The sixth annual Paddle to the Sea, which raises awareness about the Tuolumne River and downstream waters, will kick off with rafting through a fire-seared canyon.
The event, taking place on numerous days from May 2 to June 25, will start on Sierra Nevada whitewater and continue with canoes on gentle stretches around Modesto. Sailboats will head through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and sea kayakers will wrap up the event in the San Francisco Bay.
Participants can take part in one or more segments, after paying fees and rounding up donations. The proceeds will benefit the Tuolumne River Trust, which has offices in San Francisco, Modesto and Sonora.
The river’s famed whitewater stretch, north of Groveland, was burned by last year’s huge Rim fire. The riverbank vegetation is expected to recover fairly quickly, but the conifer forest on upper slopes could take much longer.
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The trust plans to use the proceeds for watershed restoration and to teach people about water conservation.
“We’ve been running Paddle to the Sea for six years now, and never before has there been more reason to get involved,” said Karyn Bryant of Modesto, the trust’s advancement director, in a news release.
The basic daily fee is $15 for trust members and $30 for others. Paddlers also must raise at least $100 in donations. The two-day whitewater trip costs $364, including meals.
Participants can use their own boats, or borrow boats that the trust will have on hand most days. Some of the Modesto-area segments are well-suited to children 7 or older.
Registration and other information is at www.paddletothesea.org.