West Virginia Leaders Call for a Future Past Coal

first_imgWest Virginia Leaders Call for a Future Past Coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Taylor Kuykendall for SNL:West Virginia University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joyce McConnell says the university has a moral obligation to investigate the potential for an economic future in West Virginia that could include less coal.McConnell spoke April 8 at the fifth annual National Energy Conference, hosted by the West Virginia University College of Law, which examined the downward trends in the state’s beleaguered coal industry and looked to the future of what could be done.McConnell said the writing that West Virginia’s economy needs diversification have been on the wall for a while. “We are witness to a collapse of an economy,” McConnell said.John Deskins, director of WVU’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, said, “We have some counties that are in a Great Depression,” noting some counties have lost one-third of their jobs.He said pinning hopes on abolishing U.S. EPA rules is an ineffective solution to the problem of southern West Virginia’s coal demand due to a storm of factors including low natural gas prices, anemic international demand and geologic challenges in the region.Charles Patton, president and COO of Appalachian Power Co., a subsidiary of American Electric Power Co. Inc., said he thinks it is essentially a given there will be carbon dioxide regulations of some sort in the future.Showing a slide that projects a rapid expansion into renewables, Patton said five or six years ago he would not believe that was the sort of direction the company would move toward as quickly as it has.“We’ll continue to operate our coal fleet until about 2040,” Patton said. “The output from those plants is going to be significantly less.”Full article ($): WVU: School has moral obligation to aid state in moving beyond coallast_img read more

Insurance next big hurdle for Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine in Australia

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Global Mining Review:The Indian conglomerate Adani Group is trying to move forward with plans to build a massive coal mine in the Galilee Basin in Queensland (Australia). This project has been the object of years-long controversy in Australia and around the world. The toxicity of Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine – not just environmentally and socially, but reputationally as well – has made the project a base test of credibility for any global financial institution wanting to be taken seriously as a climate change risk manager.To date, over three dozen financial institutions have made commitments to not finance the project, and after spending nearly a decade in search of the funds, Adani finally announced in November 2018 that it had secured the billions of dollars necessary to build the mine. Who was the mysterious investor? Turns out it was the Adani Group itself. You can only imagine how desperate a company would need to be before committing to fund a project requiring billions of dollars off its own balance sheet after a years-long search for an investor.But the campaign over Adani’s Carmichael mine is far from over. Insurance is one area where Adani also needs financial support. In fact, insurance is a critical piece required to obtain government permits and start construction, and a growing campaign targeting insurers to accelerate the transition to a clean energy future has taken note.In December 2018, the Global Unfriend Coal campaign and allies – representing 73 organisations and a combined membership of more than 76 million people – sent a letter calling on 35 major global insurers to not insure the proposed Carmichael coal mine and associated infrastructure. Given the number of responses that were received within two weeks of sending the letter, the insurance industry is clearly feeling the pressure to avoid highly controversial coal projects.10 companies immediately responded to Unfriend Coal’s call to not insure the project, either explicitly stating their refusal to be involved or referencing existing coal restriction policies that applied in this case. These included the world’s biggest insurers and reinsurers, Allianz, AXA, Swiss Re and Munich Re; two of Australia’s largest infrastructure insurers, QBE and Suncorp; the first major US insurer to publicly rule out a coal project, FM Global; as well as major European insurers Generali, Zurich and SCOR. Since then, two additional companies have announced restrictions on coal underwriting that would rule out involvement with the mine: Mapfre and Uniqa.For the insurers that have not yet ruled out supporting Adani, the pressure is now building. Last month, lawyers at ClientEarth wrote to Lloyd’s warning them of the financial risks surrounding the project and warning: “Should you or your syndicates fail to take these factors into account as part of your risk management processes, this may constitute a breach of your legal duties.”More: Insurers shun Adani’s Carmichael mine, reflecting the industry’s retreat from coal Insurance next big hurdle for Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine in Australialast_img read more

Rising rooftop solar output pushes demand on Western Australia’s grid to all-time low

first_imgRising rooftop solar output pushes demand on Western Australia’s grid to all-time low FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The West Australia grid has set a new record low for minimum demand as rooftop solar continues to increase its share of generation, and the government announces it is reshaping solar export tariffs to encourage storage, electric vehicles and west facing solar panels.The new low was set on Sunday, just after noon local time, when grid demand fell to 1059MW as rooftop solar provided 40 per cent of total generation. That’s below the previous record of 1135MW set in January this year, but the Australian Energy Market Operator expects that further lows will be set this spring and in following years.The record fell on the same weekend that new winter lows for minimum demand were set in Victoria and South Australia, according to AEMO, both also the result of increased generation from rooftop solar, and low overall demand.The lows for minimum demand levels are falling rapidly. “This was the fourth consecutive quarter in which a minimum quarterly demand record was set, of which two were all-time minimum demand records, highlighting the continuing impact of distributed PV on demand patterns and quantities in the WEM,” AEMO said in its latest Quarterly Energy Dynamics statement.This new record takes the number of consecutive quarters with a new minimum demand record to five, including three which are all time records.[Giles Parkinson]More: Rooftop solar: W.A. sets new record low for grid demand, two other states set winter lowslast_img read more

