A Florida graduate begins standing paddle boat expedition to navigate the 1,515 mile saltwater trail, which includes the Florida Keys, 10 miles a day, to celebrate the adventurers who first set foot in Florida and also to raise environmental awareness.
It is human nature to explore. We are a curious species, yearning from birth to stimulate our senses of sight, smell, touch…from an infant’s grab at a colorful toy to an astronaut setting foot on the moon, we thrive on new adventures and understanding. A legend of the Age of Exploration, Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon set foot on Florida’s coast in 1513, and 500 years later, another water-based expedition is taking place. This time, the explorer sets out not to conquer, but to celebrate the unique ecology and history of Florida. On January 1, University of Florida graduate Justin Riney, founder of a nonprofit advocacy group called Mother Ocean, launched a 365 day standup paddleboard journey around the state.
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