March 23, 2023
Annapolis, US 64 F

Bay Paddler Chris Hopkinson set off on a 200+ mile paddle on Friday, now nearly halfway

Annapolis native Chris Hopkinson put his stand-up paddleboard in the cool waters of the Chesapeake Bay in  Havre de Grace, MD on Friday and the next stop will be Virginia Beach.

The Bay Paddle, presented by Flying Dog Brewery,is raising awareness and funds for the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) to plant oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.

Hopkinson has set a fundraising goal of $200,000 for his journey, which currently sits at $137,000 and climbing. To donate, you can text BAYPADDLE to 44-321 and donate $10, or make a larger online donation here. $10 will plant 1000 oysters in the Bay keeping it healthy for us all.

Chris had planned to travel down the Bay on the Western shore; but the cold winds had other plans and the route was moved to the Eastern shoreline.  From Havre deGrace, he made it to Tolchester (in the area of Chestertown) on Friday, to Claiborne Landing (Kent Island area) on Saturday, and to Bellevue Landing (near Oxford) on Sunday.  Today, he put in at 9am, and is hoping to get to Taylor’s Island by day’s end.

His journey is nearing the halfway point. Initially Chris had planned to be on the water from 9 to 10 days. Today is the start of the fourth day and he still anticipates being in Virginia Beach at the Cape Henry Lighthouse sometime on Saturday, September 26th.

“Paddling 240 miles in varying currents and conditions of Bay waters is extremely difficult, and a true testament to Chris’ passion for oyster restoration,” said ORP Executive Director Ward Slacum. “We’re fortunate to have his time, talents and enthusiasm highlighting the important role oysters play in the health of our local waters. It’s wonderful to see what can happen when a group of conservation-minded partners join together toward a common goal.”

Below are a bunch of images from the launch on Friday!

In addition to ongoing support from ORP – including hosting educational water quality monitoring activities and awareness and fundraising events throughout the summer – Flying Dog Brewery has signed on as the event’s title sponsor. Maryland’s largest brewery has been a longtime supporter of ORP, creating special beers and events to support the organization’s mission.

People interested in learning more about the  event, and the importance of oysters to the health of the Chesapeake Bay, can go to the Bay Paddle website, Again, a $10 donation supports the planting of up to 1,000 juvenile oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. To donate, visit the website or text BAYPADDLE to 44-321.

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