Traverse City, MI, USA - December 6, 2023 - A check for $25,200 was presented to the Center for Great Lakes (CIGLR) by Stand Up for Great Lakes.
The presenters were the three men who have now crossed all five of the Great Lakes by Stand Up paddleboards.
The funds raised were from their most recent trip crossing Lake Ontario in June of this year. The trio paddled from Toronto to Fort Niagara in a 13 hour, 35-mile journey. They faced waves up to 5 feet with steady winds of 16 knots for several hours and gusts upwards of 30 knots, rain and lingering smoke from the wildfires directly upwind from the group.
Jeff Guy, Joe Lorenz and Kwin Morris successfully paddled Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Superior, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario all in an effort to raise awareness for Great Lakes issues.
They founded a non-profit called Stand Up for Great Lakes whose mission is to preserve and protect all Great Lakes by inspiration, education, awareness and action. They have now raised more than $105,000 for various Great Lakes non-profit organizations and have captured the imagination of many who have been inspired by their mission and support their cause. The Lake Ontario goal was to raise $25,000 and they surpassed it.
In accepting the check, Dr. David Cannon, Assistant Research Scientist of CIGLR said, "Thank you very much for the donation. It's obvious how passionate everybody is for the Great Lakes on the Stand Up for Great Lakes team. It's a good reminder of the privilege we have in doing this research and we appreciate the awareness you bring to the issues."
Asked what they will do with the money, Mary Ogdahl of CIGLR said, "The funds will help expand Lake Ontario flood control and shoreline restoration work as well as train the next generation of Great Lakes scientists!"
Their first crossing was Lake Michigan in 2015, a 60 mile and just under 25-hour journey in 38-degree water. They raised $10,000 for the Great Lakes Alliance. In June 2017 they crossed Lake Huron and raised $7,000 for Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Their 90-mile paddle journey took over 28 hours to complete. In 2018 they paddled across Lake Superior in 21 hours. Their 60-mile trip began at Sinclair Cove, Ontario and ended at Whitefish Point, Michigan and raised $15,000 for the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. The trip across Lake Erie began in downtown Detroit's Belle Isle and ended on the shores of Catawba Island, Ohio and raised $16,000 for the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research. (CIGLR)
About Jeff Guy:
Guy, 37, is a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch. He also enjoys golf, hockey and fishing. He lives in downtown Traverse City, MI.
About Joe Lorenz:
Lorenz, 37, is a personal trainer in Traverse City. When he's not helping people achieve their fitness goals, he's up for almost anything involving water, travel, sailing, adventure and fitness.
About Kwin Morris:
Morris, 36, was born and raised in northern Michigan, making him a keen waterman, traveler, and adventurer. He is a middle school science teacher in the Elk Rapids School District and the owner of Twin Birch Golf Club.
About Corey Adkins:
Adkins, 52, is the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Societies Communication and Content Director. Though he doesn't stand-up paddleboard, he has captured the guys' adventures across 4 of the 5 Great Lakes and 2 rivers, producing a series of 5 documentaries garnering him multiple awards including 2 Emmy's. Adkins lives in McBain with his wonderful wife, Stephanie who also helps produce these stories!
Stand Up For Great Lakes is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserve and protect all Great Lakes by inspiration, education, awareness and action. It began with a love of water, over a beer. The group has crossed all five Great Lakes by stand-up paddleboard and has now raised more than $105,000 to help raise awareness of the issues facing the Great Lakes. The lakes are under threat: Oil pipelines of questionable integrity, invasive species, sewage leakage, pharmaceutical pollution, agricultural runoff, and those who choose to throw beer cans and cigarette butts wherever they please.
The list of threats to these majestic and vital bodies of water is endless. We're asking others to Stand Up for Great Lakes and provide support and encourage us on this important mission.
CIGLR is hosted by the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) at the University of Michigan. CIGLR consists of a Research Institute and a Regional Consortium that is a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), universities, non-governmental organizations, and businesses. Together, we work to achieve environmental, economic, and social sustainability in the Great Lakes. (https://ciglr.seas.umich.edu)
To donate, visit: https://standupforgreatlakes.com and click 'donate.'