Stand Up for Great Lakes

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A Blog Post


lk Rapids, MI- On April 27, two 8th grade girls, Sophia Christian and Paige Peters from Cherryland Middle school, plan to stand-up paddleboard the treacherous Straits of Mackinac. They chose this path because of the big waves, powerful currents and because it is one of the most iconic areas in Michigan. (Paige in red, Sophia in blue>>)

They plan on paddling the five miles with tailing safety boats, dry-suits, and an EMT .The two girls are paddling to raise awareness for the increasing threat of water diversion and levels of PFAS. All donations go to Stand Up For Great Lakes, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the Great Lakes.

“It is crucial that we preserve our greatest natural resource for future generations,” says Paige Peters. “Without the Great Lakes, our world would be a much different place.” Their campaign is a part of Cherryland Middle School’s (Elk Rapids Public Schools) 8th grade International Baccalaureate community service project. Peters and Christian have been training since August to take on The Straits. 

“These girls are devoted to protecting the Great Lakes,” says Kwin Morris, a founding member of STAND UP FOR GREAT LAKES and the students’ teacher at Cherryland. “They’re showing us the level of action our area as a whole needs to take. I am honored to work with them, as they are fighting for an endangered necessity our world will need as we enter into the future.” 

Morris knows something about paddling open waters.  This past July, Morris, Joe Lorenz, and Jeff Guy traveled 60 miles on stand-up paddleboards in 21 hours across Lake Superior, the largest, coldest, and most dangerous of the Great Lakes. They’ve already conquered Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. This June the trio plans to paddle across Lake Erie.