Alex came to us with an amazing plan - circumnavigate Lake Winnipeg to raise awareness for water stewardship. He also visited approximately 8 schools talking about his upcoming 2 month summer campaign and the reasons why he is doing it! We are so proud of what he has already accomplished and what he is about to embark on! We are honored to support this young man!!
“GORP Bars are my go-to paddling snack! Small enough to fit in the pocket of a lifejacket and they taste great! I love having them for a day on the water or out for a hike! They’re easy to pack and quick to eat, keeping me outdoors and doing the things that I love! Super thankful for GORP Bars for sponsoring my Lake Winnipeg Circumnavigation!” - Alex
EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD PADDLER ATTEMPTING SOLO KAYAK TRIP AROUND
Winnipeg – Alex Martin, an 18-year-old kayaker from Winnipeg who is graduating from high school this June, is attempting to circumnavigate the entire shoreline of Lake Winnipeg by kayak – a 1,750 km trip that he will be attempting solo which will take approximately two months to complete.
Alex is an experienced wilderness paddler who has travelled internationally to kayak. Alex has grown up paddling on Lake Winnipeg. He sees his summer 2018 adventure as a chance to share his passion with others, raise awareness about the many recreational activities this iconic body of water has to offer, draw attention to areas along Lake Winnipeg’s shoreline that are recognized for their ecological and cultural importance (for example, proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site Pimachiowin Aki), and connect with people who live in lakeside communities.
“My goal with this trip is to help promote water stewardship on Lake Winnipeg. I am incredibly thankful to have the opportunity to attempt this trip, and very grateful for the support and encouragement that I have received from my parents, the paddling and adventure community, and the organizations that I have been able to work with on this project,” says Alex.
The Lake Winnipeg Foundation (LWF) is an environmental charity that advocates for change and coordinates action to improve the health of Lake Winnipeg. LWF is supporting Alex’s goal to use his trip as an educational opportunity: beginning in spring 2018, LWF and Alex have been jointly presenting to Winnipeg schools, talking to students of all ages about topics including the ecological challenges
currently threatening Lake Winnipeg’s health and the preparation involved in planning an outdoor adventure. These presentations will continue in fall 2018.
“Lake Winnipeg is a special place for so many people. We’re inspired by Alex’s deep love for this lake, and we’re proud to support him as he channels his passion into action for water stewardship,” says Alexis Kanu, LWF’s executive director.
The Manitoba chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-MB) fosters collaboration with communities and stakeholders to establish protected areas within the vast Boreal region of Manitoba, which includes Lake Winnipeg’s watershed. CPAWS is supporting Alex during his journey in
his efforts to educate about the importance of protecting the landscapes and ecosystems that support the health of Lake Winnipeg.
“The Boreal forests and wetlands that surround Lake Winnipeg are paramount to the health of our great lake, as they manage water flows and reduce the level of excess nutrients that enter and can cause damage to our beloved waterbody,” says Ron Thiessen, CPAWS-MB executive director. “We trust that Alex’s ambition to explore and promote our lake and its adjoining landscape will inspire Manitoba’s youth and many others to join the efforts to ensure the well-being of Lake Winnipeg for future generations of people and wildlife.”
Safety is paramount. Despite his young age, Alex has had the opportunity to gain experience in many facets of paddling and train with professional kayakers from around the world. He has trained with wilderness medical experts and professionals in animal safety, and has also reached out to individuals and organizations from around Lake Winnipeg to gain further knowledge of the areas through which he will be paddling. He will be taking all precautions necessary to stay as safe as possible both on and off the water, including ending his journey if it is not safe to proceed.
Alex’s circumnavigation attempt is set to begin on Wednesday, June 27. Subject to change, the plan is to depart from the beach at Grand Marais Point in Grand Beach Provincial Park (starting time to be announced closer to the date). From there, he’ll paddle to the southernmost point of the lake, continue up the west side of the south basin and make his way into the north basin, where some sections will take Alex more than 200 km from the nearest community. His adventure will continue down the east side of Lake Winnipeg; if successful, he will finish where he started sometime in late August.
Alex will be documenting his experience on the Lake Winnipeg Circumnavigation website, lakewinnipegcircumnavigation.com, where a GPS map will be available for supporters interested in tracking his daily progress. He’ll also be posting updates from his journey on Facebook and Instagram.
Paddlers looking to join Alex on the water for a day are encouraged to contact him online.
**The Lake Winnipeg Foundation is distributing this press release on behalf of Alex Martin and CPAWSMB.**