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.
How late can I register for the Flotilla?
Technically, you can register for the Flotilla right before you start paddling, but so that we can plan for the best event possible and keep you informed, please register as soon as you know you want to paddle. Registering earlier will also give you more time to recruit friends to paddle with you and to launch your fundraising effort. No matter when you register, you will still be responsible for meeting your fundraising requirement.
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. As if you needed any more incentive to raise money, check out the great Fundraising Awards that you will receive for your efforts.
Should I raise money or just donate $150?
Of course, you can donate $150, but when you send out 10, 20 or even more emails to your friends and family, not only will you likely and easily raise a lot more than $150 (which is FANTASTIC), you will also be spreading awareness of SoundWaters and the important work we do with students, the community and our local environment and you will be making a clear statement about how important this work is to you. We hope that you will raise money and help us spread the word!
What happens if I don’t raise $150?
You have until July 22 (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. If you are a member of a team paddling in the Flotilla (and have agreed in advance with the team captain) and the team raises at least $150 x its number of members, your fundraising commitment may be considered fulfilled. This decision is at the discretion of the captain and typically applies to teams of family members or friends.
How Do I Raise Money?
When you register, you will automatically receive a personal fundraising page, which you can customize with photos 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.
I registered for a double kayak. How do I register my paddling partner?
When you register for a double, you will pay the registration fee and guarantee the $150 fundraising commitment for both you and your paddling partner and you will provide their basic information (name, email, etc). When you complete your registration process, the confirmation email you receive will have information you can forward to your paddling partner so he/she can gain access to their own personal dashboard and raise money along with you. If you don’t receive or can’t find that confirmation email, you can forward them this link and make sure they use the email address you assigned to them. If your paddling partner changes, make sure to let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org so we know exactly who will be on the water on July 15.
How do I set my fundraising goal?
After you register, you will have access to your personal dashboard page where you can click on “Edit My Page” 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 during the registration process or at a later time 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. Then, just show up at the start at Cove Island 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. NOTE: If you are renting a kayak or paddle board, you must launch at Cove Island. Most paddlers launch there and free parking passes are available for the event.
Can I create a team?
Absolutely. Paddling as a team is more fun. When you register, you can decide to paddle solo, join an existing team or create a team and invite others to join you. If you change your mind later, you can easily join a team, switch teams, change your team name, etc. in your personal dashboard or by emailing email@example.com.
I created a team. How can I give it a fun name?
When you register and create a team, the website will automatically give your team a generic (“boring”) name. As captain, to rename your team with a fun name, click on “Edit My Team Page” in your personal dashboard and you will see a field where you can change your team name.
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. We launch early in the morning when the water is typically calm and the winds are low. We set the date to take advantage of an incoming (favoring) tide when paddlers enter Stamford Harbor. Most paddlers finish within 90 minutes to two hours. 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 8 (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 9, 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 or Personal Flotation Device (pfd)?
Children must wear a life jacket or pfd as long as they are on the water. There is no law requiring adults to wear a life jacket/pfd, but you must have one with you and it is the policy of the Flotilla that all paddlers wear their life jacket/pfd 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.
Should I bring my phone with me?
We hope you do so you can take pictures and show people what you’re doing on social media. Bring a dry bag if you have one. We will have a limited supply of waterproof cell phone cases that you can hang around your neck.
What should I NOT bring with me?
Alcohol and any other item that does not naturally belong on a kayak or paddle board.
Can my dog accompany me?
Dogs are permitted, but MUST have a well-fit, dog-specific life jacket and the Flotilla should not be his/her maiden voyage 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 15, 8:30am. Check in starts at 7:30am. Paddlers may launch from Cove Island Park in Stamford or either of the beaches in Darien. People launching from Darien locations should launch a few minutes early and paddle over to Cove Island for the official launch. We will paddle 4 miles across Stamford to Boccuzzi Park on Stamford Harbor. See the route. Lunch will be served starting at 10:00am. All festivities will conclude by approximately noon.
Where do I park my car?
Launching from Cove Island:
Option 1: Get dropped off at Cove Island on Saturday morning. We’ll be there to help you move your equipment to the beach. You can then be picked up at the finish at Boccuzzi Park. Be sure the vehicle that picks you up can also pick up your kayak or board.
Option 2: If you don’t have a Stamford beach parking permit, we will have a temporary pass for you when you enter the parking lot that you will hang from your rear view mirror for the morning. Then you will park by the skating rink. This pass will be good for the Flotilla morning only. With no pass or an expired pass, you risk an $80 ticket. Transportation will be provided to bring paddlers and equipment back to Cove Island from Boccuzzi Park.
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. You must have a Darien beach parking pass to park your car. Transportation will be provided to bring paddlers and equipment back to Weed Beach at the completion of the event.
More Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 203-406-3303.