Stand Up for Great Lakes

You Are Viewing

A Blog Post


Lake Erie, USA-

Imagine, doing something that pushes you physically and mentally to the breaking point. Being on a paddle board for over 28 hours straight with 4-6 foot waves. Temperatures hovering near freezing and not being able to take a breaks due to risk of hypothermia. Paddling through pouring rain for seven hours, lighting strikes to the north and south, and freighters going by kicking up giant waves.

Cleaning up the Detroit River on a training paddle- Photo Courtesy of Bill Bennett

Now imagine doing it not once, but five times. That’s what the guys from Stand Up for Great Lakes are attempting to do. Cross all five Great Lakes by stand up paddle board. Having already crossed three of these inland seas, their cross heirs are on Lake Erie. Their window of time to cross is June 15-23rd. Ranking in at the 11th biggest freshwater lake in the world by surface area, Erie is the shallowest and warmest of the Great Lakes. Shallow and warm seems like a good thing, right? Wrong. That means unstable water which can lead to wash-machine like conditions that make it a challenging and fatiguing to paddle through.

Detroit River training paddle – May 2019

Why go through all this pain and time away from family? It is for the money? Nope. All donations go directly to the lakes. For fame? Nope again. Most people think the guys are crazy. Then why? They do it to raise awareness of the issues going on in our Great Lakes while highlighting organizations fighting to protect them.

The big issue on this lake, algal blooms. Toxic deadly and are threatening millions of peoples’ drinking water. Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are formed by dense populations of cyanobacteria or blue-green algae that can produce toxins, threaten public health, and contribute to economic losses that exceed $2 billion annually. (CIGLR)

Algal blooms in Lake Erie, Courtesy of the CIGLR

The guys are standing up for the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes research. Long name, amazing group. On their website they have a full plate things they do listing monitoring environmental change, tracking the dynamics and functioning of Great Lakes ecological communities and safeguarding Great Lakes ecosystems. The CIGLR for short, have special bouys out on the water to help predict when these algal outbreaks are going to occur. This saves lives! Check out their site at

Water testing on Lake Erie- ( CIGLR)

So now the guys want to know, will you stand with them? Learn more about other things they do by heading to their website and click donate. It is tax deductible and every single pennie goes to the lakes.

Together we can help protect these amazing bodies of water for not just future generations, but our generation as well!