Some of Buffalo’s eco-tourism was on display today as the 12th Annual Paddles Up Niagara drew a record turnout.
The highlight of the event was a two and a half- mile group paddle that launched at Beaver Island State Park. Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper Director of Community Engagement Chris Murawski said the event seems to be attracting new people every year.
"It's just a great event," said Murawski. "People get to enjoy the world class paddling opportunities. Wildlife viewing with Strawberry Island and the new habitat restoration... there's just a renewed interest in our waters in general that we found in the last five years. It's culminating in (creating) a big interest in kayaking and people getting out on the water."
The event well exceeded last years turnout of 240 participants and included eco-paddle tours, a vendor fair, and paddle safety demonstrations. Murawski said working with the Waterkeeper Alliance and having online registration this year led to a bigger turnout.
"Riverkeeper received a grant from the Waterkeeper Alliance and Toyota," said Murawski. "Riverkeeper was able to participate. It gave our staff time to market the event, promote the event, do the online registration, and also provide safety paddlers on the water."
The event celebrated the advancement of clean water in Buffalo and surrounding Western New York Communities.