Category Archives: Newsletter

The Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure Begins This Saturday

Mission Statement
The mission of the 2013 Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure is to celebrate the greatness of the entire Indian River Lagoon by encouraging people to become active stewards of this critically important estuary.

Yes, we’re tired of the negative press surrounding the Indian River Lagoon. Sure, it is a fact that an oversupply of nutrients is choking the Lagoon, and there are other problems; correctable problems. We can and will fix them.

The Lagoon is a beautiful, vibrant part of our community. If we take the proper steps, it will be an invaluable recreational resource for generations to come.

Come Aboard!
At sunrise on December 1, 2013, John Kumiski and I, along with a core group of paddlers, will begin the 2013 Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure from New Smyrna Beach (JB’s Fish Camp) to Jupiter, Florida, the entire 160-plus miles of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), to raise public awareness of the importance of the Indian River Lagoon’s natural resources. Weather cooperating, we’ll end our paddle on December 19.

We cordially invite you to join us, either as paddlers, or as guests, at the social events/media stops we’ve scheduled along the way. Media stops are listed below.

– Rodney Smith

How Can I Participate?

Watch us (media stops can be viewed below)
Follow us on Twitter
Like Us on Facebook
See Us on Instagram
Sponsor a paddler

IRL Adventure Meet and Greets
November 30 – 6 pm – Marine Discovery Center hosts the IRL Paddle “Bon Voyage Party” in New Smyrna Beach
December 3 – 6 pm – Dixie Crossroads Restaurant’s Indian River Lagoon “Seafood Boil” for supporters of the Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure (reservations required – (321) 268-5000, $30 per person)
December 7 – 12 pm – Ocean-Reef-Beach Festival in Satellite Beach
December 8 – 3 pm – Marine Resources Council kicks off their 2014 Membership Drive at the Ted Moorhead Lagoon House
December 14 – 2 pm – Florida Oceanographic Society, Hutchinson Island, Stuart
December 18 – 2 pm – Holiday Presentation at the Hobe Sound Nature Center
December 19 – 2 pm – “End of the Line Party” at the Loxahatchee River Center, Jupiter

How You Can Donate?
If you would like to sponsor an individual paddler or make a general donation, please visit the FirstGiving page below (all donations go to the IRL Paddle Adventure Educational Fund. The paddlers are paying their own expenses.):

General Donation Page:

Rodney Smith

John Kumiski

Darryl “Bones” Benton

Mike “Noodle Knees” Conneen

Brian Powell

Laurie Arrich

Dee Kaminski

IRL Paddle Adventure Short Paddles
You can paddle all or a portion of the IRL Paddle Adventure with us or by yourself! Go to the website to see the entire float plan and required liability waiver.

Here are several easy one-day paddles:
Haulover Canal (Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge) to Titusville
Samson Island (Satellite Beach) to the Lagoon House (Palm Bay, two miles south of Melbourne Causeway)
Lagoon House (Palm Bay, two miles south of Melbourne Causeway) to Longpoint Camp Grounds (one mile north of Sebastian Inlet, on the IRL’s east shore)
Longpoint Camp Grounds (one mile north of Sebastian Inlet on the IRL’s east shore) to Environmental Learning Center, Wabasso Causeway, SR 510

IRL Paddle Adventure Educational Trust
An IRL Paddle Adventure Educational Trust Fund is being established to set aside funds donated to the 2013 Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure. These funds will be distributed by a committee to projects dealing with Indian River Lagoon water quality and habitat issues.

Donations to the IRL Paddle Adventure will be processed and administered by the Marine Resources Council, a 501(c)(3) organization, registered to solicit donations in the State of Florida under Registration Number CH21112.

Newsletter #2: We Start Paddling on Nov. 30

When and Where

The mission of the Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure is to generate more excitement, passion and awareness for our nation’s greatest estuary. Participation in this adventure will help increase levels of IRL awareness, stewardship, and education; it will also create the building blocks needed to better secure the foundation of the IRL’s conservation community. Today we’re increasingly living in a world full of demanding schedules, timelines, deadlines, appointments, etc. With this in mind, we have designed an IRL Paddle Adventure float plan (itinerary) for those folks who can join the paddle for a portion of the trip.

The “Bon Voyage Party” will be held at New Smyrna Beach’s Marine Discovery Center, November 30, 4-6 pm. Holiday Hor d’oeuvers and beverages will be served by Orlando’s Fish on Fire. Captains/Authors John Kumiski and Rodney Smith, leaders of the 2013 IRL Paddle Adventure will also present a short Indian River Lagoon Powerpoint Presentation for all those who attend. Donations will be accepted at this event.

The paddle kicks off early the next morning in south New Smyrna Beach, with the paddlers heading toward Haulover Canal, riding a strong incoming tide, at dawn, Sunday, December 1, 2013.

Float Plan

For the latest information about our float plan, please visit our Tentative Itinerary.

Educational Trust Fund

The money raised for this event will go to an IRL Paddle Adventure Trust Fund, administrated by the non-profit Marine Resources Council (501-C3). This trust fund will be utilized to support students and non-governmental organizations with scholarships and grants.

