The 2021 Bay Paddle broke records as the first female stand up paddles the entire length of the Chesapeake Bay, USA.
Bay Paddle 2021 is an epic 200+-mile, 8-day, staged-paddle relay to protect the Chesapeake Bay. Four people made history on the Chesapeake Bay during the 2021 Bay Paddle, which began on Friday, August 27, 2021 in Havre de Grace, Maryland, USA and ended on Saturday, September 4, 2021, where the Chesapeake meets the Atlantic Ocean along Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
Bay Paddle was founded in 2020 by Chris Hopkinson, who made history as the first person to traverse the entire Chesapeake Bay by standup paddleboard last summer. This year, Hopkinson expanded Bay Paddle as a multi-team paddle relay benefiting both the Oyster Recovery Partnership and Chesapeake Conservancy.
Nearly 100 paddlers participated, including a team of 30 teachers from Anne Arundel County Public Schools, a group of veterans from the Valhalla Sailing Project and all the Bay River Keepers from WaterKeepers Chesapeake. In addition, several paddlers made the 200+ mile journey solo along the same route Hopkinson took in 2020.
The 2021 Bay Paddle “firsts” include:
• Nicole Stimpson, 43 of Severna Park, Maryland – First Female to Traverse the Length of the Chesapeake by Standup Paddleboard
• Alessia Faverio, 29 of Asheville, North Carolina – First to Traverse the Length of the Chesapeake by Surfski (a type of kayak)
• Brian Meyer, 31, of Annapolis, Maryland – First to Traverse the Length of the Chesapeake by Solo Outrigger Canoe (OC1)
• Mark McCulloh, 59, of Annapolis, Maryland – First to Traverse the Length of the Chesapeake by Two Person Outrigger Canoe (OC2)
While the original timing of the 200+mile, 8-day relay was adjusted to accommodate the significant effects of the remnants of Hurricane Ida, the participants were able to complete the entire length of the Bay either through the relay or individual participants.
Donations are still being accepted at www.baypaddle.org.
The Chesapeake Bay is a natural treasure. Our mission is to help protect it by working with Oyster Recovery Partnership to plant more oysters and Chesapeake Conservancy to support their efforts to create official and permanent National Park Service presence in the Chesapeake Bay. www.baypaddle.org
Oyster Recovery Partnership is a Maryland-based 501-c3 nonprofit that uses the latest innovation in science, collaboratively with its partners, to produce spat on shell and deploy the resulting juvenile oysters onto scientifically-selected sites in the Chesapeake Bay. These efforts aim to bolster oyster populations, assist oyster farmers in production, support wild fishery harvests and re-create large, healthy reefs. Over the past two decades, ORP has planted 9 billion oysters on 2,700 underwater acres throughout Maryland. Learn more at oysterrecovery.org.
Chesapeake Conservancy’s mission is to conserve and restore the natural and cultural resources of the Chesapeake Bay watershed for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. We empower the conservation community with access to the latest data and technology. We have partnered to help create 194 new public access sites and permanently protect some of the Bay’s special places like Werowocomoco, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park, and Fort Monroe National Monument. www.chesapeakeconservancy.org www.united4cnra.com