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2013 Event Summary, Panama City Beach, FL

On October 12, 2013, the tone for a profound event was set by the opening ceremonies of World Paddle For The Planet Day 2013 in Panama City Beach, Florida.  British Columbian Bob Purdy, founder of Paddle for the Planet, and Leslie Kolovich, producer/host of The Stand Up Paddle Radio Show, chose coastal dune Lake Powell in Panama City Beach to be the home site for this global event.  Paddlers from across world, including Sydney, Australia;  South Korea;  Alberta, Canada, and many other places, participated in simultaneous events, sharing the mission to change the way we live on the planet.  

Launching from the shore of Camp Helen State Park in Panama City Beach, the 24-hour paddle began in reflective silence as some 60 paddlers created a procession behind the  elders from the Muskogee people, the original caretakers of the region. The lake was dotted with colorful canoes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards all throughout the 24 hours.  Three paddlers paddled the entire 24 hours:  founder Bob Purdy, Sunjammers Watersports team member Paul Zipes, and Justin Riney of Expedition Florida 500 (, the non profit beneficiary of funds raised by the event.  After the event Riney said, "World Paddle For The Planet 2013 was one of the most, if not THE most, memorable and emotion filled events of the year". 

Video recap by Elam Stotzfus and crew:

Podcast - Bob Purdy recaps the 2013 event to Leslie Kolovich and Christian Wagley on The Stand Up Paddle Radio Show:

News Story by Debbie Wheeler in The Walton Sun:

Photos by SoWal:

Photos by Sonja Revells Photography:

Photos by Pat "Sheewho" Cummins:

Photos by Caroling Wholeo Geary:

Photos by Walton Outdoors:  click here

Photos by Paddle Destin:

World Paddle Facebook timeline photos:

Photos by Daisy Hipbilly:

2013 Satellite Events

A number of satellite events were held around the world.  Here are the observations
from a few of those events..

Semiahmoo Bay in White Rock, BC Canada

To say the least, the WPFTP satellite event in Semiahmoo Bay in White Rock, BC
Canada was fantastic.  I felt very fortunate to be the organizer of the event and think
we did the vision and mission of the WPFTP proud.  

The day started with a SUP paddle clinic.  The group meeting part started after.  I
opened with a short introduction to the WPFTP mission, details about its founder
Bob Purdy, and talked about all the events happening worldwide.  We then had
Joanne Charles from the Semiahmoo First Nations give our group a traditional
blessing with drum and song (see picture).  It was moving.  She then talked about
her and her bands concerns as original caretakers and paddlers of the Bay.  I was
so happy she agreed to attend as her presence was very important to me.  I then
had a presenter from the Friends of the Semiahmoo Bay Society speak about her
group and what they do to protect the Bay.  Her information on the birds migrating
to our area was so enlightening.  I then had a group called No Coal White Rock /
Communities and Coal talk to the group about the US thermal coal trains coming
through the Bay and their fight to stop the expansion of it (see picture, such a great
pic).  This is a cause close to my heart as I paddle in the Bay all the time and the
coal trains coming through always shock me.  This coal is being sent to our port to send to China to burn for electricity and the plan is to expand this.  These people are working to stop that expansion and since the WPFTP day, I have been volunteering with them.  I then closed the group meeting part with an open floor to have paddlers talk about what change they are paddling for.  Again, very moving as people spoke up and so did a couple of very young children. Our group picture shows the great attendance.  We then hit the Bay for a ceremonial paddle, in support of the event and all the other paddlers in the world doing the same thing that day.

It was a great day.  Everyone at the event walked away learning about the World Paddle for the Planet vision and about Bob Purdy, as I spoke a lot about him.  They also learned about their area and environment from a number of different perspectives.  These were all goals I had for our event as they were in line with the vision of the WPFTP and represented the mission well.

Not sure what else to say except that I am inspired by Bob and his message and I hope that I passed that inspiration on to everyone in attendance.  I know personally I am already working diligently at the reason I paddled for.

I hope the other satellite events went as well!
Please let me know if you have any questions or need any more pictures, as I have lots more.

Thank you,
Scott Burton


​Kelowna Paddle Centre, Kelowna, BC Canada
We had a beautiful day for a paddle and clean up. The good news for the water along the shore we paddled, it was very clean. Some cans and golf balls was all we found. We also had some paddlers show up early and walk Rotary beach cleaning up litter there. We were on 2 radio stations and local news Tv crew was there and did a short piece on the cause. I will send a video to Bob. 
Jeff Fink


The Shark Whisperer, Key West, Florida

It went well. I had more people commit to making change than actually turned up 
to paddle but it was all good. I was so sorry that I could not be there. I hope that
one day you will have an event over the summer or holiday breaks so that I can
make sure and be there for the next one. One of these pics is of garbage we
picked up from the daytime SUP and the other one was of me paddling out at
sunset. Sorry we did not get to many photos. 
Best fishes, 
Sara Brenes, Founder
​Shark Whisperer Organization


SUP Downunder, North Sydney, NSW Australia

Here is a photo of our group. We opted to paddle in a challenging 8k ocean race
and we all were happy with our results. We each committed to leaving our parks
and waterways cleaner than we find them.
​​Traci Kay Dostalek