NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB)- Paddling along the water in North Tonawanda, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper tour guides point out wildlife and the challenges our waterways face.
“We need help with our mission so we want to educate the public to become advocates and watchdogs as well,” said Chris Murawski, the director of community engagement.
The non-profit helps clean up pollution in WNY waterways and prevent it in the future.
Our watershed is more than 90,000 acres.
Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper is working to restore shorelines and wetlands.
“The best way to get people to know the water issues and how great our water resources are, is to get them out on the water to show them everything we have to offer,” said Murawski.
They are once again offering 22 free kayak tours to the public throughout the summer.
The East Hill Foundation, the M & T Bank Foundation and the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area are sponsors.
On Tuesday evenings, they start at the East Hill Foundation.
“We’re going to give people a chance to learn a little bit of the history of the Erie Canal and how our waters shaped the development of the region,” said Murawski.
Other tours take kayakers through the Stella Nature Preserve, Hyde Park Lake and Ellicott Creek, just to name a few.
Each of the guides is a certified kayak instructor, so they give demonstrations before each tour and touch on safety tips.
“The number one safety tip is always have your life jacket on when you’re kayaking,” said Murawski. “You’re going to stay out of the navigational channel, if you’re in waters that are a navigational channel, always paddle with a group or a friend and let people know where you’re going.”
He also suggests checking the weather before you head out.
The tours run through August. Participants have to register online ahead of time.