PADDLING IN THE AGE OF CORONA VIRIUS
OCTOBER 1, 2020
LEHIGHTON OUTDOOR CENTER
Join the Lehigh Valley Kayak and Canoe Club for a talk on paddling safety in the age of corona virus.
His rafting company and kayak school have had to develop and implement many changes in order to stay in business during these challenging times. What can we learn as members of the general paddling public from his experiences?
The presentation will be held at the Lehighton Outdoor Center in Lehighton PA.
Park in the lot in front of the facility. You will be guided to the back of the building by members of the Lehigh Valley Kayak and Canoe Club.
FACE MASKS ARE REQUIRED.
The meeting will take place outside and seating will be arranged to facilitate social distancing.
Dress warm, bring your own snack and bottled water.
There will be a short business meeting after the talk.
Hope to see you all there!
2020 LVKCC fall trip
The Baynanza is back! Originally scheduled for May, our weekend by the bay will now take place over the Indian Summer days of October 16th to the 19th. Join us to explore the upper reaches of this huge estuary. The area has a lot to offer: the big open waters of the north end of the bay itself, the marshy islands and winding streams along its shores, and a short hop away, pineland streams to the west and the Atlantic shoreline to the east. There will be paddles for all skills and interests.
Center of operations will be the Murray Grove Retreat Center in Lanoka Harbor, NJ. We’ll meet Friday afternoon and depart Monday morning. The center’s facilities are excellent. Accommodations are in a dorm-like building with two beds per room. Yes, you can pick your roommate, or book a room to yourself if you prefer. There is also a huge comfortable common room, a very nice dining room and a full commercial kitchen that we can use. There is also a wooded camping area for those who prefer to tent or bring a trailer. (There are no hookups, however.) And let’s not forget the screened porch with its row of rocking chairs.
Meals will be a mix of food paddlers bring for breakfast and lunch and joint effort for dinners.
Some may well be concerned about the risk of exposure to the Covid-19 virus. Murray Grove offers a lot of room to stay separate with its individual dormitory type accommodations and multiple meeting rooms. And of course, tents and campers will offer great separation. That said, the bathrooms are shared and there is just one kitchen and dining room. The dining room is quite large for our group, however.
Some of the paddles we expect to offer:
- Cedar Creek – A very narrow and twisty creek that winds for miles through the pines.
- Barnegat Bay lunch run – Paddle across the bay for a lunch on the beach, then return.
- Explore the Sedges – This group of marshy islands has long been studied by naturalists for its abundance of wildlife.
To participate, you must be a member of the LVKCC and have a touring kayak 14’ or longer. (The Cedar Creek paddle is an exception. A short boat is actually better for that trip.)
A non-refundable $50 reservation is required to reserve a spot. Club members who made a reservation for the spring trip are automatically in for October. As of now, for lodging expect to pay $150 for the 3-night weekend if you share a room with another paddler, or $300 for the weekend if you want a private room. Campers will be charged $50 per person for the weekend. These lodging costs are best estimates, and could run higher or lower. Food for dinners will be extra.
Contact Linda A. Martin at email@example.com for more information or to reserve a spot.
January 2, 2020
District Engineer, Philadelphia District
US Army Corps of Engineers
100 Penn Square East
Philadelphia, PA 19107
RE: Francis E. Walter Dam Reevaluation Study
Lt. Colonel Park:
The Lehigh Valley Kayak and Canoe Club (LVKCC) is a not for profit recreational club that supports and advocates for the paddlesports community in the Lehigh Valley. We have been in continuous operation since 1989 and currently have over 380 active, dues paying members representing some 250 families from throughout the region.
The Lehigh Valley Kayak and Canoe Club is one of the largest active paddling clubs in the country, representing all types of paddlesports (kayak, canoe, raft and standup paddle boarding) in all types of water from calm lakes to whitewater to the open ocean. We support trips in all venues and have an extensive instructional program to provide our members with the latest equipment, techniques and safety. The Lehigh River is our main venue for trips and training on both simple moving water and whitewater. Our members regularly use and support access programs for the entire length of the river from White Haven to Easton. In addition to countless ad hoc trips and activities by our members, the LVKCC conducts as many as two dozen formal trips and classes on the river over the summer and fall months, typically coordinated with the release schedule.
The LVKCC has been active in its support of whitewater recreational releases to the Lehigh River from FEW dam since the current cooperative management began in 2005. We regularly send a representative to the meetings when the USACE announces a new plan to make sure that the Corps is aware of our continuing use of this valuable resource. We were particularly concerned when we learned about the Feasibility Study that would change this process and potentially our ability to use the river as we have become accustomed.
As we understand it, the proposal from New York City is to obtain control over water in the FEW dam to support potential future withdrawals of drinking water from the upper Delaware River. The water would then be released as needed to support the requirements for water level in the lower Delaware. We are concerned that this will eventually result in fewer and lower quantity recreational releases to the Lehigh River over the summer. It seems likely that not only would the releases be less frequent and the quantities undefined, the dates and times would be predicated on water need and not predictable in advance. This would make it very difficult for us to plan our events, classes and other activities on the river.
Although it is possible to paddle under base flow conditions in the lower portions of the Lehigh River (between Lehighton and Allentown), our members particularly like to paddle the Class II and III whitewater between White Haven and Jim Thorpe. This section would not normally run at levels high enough to support recreational paddling except for during storm events. Unfortunately storm events are not predictable in either date or quantity, therefore planning for club activities in this section would no longer be possible, greatly diminishing our use of the resource.
The LVKCC and its members wish to declare their strong opposition to any proposal that results in a reduction in either the quantity or frequency of recreational releases to the Lehigh River from the FEW dam for any reason. Any future management plan must remain consistent with the dam’s authorized purpose for recreation and flood control.
Pat Beltz, President
Lehigh Valley Kayak and Canoe Club
c: Dan Caprioli