West Virginia Rivers Coalition, a statewide nonprofit working for fishable, swimmable, drinkable rivers and streams, invites the public to join a flotilla of kayaks, canoes, rafts or anything else that floats for a celebratory 3.5-mile paddle on the Elk River on Labor Day, September 4.

The final destination is Coonskin Park in Charleston, where a paddlers and community members will be treated to a free old-fashioned BBQ picnic, featuring live music with one of Charleston’s favorite bands, The Dread Pirate, Roberts! Pre-registration is required.

The paddle begins at 12 p.m. and the picnic will follow immediately after at approximately 3:30 p.m. You don’t have to paddle to join the picnic, but registration is required for both the paddle and the picnic. Visit http://tinyurl.com/Elkspedition for details and to register.

As part of the event, WV Rivers is seeking volunteers to take photographs of the Elk River during the month of August using their smart phones. WV Rivers is particularly interested in photos of all the put-in, takeout areas along the Elk River Water Trail. The photo project is part of an effort to document progress to restore safe recreational access to the river following the June 2016 floods.

It’s easy to participate in the photo project by downloading the Water Reporter app on Android or iOS devices. Uploaded photos are automatically added to an online map of the Elk River. Celebratory photos of the Elk River’s scenic beauty and recreational activities are also welcome.

The photo documentary will be on display at the Elkspedition picnic on Labor Day at Coonskin Park. Get involved and help build the photo map; visit http://tinyurl.com/Elkspedition or contact Kathleen Tyner, KTyner@wvrivers.org, to set-up Water Reporter and start submitting photos.

The Elkspedition Picnic & Paddle is part of the Waterkeeper Alliance’s SPLASH event series and benefits the West Virginia Headwaters Waterkeeper, a program of West Virginia Rivers Coalition. For more information on the SPLASH Event Series, presented nationally by Toyota, please visit www.splashseries.org.