What in the world is the #DefendRivers paddle?

Glad you asked! The 5th 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. This year, we will introduce the Alliance to Governor Ivey and highlight the importance of protecting the rivers throughout the state with a water management plan to ensure our rivers are flowing and our water is sustained for future generations.

“The Alabama Rivers Alliance is excited to be in Montgomery to introduce our Alliance to Governor Ivey and her administration,” Cindy Lowry, Alabama Rivers Alliance’s executive director, said. “Water is the most essential element of life and there is no greater priority for government and citizens alike than to protect our water resources. Water is crucial for drinking and also for our state’s economy in the Gulf, our wildlife in our rivers and our recreation throughout the state.”


When and where should I go?

Please arrive at the Montgomery Marina [behind Capitol Oyster Bar] by 9:30 am on July 8. The Montgomery Marina is located at 617 Shady Street, Montgomery, AL 36104. You can park here and we will provide rides back to your car from the take out spot. Please be sure to park down near the river rather than in the restaurant’s lot. OR, if you are bringing two cars, park one at Powder Magazine Park (228 Eugene St).

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

We will be paddling (leisurely!) from 10:00 am ish until noon. These times are tentative and depend on how quickly we can get everyone and their boats in the river – please bear with us as we do this! We will take out at Powder Magazine Park, eat some delicious pizza, toast the beauty of the Alabama rivers and deliver our message. We hope you stick around to swim, paddle some more, or join us for a celebratory drink back at the Oyster Bar! The paddle itself should end around noon, with lunch being provided immediately after at Powder Magazine Park.



What do I need to bring with me?

  • personal water bottles/thermoses
  • sunscreen
  • outdoor camping chair, if you have one
  • 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]
  • some cash, if you can: we gladly accept donations for food, and will have door prize tickets for sale! 

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

We will be providing rides back to your car at the Marina, 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!