Bay City – The vast majority of Texas’ kayakers and canoeists are publically perceived as possessing an intimate familiarity with the economic, social and environmental importance of maintaining a sustainable flow of clean water in all the rivers of the Lone Star State.  Therefore, paddlers from across the state will gather at Bay City’s Riverside Park on April 14 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. to pay tribute to the countless contributions of our flowing streams. The day will begin with a leisurely, non-competitive 7-mile float trip with a finish that is met with merry melodies, culinary aromas and loads of laughter wafting through the air

The organizers of this on-the-waterfront celebration, known as the third annual Rally on the River, invite all persons who genuinely appreciate the recreational, commercial, industrial and ecological value of these water-bearing natural assets to join them in this grand gathering.  Those they seek to attract are water loving paddlers, and shore-hugging festival participants obsessively drawn to rivers.

Donna Younger, director of the Matagorda County Birding Nature Center, outlined that it was a mutual desire to increase the public’s understanding and appreciation for the tireless service of our rivers which brought City and County officials, regional water management authorities, nature and natural resources advocates, outdoor educators, water sports enthusiasts and champions for a clean environment together to expand and present this festive tribute.  Younger further noted, “Although this event was offered exclusively to enthusiastic paddlers in 2009 and 2010, it is now open for all folks from across the state wishing to enjoy a day of family-oriented fun in an extra-ordinarily attractive setting..

Following the morning’s waterborne discovery experience, paddlers, as well as their supportive followers and other park visitors, will be treated to a fully-sponsored day of fun at the park. The extra-special features added to this year’s Rally include live music provided by two bands, tasty delights from a variety of food vendors and a treasure ship full of games and attractions for children, teens and adults alike. So, just bring your entire clan or your favorite friends and relax among the activities, attractions and accommodating features of Riverside Park offers. “

The sponsors anticipate there will be something at the Rally to please everyone, whether it is powering their lively crafts with their muscle, just chilling along side of river’s gentle current or earning bragging rights as a participant in the games in the park . Besides having no park entry fee to pay that day, or a fee for any of the day’s activities,  a complementary t-shirt will even be given to the first 75 to sign up for the group paddling outing. Pre-arranged ‘loaner’ kayaks for boatless paddlers are also available for a nominal cleaning and shuttling charge of $20 per kayak, single or tandem.

These acts of uncommon community hospitality are eagerly put forth to express admiration for the keen sense of obligation to protecting the integrity of our rivers which these paddlers bring with them. In addition, it announces the forthcoming arrival of the worldwide observation of Earth Day ’12 on Sunday, the 22 of April and this global event’s call to universally increase environmental stewardship.

Younger proudly boasted that many of the Mid-coast’s leaders involved in planning this event have openly expressed strong reasons for backing this unusual environmentally-framed and natural-resource-focused outdoor festival.

Buddy Treybig, a lifelong member of the Texas seafood industry and Jerry West, two-term President of the Lower Colorado Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association, both agree that ensuring an adequate flow of freshwater reaches our state’s bays and estuaries is far too important to merely leave to chance.  They both feel a tangible display of care and concern for our rivers by every citizen is warranted.  Each of these fishermen cited the findings of respected marine scientists which confirm that the delivery of upland nutrients to our inland coastal waters by rivers is what forms and enlarges the base of the food web.  “This transport downstream, of what a farmer would call fertilizer, to the coast ultimately leads to healthy and renewable populations of fish, oysters and shrimp to be enjoyed by ever-increasing numbers of Texans.” exclaimed West.

Mitch Thames, director of the Bay City Chamber of Commerce, and Mark Bricker, mayor of Bay City, are also like-minded when it comes to the potential for enhancing recreational and economic opportunities which the lower Colorado River and many other Texas rivers represent.  They both anxiously projected that an abundant flow of wholesome water in the Colorado may be in great peril if remedies for our freshwater shortages and user conflicts are not realized in the near future.

Bricker explained that “Developing a park, alongside this majestic stream which served the leisure-time interests of residents and guests to our community, was an easy decision for our City’s leaders.  The RV and tent sites, playground, boat ramp, walking/jogging paths, showers and restrooms of this beautifully-wooded park provide unparalleled opportunities for the much-needed rejuvenation the Great Outdoors can provide.  So, we all need to be vigilant when it comes to conserving and protecting our finite sources of freshwater!”

To sign up for the paddling, reserve a ‘loaner’ kayak or receive additional information on the no-cost Rally on the River activities, contact Donna Younger at 979-240-4872 or