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Posted on: April 22, 2016

16-018 State Parks and Washington Water Trails Association to co-host paddlesports summit May 5

Event kicks of Northwest Paddling Festival

OLYMPIA –  April 22, 2016– The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission’s Boating Safety Program and Washington Water Trails Association (WWTA) invite paddlers and outdoor recreation enthusiasts to an evening of presentations and discussions about the future of  paddlesports in Washington state. 

The “Washington Paddlesports: A Path to the Future” event will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 5, at the REI flagship store, 222 Yale Ave. N., Seattle. (Directions:  

“Paddlesports are growing in popularity, bringing many positive benefits leading to economic growth, environmental stewardship and healthy communities,” said Rob Sendak, WWTA Executive Director. “In addition to these benefits, more people using our waterways brings some challenges such as the potential for increased accidents and injuries, keeping invasive species out of our waters, providing safe and legal public access points of entry, and addressing conflicts among different boating activities.” 

The paddlesports event will be packed with information and inspiration. Paddlers will have the opportunity to share their vision for the future of kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddling and rafting in Washington. The schedule is as follows:

  • 5 to 7 p.m.: Chat with paddling organizations and agencies, including WWTA, State Parks Boating Program, Northwest Marine Trade Association and other Washington boating agencies. Fill out the State Parks Boating Program’s Washington paddlesport participation survey and receive a coupon to shop at REI during this time.
  • 7 to 8 p.m.: Presentations
    • Tom Vogl – CEO of The Mountaineers
    • Jon Snyder – Outdoor Recreation and Economic Development Policy Advisory to Gov. Jay Inslee
    • Snohomish County's Sky to Sound Water Trail project presentation – Annique Bennett, Strategic Tourism Coordinator, and Kevin Teague, Senior Parks Planner
    • State Parks Water Access slideshow
    • Washington State Paddlesports Advisory Committee
  • 8 to 9 p.m.: Help create a vision for the future of paddlesports and continue talking with organizations/agencies and shopping at REI,

To attend this event, please register on REI’s event website at

The “Washington Paddlesports: A Path to the Future” event kicks off  the Northwest Paddling Festival, which takes place May 6 through 7 at Lake Sammamish State Park.

About Washington Water Trails Association
Washington Water Trails Association  is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose members love to be on and near the water. WWTA’s focus is two-fold: to advocate for the right of public access to and from waterways and to steward the same waterways and adjoining shore lands. The association partners with federal, state, county and city agencies, non-profit organizations, private businesses and citizens while engaging volunteers in stewardship to make shoreline access a reality for everyone. For more information about WWTA, visit: or call (206) 545-9161.

About the Washington State Paddlesports Advisory Committee
In January, the State Parks’ Boating Program convened the  Paddlesports Advisory Committee to promote paddlesports, find ways to better serve this growing recreational user group and to grow a culture of safety. The Paddlesports Advisory Committee consists of 15 paddlesport stakeholders from around the state and five non-voting government representatives. For more information about this committee, including a list of meeting and members, visit:

About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

Follow Washington State Parks:

Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at

Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit

Mikaela Freeman, (360) 902-8849
Rob Sendak, Washington Water Trails Association, (206) 545-9161
Toni Droscher, (360) 902-8604
Wash. Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388


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