STAND UP FOR LAKE SUPERIOR
Stand Up for Great Lakes is a charity that originated from several friends planning a great adventure. In 2014 Kwin Morris, Jeff Guy, and Joe Lorenz began a blueprint of their paddle across Great Lake Michigan. The plan quickly shifted from an epic experience into a fundraiser event for Alliance for the Great Lakes, a foundation involved in advocacy, service, education, and research.
On completion of this extraordinary feat, the group paddled 60-mile and raised over $10,000. Their success led to the establishment of the organization in 2015. Stand Up for Great Lakes now educates the public on oil pipelines, invasive species, sewage leakage, pharmaceutical pollution, agricultural runoff, litter, and numerous other threats to the majestic Great Lakes.
“We figured we could do something crazy to get the word out about some persistent issues on our Great Lakes.” Kwin Morris said. “We are just regular people who get out and do this stuff because we care about the area.”
In 2017 the team accosted Lake Huron, a 28-hour paddle that spanned 90 miles from Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary to Fathom Five National Marine Park; each member paddling a Tahoe SUP, Tallac.
“We don’t stop until the finish; no sleep, sore muscles, joint aches, and we just keep going,” Morris said. “At the finish, everyone wants to hug and congratulate us, but all we want to do is lay down.”
The saga continues as the group will now brave Lake Superior in July, this is expected to be their biggest challenge yet. They will cross the world’s greatest surface of freshwater and could range from 24 to 40 continuous hours of paddling between Wawa Bay and Whitefish Point.
Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society is this year’s benefactor of funds. The Mission of the Society is to preserve lights and stations which warned mariners of the dangers inherent, honor those who were aboard, and to discover and document vessels which have sunk.