What is the SoundWaters Flotilla?
The Flotilla is a fun way to enjoy a beautiful day on Long Island Sound and raise money to help protect and preserve the Sound at the same time.
Why do I have to raise $150 to participate?
The Flotilla is a fundraising event. SoundWaters teaches the science of Long Island Sound to 32,000 students every year, helping them in school and in their understanding of the precious resource of the Sound. Over 10,000 of these students cannot afford to pay anything to come to SoundWaters, but we will never turn a student away for the inability to pay. We will organize a fun, safe event and your part is to raise the money to help us keep our promise to all students, regardless of their financial resources.
What happens if I don’t raise $150?
You have until July 29 (one week after the event) to complete your fundraising. Any balance still due on your fundraising requirement will be charged to the credit card used at the time of registration. But you won’t have to worry about that. Fundraising is as easy as an email to friends and family to tell them why you’re paddling in the Flotilla and how important Long Island Sound is to you. Make sure to use the tips and tools we provide on the Fundraising tab. You’ll fly by $150 in no time.
How Do I Raise Money?
When you register, you will automatically receive a personal fundraising page, which you can customize with photos, videos and your message about why you’re paddling in the Flotilla. You can then send the link to your page to your family and friends and ask for their support. They can make donations online or mail a donation check directly to SoundWaters. Check out all the fundraising tips and tools under the Fundraising tab.
How do I set my fundraising goal?
After you register, you will have access to your personal fundraising page where you can click on “Edit Fundraiser” to adjust your personal fundraising goal. You can change your fundraising goal whenever you like, but your fundraising goal may not be set below $150.
How do I make a donation to support my own fundraising?
You may make a donation to support your own fundraising effort by clicking on the “Donate” button on your personal fundraising page (just like your other donors will do).
I don’t own a kayak or paddle board. What do I do?
No worries, we’ve got you covered. There are two things you can do:
- Find a friend or neighbor who owns one and borrow theirs. If they’re not paddling in the Flotilla, they’ll be happy to loan you their kayak or paddle board for such a good cause.
- Rent one from us – Paddle Board, Single Kayak, Double Kayak. Then, just show up at the start and it will be there waiting for you and when you finish, you just leave it with us. It couldn’t be easier. The only restriction – other than our limited supply of rentals – is that you must register for the Flotilla before renting a kayak or board and it will be first come, first serve until they’re gone.
What happens if I can’t paddle the full 4 mile Flotilla course?
Support boats and paddlers will accompany the Flotilla on its course and will provide water, snacks and assistance to paddlers who need it. If you find that you cannot complete the route, a support boat will take you and your kayak/paddle board aboard and transport you to the finish.
What happens if it rains?
Rain never hurt anyone, but if the winds make it too difficult to paddle safely, we will delay the start to see if conditions improve or cancel the paddling portion of the event altogether. The beach party at Boccuzzi will take place as scheduled.
Can I cancel from the event?
If you discover that you cannot paddle in the Flotilla, you must contact us at flotilla@soundWaters.org and request to cancel from the event. Your cancellation is not valid unless you receive an acknowledgment email from SoundWaters.
If you cancel before July 14 (one week before the event), you may choose to receive a refund of your registration fee and will be released from your fundraising requirement. If you cancel after July 14, you will forfeit your registration fee and will still be obligated to fulfill your fundraising requirement even if you don’t participate in the event. Simply not showing up for the event will not release you from your fundraising requirement. Donations are not refunded.
Do you need volunteers?
Yes. We love volunteers and need them to help organize a smooth, fun and successful event. Review all the volunteer options for the event and sign up today. Remember, volunteers can fundraise too. It’s not mandatory, but you can show your love for Long Island Sound as much as the paddlers can.
Are children allowed to participate in the Flotilla?
Absolutely! The Flotilla is for all ages, though safety is our utmost concern. If children are paddling their own kayak or board, please make sure they’re experienced and capable of paddling the entire distance. If you are paddling a double kayak with a child, just don’t complain to us if you’re doing most of the paddling.
Does my registration fee count towards my fundraising minimum?
No. Your registration fee helps us cover the costs of organizing the Flotilla. The money you raise is what helps us pursue our mission to Protect Long Island Sound Through Education and Action.
Do I need to wear a life jacket?
Children must wear a life jacket as long as they are on the water. There is no law requiring adults to wear a life jacket, but you must have one with you and it is the policy of the Flotilla that all paddlers wear their life jacket while on the water. In everyone’s interest, we hope that you will support our desire to put safety first.
What supplies should I bring with me?
Your kayak or paddle board, paddle, Coast Guard-certified life jacket, sun screen, sunglasses, hat, re-usable water bottle and dry bag for wallet, keys and phone. If you are not comfortable carrying any items on the water, we can secure them and transport them to the finish where you can retrieve them.
What should I NOT bring with me?
Alcohol, pets and any other item that does not naturally belong on a kayak or paddle board.
Can someone paddle alongside me who has not registered?
We would hope they would want to officially join the Flotilla and help to protect Long Island Sound, but there is no law preventing your friend from accompanying you on a separate kayak or paddle board. If they choose not to register, they will have to pay separately to enjoy the beach party at Boccuzzi Park.
When and where is the event?
The event starts on July 22, 8:30am at Cove Island Park in Stamford. Registration and breakfast start at 7:00am at SoundWaters. We will push off the beach at 8:30. We will paddle 4.5 miles across Stamford to Boccuzzi Park on Stamford Harbor. See the route. The beach party will commence immediately and lunch will be served starting at 10:00am. All festivities will conclude by 3:00pm.
Where do I park my car?
Launching from Cove Island:
Option 1: Don’t park your car. Drop your kayak/board off at Cove Island on Friday between 4:00 – 8:00pm and then get dropped off at Cove Island on Saturday morning. Or get dropped off with your kayak/board on Saturday morning. You can then be picked up later that day at the finish at Boccuzzi Park. Be sure the vehicle that picks you up can also pick up your kayak or board. Note: parking at Boccuzzi is extremely limited and open only to vehicles with Stamford beach parking permits. Flotilla parking will be at 56 Top Gallant Road, a 5-minute walk from Boccuzzi Park.
Option 2: Drop off you kayak/board at Cove Island on Friday and return Saturday morning and park your car. If you don’t have a Stamford beach parking permit, you will need to pay $25 cash to the parking attendant to park your car for the day. Throughout the beach party at Boccuzzi Park, we will be transporting paddlers and kayaks/boards back to Cove Island.
Launching from Weed Beach, Darien:
Option 1: Same recommendation as #1 above: get dropped off at Weed Beach on Saturday morning with your kayak/board and get picked up at the finish at Boccuzzi Park.
Option 2: Park your car at Weed Beach on Saturday. If you don’t have a Darien beach parking permit, you will need to pay $45 cash to the parking attendant to park your car for the day. Throughout the beach party at Boccuzzi Park, we will be transporting paddlers and kayaks/boards back to Weed Beach.
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