Become a sponsor of the Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

You can become an important part of this unique event in several ways. Of course, donating cash, merchandise or services is a great way to support our effort, but we also need volunteers to help us accomplish our mission to increase the awareness and education of this one-of-a-kind and extremely valuable estuary. Volunteers can help set up logistics, work associated events or help deliver food and water to those of us paddling and camping!

Remember, your business can also secure a year’s worth of priceless media attention by becoming a sponsor of the Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure. Your sponsorship package will also include premium placement on the event’s eNewsletter, website and party & news conference banners.

For more information contact Mike Conneen via 321.759.3585 or

Meet the Founders of the Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

Captain John Kumiski and Rodney Smith, authors and long-time IRL fishing guides, have teamed up to initiate this adventure to raise IRL awareness and money for an education fund benefiting college interns working on IRL conservation issues, IRL educational programs and student scholarships.

“Our families have prospered greatly from our intimate relationship with the Indian River Lagoon. We want others to share these blessings.” said Smith, a former IRL fishing guide and founder of Coastal Angler Magazine”. Our mission is two-fold: share our love for the IRL with the world, and get away for a three-week paddle and camp out!”

The Details

This three-week long paddle and camp adventure will traverse the entire length of the Indian River Lagoon system (Mosquito, Banana River, and Indian River Lagoons).

Those folks paddling canoes, kayaks or paddleboards are welcome to join us. All one needs to do is find a sponsor or sponsors to make a donation to the IRL Paddle Adventure Education Fund in support of their paddle. Paddlers are responsible for their gear and participation.

For more information, contact Rodney Smith, 321-750-3374 or via email at

Thank You Sponsors

We recently received several generous donations for our IRL Paddle Adventure Sponsors

  • Jay Harrington, Fish on Fire,
  • Marge Bell, Still Nature,
  • Laurilee Thompson, Dixie Crossroads Seafood Restaurant.

If you’re interested helping us better protect the Indian River Lagoon please contact us at

Newsletter #1: An Inaugural Event

An Inaugural Event

November 30 – December 21, 2013

This inaugural, one of a kind event, is sure to become an annual adventure geared towards anyone who loves the Indian River Lagoon (IRL). The IRL is home to a plethora of marine species including bottle-nose dolphin, West Indies manatee, five unique marine turtles and over eight hundred different salt and freshwater fishes. Because of this, the IRL is renowned for being one of the world’s greatest estuaries. Estuaries are among the most productive and endangered natural habitats in the world. The IRL waters are also home to many of North America’s best paddling opp  ortunities for kayakers, paddle boarders and canoe enthusiast.
Why? A combination of relative objectives came together to help create the IRL Paddle Adventure’s foundation. First, we all need some adventure in our lives. Also this will be fun! This social event hopes to raise public awareness of the Indian River Lagoon’s incredible diversity; and immense value highlighting the increasingly difficult challenges facing North America’s greatest estuary. The IRL needs your support if it is going to survive the many changes in its watershed now and in the future.

The IRL Paddle Adventure was an idea conjured up by two long-time fishing buddies, fishing guide and author, John Kumiski; and author and publisher, Rodney Smith. Together, this two-some will paddle and camp from New Smyrna Beach to Jupiter Inlet, Florida – the entire160-plus miles of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) between December 2-to-December 21.

Pledgers can join the 2013 Indian River Paddle Adventure. Your donation will support the IRL Educational Trust. Trust money will be used to support educational grants and scholarships for students and projects dealing with IRL’s water quality, habitat, restoration and educational outreach. You can paddle as little or as far as you’d like.

Levels of Pledges
    ✓    OSPREY donations of over $1000
    ✓    SILVER KING donations of over $100
    ✓    LOGGERHEAD donations of over $50
    ✓    OYSTER donations under $25

Matching donations are encouraged.

The Schedule

Where? The IRL Paddle Adventure kicks off with a Bon Voyage Party Sunday, December 1, 2013 at Florida’s Marine Discovery Center (MDC),  520 Barracuda Boulevard in New Smyrna Beach. The MDC’s mission is to protect and restore Florida’s Coastal Ecosystems through education, research and community stewardship.Also included in our plans are numerous social gatherings, press conferences and partying opportunities. To name a few, Dixie Crossroads will sponsor a Titusville seafood boil; the Anglers for Conservation and the City of Satellite Beach will host  the Ocean-Reef-Beach Festival on December 7th; the Marine Resources Council will sponsor a Lagoon Palooza for paddlers and friends of the IRL on December 8th; and we’re now planning a Meet and Greet Party at the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge on December 20th.  The idea of each of these events is to expound on the bountifulness of the Indian River Lagoon while having fun and meeting new friends!

Paddle Man, John Kumiski fishing the IRL!

About Us
The Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure was an idea conjured up by two long-time fishing buddies John Kumiski and Rodney Smith. Together, this two-some will paddle and camp from New Smyrna Beach to Jupiter Inlet, Florida – the entire 160-plus miles of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) between December 2-to-December 21.

All donations, large and small, are greatly appreciated. Checks should be payable to the: IRL PADDLE ADVENTURE and mailed to IRL Paddling Advneture, Box 372423, Satellite Beach, Florida 32937. BattyCoots_Kumiski