The Jonah Center for Earth and Art invites kayakers and canoeists to a “paddle with a purpose” in Middletown’s Floating Meadows – a 1000 acre freshwater tidal marshland -- on Saturday, June 24, from 1- 3 p.m. Paddlers will launch from the City of Middletown’s Phil Salafia Canoe and Kayak Launch at 181 Johnson Street, travel down the Coginchaug River for a short distance to the Mattabesset River, and from there paddle upstream on the slow-moving Mattabesset. The total paddling time will be approximately 2 hours. The area offers abundant scenery and wildlife sightings. Participants will likely see osprey, tree swallows, egrets, herons, turtles, and perhaps the bald eagles that occupy a large nest visible along our route.
The main group activity will be searching for and removing invasive water chestnut plants that choked the waterway last season. In recent years, the growing water chestnut infestation in southern New England has posed an increasing, serious threat to the health of local ponds and coves along the Connecticut River. In 2016, the Jonah Center removed 48 canoes full of plants from the Floating Meadows over the course of 6 work parties. Beyond the June 24 outing, the Jonah Center has scheduled an additional work party on July 8, Saturday, starting at the same location at 1 p.m.
Paddlers need to provide their own boats and lifejackets, as well as water and snacks (if desired). Pre-registration is not required, but participants will be asked to sign a liability waiver and photo use permission slip. There is no fee for this activity, but The Jonah Center welcomes donations of $10 per person to help cover the costs of insurance, supplies, and planning.
For more information, contact John Hall at 860-398-3771.