As the 14th annual National Learn to Row Day on June 6 draws near, rowing communities across the country are hosting events to welcome new athletes to the sport of rowing. The Humboldt Bay Rowing Association in Eureka, Calif., has partnered with the Humboldt BayKeeper to not only promote rowing, but also to encourage conservation and clean water.
Humboldt Bay Rowing Association and the Humboldt Baykeeper will host the first “Row for Clean Water” event on Humboldt Bay. The event hopes to encourage people to get out and appreciate the bay while educating the public about how important it is to protect clean water, which is essential to rowers everywhere.
“We are two non-profits with overlapping goals, so the partnership seemed obvious,” said Humboldt Baykeeper director Jennifer Kalt. “Our job is to protect the bay and make sure that people in the local area appreciate the unique ecosystem that surrounds them. The Learn to Row event seemed like the perfect opportunity to introduce a new and unique sport that incorporated the bay without costing them a dime.”
“A collaboration between HBRA and Baykeeper’s is a natural one as we are both are very interested and dedicated to keeping Humboldt Bay safe and a clean body of water to row as well,” said President of Humboldt Bay Rowing Association Jerome Simone. “Working together in the future will benefit everyone, whether they are on or off the water.”
The Humboldt Bay area is arguably the most populated place between San Francisco and Portland, with an economy that thrives off its surrounding marine ecosystem. Between the large fisheries, bird watching and recreational boating, the area seems to thrive off of the well being of the bay.
“We have been sponsoring kayak and motor boat tours through a grant from the local university,” said Kalt. “On the tours, we usually do some sort of clean-up and conservation work and that has been a great way to bring people in and see just how important to our community keeping the water clean is. The bay is a special place for everyone because it is small enough to feel safe but large enough to be able to enjoy the tranquility the water has to offer.”
New rowers on the Humboldt can look forward to meeting Kalt, who will be enjoying her own first Learn to Row Day on the bay.
“I am most excited to try out that type of boat,” said Kalt, an avid kayaker. “I am looking forward to seeing how the whole ‘synchronization’ part of this works out. I have no idea how all of us are going to be able to be in unison at the same time, but I know it will be fun!”
Participants will be given a quick introduction to technique before rowing on the bay in an Olympic-style eight-oared racing shell.
The event is free to the public and adults and youth ages 11 and up are welcome. A parent must accompany participants under 18.
For more information about National Learn to Row Day and to find a participating organization near you, visit www.usrowing.org.