Virginia, from heavier populated regions like Richmond, to more rural counties such as Surry and Bedford.

The Expedition launched in the town of Eagle Rock and will travel to Snowden, July 10-15. On July 17-22, the second group of students paddle from Concord to Columbia. The Expedition concludes as students make their way from Hopewell to Hampton, July 24-29.