Public Float

"Change makers" tour the Russian River on the second leg of the Head Waters to Ocean Descent. This weekend, the event concludes with a public float to the mouth of the Russian River at the Pacific Ocean.

County supervisor, conservationists overwhelmed by response

As Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore wraps up his trip with nonprofits LandPaths and Russian Riverkeeper, he’s seeing a big turnout already signed up to join the ‘Splash Mob” this weekend.

According to LandPaths Executive Director Craig Anderson, as many as 100 people are already registered to join the final event of the Head Waters to Ocean Descent public float down the Russian River from Monte Rio to Jenner.

“It’s BYOB (Bring Your Own Boat),” said Anderson. “We have been happily overwhelmed by the response.” Those not already signed up at will need to supply their own boat, as well as arrangements for transportation back to launch sites in Monte Rio on Saturday, Oct. 8, and at Casini Ranch Family Campgrounds in Duncan’s Mills on Sunday, Oct. 9.  

For those that want to camp on Saturday night at Casini, arrangements must be made by the individual; all of the campsites reserved by LandPaths have been spoken for.

Gore, along with Anderson, Russian Riverkeeper Don McEnhill and a core group have traveled every inch of the Russian River, starting at Coyote Dam at the base of Lake Mendocino. “When you’re doing important work, you can also have fun while you’re doing it,” Gore said.

The Fourth District Supervisor has spent six full days over the past several weeks kayaking down the river to better understand the needs of the watershed. Along with public input and conversations with what he called “change makers,” Gore said he is putting together a plan for the future of Sonoma County’s primary water source.

“The whole idea of this Head Water to Ocean expedition that we’ve been doing is to create awareness and enthusiasm for the future of the Russian River watershed,” Gore said.

For those who want to come out for one day, boats are scheduled to launch at noon on Saturday from Monte Rio Recreation and Park District. The Saturday Splash Mob public float will conclude at Casini Ranch Family Campground with a potluck dinner to begin around 5 p.m. There will also be public speakers and live music.

Sunday’s paddle down the river will begin early in the morning with boats scheduled to hit the water at 7 a.m. from Casini. Event coordinators warned that winds are expected to be increasingly strong throughout the trip but that waters are expected to be calm enough for beginners. The Ocean Descent tour will conclude with a ceremony at the mouth of the river in Jenner.

For those who will need to rent a boat for this excursion, the event website suggests calling Clavey Paddlesports in Petaluma 707-766-8070, or, Watertreks Eco-Tours Jenner Kayaks 707-865-2249, or, Bodega Bay Surf Shack at 707-875-3944.

The website for the event also made a request of those participating: “We ask that each person or family signing up to bring a vessel filled with water from their home or nearby water system. This water will become part of a larger event on Oct. 9.”

Weather on the coast on Sunday is projected to be sunny and mostly clear with temperatures in the mid 60s. Anderson said that waterproof clothing, and even wet suits are recommended for the trip. (Seriously, it might be pretty cold and windy, so be prepared.)

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