OLD TAPPAN, N.J. — Hackensack Riverkeeper has high hopes riding on the 100 to 200 people who show up in Old Tappan on Saturday for Lake Tappan Paddle Day.
The nonprofit wants attendees to fall in love with the waterways they’ll be gliding over in canoes and kayaks.
Usually, Lake Tappan is off limits to the public.
“We believe that giving people the opportunity to immerse themselves in the beauty of the waters will encourage them to become advocates,” said Caitlin Doran, outreach coordinator for Hackensack Riverkeeper.
“We hope they feel a stake in keeping the water clean,” she added.
So the event, now in its fifth year and co-sponsored by SUEZ, formerly United Water, is raising consciousness as much as funds.
Some people don’t realize that even today, there are issues with raw sewage, debris and pathogens in public waterways, according to Doran.
Since it was formed in 1997, Hackensack Riverkeeper has advocated for the Hackensack River watershed.
People who participate in Paddle Day can rent a boat or bring their own for a cheaper rate.
The excursion is perfect for those new to the sport, Doran said.
“This is a lake setting,” explained Doran, “so you don’t have tide and current, things that would make a boat unstable. It’s a good place for a novice.”
There will be two sessions Saturday -- 9:30 a.m.-noon and 12:30-3 p.m.
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