WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. — A group of paddlers is traveling their first 120 miles up the North Carolina Coast to tell the story of the water and conservation efforts. 


What You Need To Know 

Over the next three years, a group will travel the entire North Carolina Coast, stopping in multiple places to educate on conservancy efforts 

The Wrightsville Beach Outrigger Canoe Club is one of the first clubs outside of the West Coast and Hawaii

September 2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the North Carolina Coastal Federation conservation work


In the Intracoastal Waterway, a group of paddlers is traveling upward to raise awareness and educate people on the North Carolina coast’s history and efforts to keep it protected and clean. 

Michael Macnair is part of the crew doing the major paddle. For these long endurance paddles, multiple crews rotate for different distances, and there is always an alternate paddler in case one of the paddlers cannot keep going.

Macnair explained that this paddle is to tell the story of all conservancy efforts for the coast.

“We’re paddling up the coast to show our strength and show our support for all the initiatives in the area that support our water,” Macnair said.

Macnair, like many of the other paddlers, has personal reasons for joining this effort. 

“Not only was I an avid paddler and I was proud that the Wrightsville Beach Outrigger Canoe Club wanted to do this, but I’m passionate about clean water for a variety of personal reasons, and just overall,” Macnair said.

Those personal reasons being his family's oyster farm, where they harvest oysters in Surf City, N.C.

“My family is involved in the oyster business, so clean water is critical to our farm, critical to the lives of our animals in the water, our oysters in the water, and critical to our family and our survival,” Macnair said.

Reasons like these are what drives each paddler to complete each of these long legs.

“What’s wonderful about this is the strength of this team that’s out there paddling right now and the awareness that we’re brining to what we’re doing is enlightening folks to the fact that we need to do everything possible to keep our water safe,” Macnair said.

Between each leg, the paddlers stop in different locations to rest, recharge and educate. Georgia Busch is the Coastal Specialist for the N.C. Coastal Federation, and she explained what these stops do.

“While the paddlers are stopping the outrigger canoe at different points of interest along their route, we are just highlighting different projects and other initiatives that are parts of those solutions to the coastal conservation issues that we’re trying to bring more awareness to,” Busch said.

By doing this paddle and stopping to educate, this group is able to tell the story of the coast through its waters. They highlight threats and risks to solutions and triumphs. For more information and to follow along when they do there next leg check out their site, click here.