Stand Up For Great Lakes was founded in 2014 by Kwin Morris and Jeff Guy. They both agreed that they had a huge passion for the Great Lakes, and wanted to do something huge to protect them. After throwing around a couple ideas they decided that doing something crazy, like Paddle Boarding across the lakes would be interesting. Such an activity requires the mind, body and emotional well-being of an individual to be on point for an extended period of time.
In June of 2015, Kwin Morris, Jeff Guy, Joe Lorenz, J Mueller, and Nick Darga successful paddled across Lake Michigan (a 60-mile feat) in just under 24 hours. They endured near freezing temperatures, 3-4ft side chop waves, and extreme exhaustion. After completing the journey they all agreed that paddling all of Michigans’ Great Lakes needed be be done.
Stand Up For Great Lakes is a non-profit organization, whose main mission is to bring awareness to the Great Lakes and to help protect the vital body’s of water. Not only do they paddle across these huge lakes, but they also teach water safety to young children, have beach cleanups, and help educate the community on water safety and cleanliness.
The guys successfully paddle boarded across Lake Huron this past June. They started at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, Michigan and ended in Tobermory, Canada. Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is the only fresh water sanctuary in the world, and is home to hundreds of sunken ships. All proceeds were recently donated to the Sanctuary to help fund future preservations and education opportunities offered.
The Lake Huron crossing was much longer physically, mentally and emotionally than Lake Michigan, being a total of 90miles and taking them 28 hours to complete. Despite having a wonderful tailwind for most of the trip, the water conditions were far from ideal; Choppy, washer machine like water, off and on rain showers, and a few slips off the boards created for some challenges. However, the guys kept in the back of their minds all the people they were inspiring by doing this crossing, and completed it!
The next lake crossing is already starting to be planned, as the team members of Stand Up For Great Lakes plan to cross Lake Superior in July 2018.
Please help by donating to this amazing non-profit organization! The Great Lakes are the largest body of fresh water, and deserve to stay that way!
Also, check out the Facebook page and make a donation to receive a ‘Stand Up For Great Lakes’ sweatshirt, t-shirt, tank top, water bottle and more!