Registration is now closed. If you would like to join us and have your own boat, please contact Martha Hunter at [email protected]


#DefendRivers with the Alabama Rivers Alliance on Saturday, July 14 from 9 am – 3 pm!

We are excited that Dr. Doug Phillips of Discovering Alabama, who has paddled most of Alabama’s rivers, will be our special guest speaker at the paddle with a purpose this year. While ARA navigates the effort to develop a statewide water plan to protect our 132,000 miles of rivers and streams in Alabama, Dr. Doug will inspire us all to Jump In and work together to demand a water plan that protects our water and way of life in Alabama. Stick around after the paddle for delicious food and thoughtful words from Dr. Doug and ARA!

The #DefendRivers paddle and campaign engages people across Alabama in raising awareness of water issues and communicating their significance to state elected officials and those seeking to become elected officials. This year, the paddle will be held on Saturday, July 14. This annual event provides an opportunity for citizens to *float* their message directly to Alabama’s policy makers and elected officials.

We invite everyone – no matter age or paddling experience! – to join us on the Alabama River in Montgomery for a quick and exciting trip with community members and friends. We will celebrate the natural beauty while insisting our rivers are protected.

CLICK HERE for the #DefendRivers FAQ and agenda for the day.

Thank you to our sponsor, EBSCO, for making #DefendRivers accessible to everyone!

Registration is now closed. If you would like to join us and have your own boat, please contact Martha Hunter at [email protected]


Click here to see photos from the 2017 #DefendRivers paddle!

Click here to see photos from the 2016 #DefendRivers paddle!

Click here to read about the 2016 paddle with a purpose in the Montgomery Advertiser.


#DefendRivers FAQ and Agenda


What in the world is the #DefendRivers paddle?

Glad you asked! The 6th annual #DefendRivers paddle engages citizens across Alabama in raising awareness of water issues and communicating their significance to state elected officials. The event provides an opportunity for us to come together as a group to grab attention as we *float* our message directly to elected officials.

When and where should I go?

Please arrive at the Montgomery Marina [behind Capitol Oyster Bar] between 9 and 9:30 am on Saturday, July 14. The Montgomery Marina is located behind Capitol Oyster Bar at 617 Shady Street, Montgomery, AL 36104. Click here for a Google Map link. You can park here and we will provide rides back to your car from the take out spot/lunching area. If you are bringing two cars, park one at Powder Magazine Park (228 Eugene St).

PARKING NOTE: If you move your car during registration, be sure to be back at the Montgomery Marina by 9:30 am. Cars at the marina will need to be parked up the hill in the field after unloading (look for #DefendRivers signs or ARA volunteers for parking info).  Cars cannot be left in the Capitol Oyster Bar parking lot OR marina lot.

Cool, I’m in. What’s the agenda for the day?

9 – 9:30 am:Gather at Montgomery Marina (617 Shady Street, Montgomery, AL 36104 behind Capitol Oyster Bar and Grill).  Unload your cars, register and turn in waivers and get ready for the fun ahead!

10 am: The #DefendRivers paddle launches!

We will stop for group photo at Riverfront Park. Listen for the ARA volunteers to let you know where and when to stop. We have signs for you to hold, if you want! This photo will be used throughout the year to send a message to candidates that Alabamians care about our water and it must be protected now and for future generations. After the photo is taken, everyone will paddle leisurely to Powder Magazine Park!

Noonish: take out at Powder Magazine Park for lunch and special guest speaker (228 Eugene Street, Montgomery, AL 36104).

Lunch will include BBQ and veggie burgers from Chef Rick of Autauga Creek Improvement Committee and veggie burgers!

Enjoy your lunch as we hear from our special guest speaker, Dr. Doug Phillips of Discovering Alabama. Dr. Doug has paddled most of Alabama’s rivers and has been a strong advocate for an Alabama Water Plan.  Help us tell our gubernatorial candidates to continue the work towards the development of a Water Plan! Click here for more information.

2 pm: Shuttles begin for rides back to cars at Montgomery Marina.  You’re invited to stick around Capitol Oyster Bar and Grill for a drink or more food with ARA!

 What do I need to bring with me?

  • personal water bottles/thermoses
  • sunscreen and hat for sun protection (there is NO shade on the Alabama River)
  • outdoor camping chair, if you have one (we will shuttle these for you to the lunch location)
  • personal floatation devices, if you have
  • signed waivers if you are borrowing a boat from ARA or if you are a minor [attached in your email] Click here to print on your own: Adult Waiver 2018 | Minor Waiver 2018.
  • some cash, if you can: we accept donations for food!

How do I get back to my car after the paddle?

We will be providing rides back to your car at the Marina starting around 2 pm, or you can get to know a new friend and ask for a ride back!

We are so glad you joined us! If you would like to post about the paddle on social media, please use hashtag #DefendRivers. You can also tag us at @AlabamaRivers on Twitter and @AlabamaRiversAlliance on Instagram. We’d love to share your photos and personal words of support!