In a noble cause directed toward protecting the population of oysters, a man from Arnold, a suburb of Annapolis in Maryland, is planning a 240-mile paddleboard trip from Havre De Grace to Virginia Beach to raise money for planting oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.
Environmental experts have raised concerns over the low oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay. With this journey, Chris Hopkinson aims to make people aware of the declining population of oysters in the bay and encourage them to donate to support the Oyster Recovery Partnership in planting more oysters in the bay.
Because of oysters’ ability to filter nitrogen out of the water, they are critical to a healthier bay, believes Hopkinson, who was planning to paddle the Chesapeake Bay for more than two years.
According to Hopkinson, he thought of using his trip to raise money for the cause and approached the Oyster Recovery Partnership to help achieve its fundraising goal and bring oysters back to the bay.
Hopkinson has already started training for his stand-up paddleboard trip that will kick-off on September 18, 2020. During his travel, Hopkinson will paddle nine hours a day, while making stops along the way, until he reaches Virginia Beach on September 26, 2020.
The Oyster Recovery Partnership’s spokeswoman Karis King said that though the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Oyster Recovery Partnership to postpone its in-person fundraisers, it could still manage to fundraise with Hopkinson’s efforts.
According to the Oyster Recovery Partnership’s website, it has planted more than 8 billion oysters in the Chesapeake Bay and has raised $54,000 as of July 31, 2020, out of its targeted $200,000. The money raised will then be used by the Oyster Recovery Partnership to buy oysters from a hatchery.
Hopkinson’s paddleboard journey will be filmed. He will be wearing a camera to record the environment and places of historical importance along the Chesapeake Bay, including Annapolis and Naval Station Norfolk, and show them to the people and wants kids to go on a virtual field trip through his journey.
Hopkins agrees that though it would not be easy to paddle 240 miles, it will be all worth it to preserve the bay.