Israel to add 15GW of solar capacity by 2030

first_imgIsrael to add 15GW of solar capacity by 2030 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:Israel’s cabinet has approved a plan submitted by energy minister Yuval Steinitz to deploy around 15 GW more solar capacity to help raise the 2030 target for the proportion of national electricity drawn from renewables from 17% to 30%.An intermediate target of 20% has been set for 2025, and by the end of 2024 the overall target may be updated.“This decision will radically change the energy mix of the Israeli economy and position the country as one of the leading Western countries in solar energy production, at the expense of power plants operating on natural gas and diesel,” the Ministry of Energy stated.The plan will be financed through a slight increase in power tariffs, which the government estimates between 2 and 3%. “The plan will in the future lead to a reduction in energy costs, while promoting a reliable, efficient and sustainable energy economy,” it further explained.Israel had around 1.19 GW of solar capacity at the end of last year, according to International Renewable Energy Agency figures. Developers deployed around 120 MW of solar in Israel last year.[Emiliano Bellini]More: Israeli government greenlights plan to add 15 GW of solar by 2030last_img read more

The Vertical Garden

first_imgGreen walls, or “vertical gardens,” are walls partly composed of or filled in with live plant matter. They filter air and water, soak up carbon dioxide and help lessen the “heat island” effect of urban areas while reducing air conditioning costs in their host buildings. Pictured: a vertical garden at the Anataeum Hotel in London. Credit: Niall Napier, FlickrDear EarthTalk: I’ve heard of green roofs, but what are “green walls?”— P. Spencer, Alcoa, TNGreen walls (also known as biowalls, vertical gardens or vertical vegetated complex walls) are wall structures partly composed of or filled in with growing plant matter. More than just easy on the eyes, green walls work like green roofs by filtering air and water, soaking up carbon dioxide and helping lessen the “heat island” effect of urban areas while reducing air conditioning costs in their host buildings.The self-proclaimed creator of the vertical garden concept, French botanist Patrick Blanc, pioneered the use of hydroponic cultivation techniques—plants grow in an irrigated mineral nutrient solution without the need for a soil substrate—to create large green wall installations in both residential settings and within larger public structures and even office buildings from Singapore to San Francisco and points in between.Blanc’s installations start by placing a metal frame on a load-bearing wall or structure. The frame supports a 10-millimeter-thick PVC plate, upon which are stapled two 3-millimeter-thick layers of polyamide felt. “These layers mimic cliff-growing mosses and support the roots of many plants,” he says, adding that a network of pipes and valves provides a nutrient solution of dissolved minerals needed for plant growth. “The felt is soaked by capillary action with this nutrient solution, which flows down the wall by gravity.”“The roots of the plants take up the nutrients they need, and excess water is collected at the bottom of the wall by a gutter before being re-injected into the network of pipes: The system works in a closed circuit.” Plants are chosen for their ability to grow in this type of environment and depending on available light.“Each vertical garden is a unique wall composition of various types of plants that has to take into account the specific surroundings of the place in which it is created,” says landscape architect Michael Hellgren, who founded the firm Vertical Garden Design in 2004. “It is not only the colorful interplay between the plants on a ‘green wall’ that is fascinating, but also the appearance of the wall itself, which changes daily.”Hellgren, who has designed and implemented large green walls in his home country of Sweden as well as in Spain, Portugal and Italy, among other locales, sources plants for his projects from various climate zones around the world. His favorites are so-called “lithophytes”: plants that can grow on rocks, branches and tree trunks without necessarily being rooted in soil. “Among other things these climbing plants have the enormous advantage of their roots acting as excellent natural drainage on the wall,” he adds.While large “vertical gardens” are surely impressive, critics question the sustainability of such endeavors, given the energy inputs needed to run the pumps and other equipment used to maintain proper nutrient and air flows, and the emissions caused by the manufacture and transport of specialized materials. Also, larger green walls need more water than rain alone can provide, and thus don’t necessarily save water. But as the field matures, practitioners are finding wider arrays of plants to choose from that are better at taking care of themselves—and scaling back on inputs and supporting machinery with the hope that one day many of the walls will be self-sustaining gardens that cleanse our dirty air and compromised storm water.CONTACTS: Patrick Blanc, www.verticalgardenpatrickblanc.com; Vertical Garden Design, www.verticalgardendesign.com.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.last_img read more

Daily Dirt: New Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent, World Record Fish, and National Headlines

first_imgYour daily outdoor news bulletin for August 8th, the day President Richard Nixon announced he would resign, proving that not even the President of the United States is above breaking the law, lying about it, resigning to avoid impeachment, and getting pardoned by the next guy:Blue Ridge Parkway Gets New SuperintendentThe Blue Ridge Parkway is having some trouble. A giant crack forced the closure of a large portion of the byway outside Asheville, cuts have forced the BRP to cut back it’s already low budget for basic upkeep, and there is a 10-year, $450 million deferred maintenance backlog to deal with. Well, now all those problems have new shoulders to rest on, albeit capable ones. Mark Woods was named the new Blue Ridge Parkway superintendent Wednesday, replacing Phil Francis, who retired in April – Monika Mayr had acted as interim superintendent during the gap. The 53-year-old Woods is a 33-year veteran of the National Park Service, having worked at several parks across the South. His most recent gig was superintendent of Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, and the similarities between the two entities should set him up nicely to succeed. Both span multiple states (Cumberland is known as the Gateway to the West and incorporates Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee), which will also help his relationship with gateway communities with different needs. He is also a native of South Carolina, and has worked mainly in the South as previously mentioned, so there shouldn’t be any complaints about a “Yankee coming down here and messin’ with how we do things our way, blah, blah, etc.” Woods certainly has his work cut out for him, but with a capable staff, not to mention his $125K salary, he should be able to lead the BRP into an uncertain future.More can be found at the Citizen-Times.Virginia Snakehead Sets World RecordBack in June, we told you about Virginia native Caleb Newton and the 17 pound northern snakehead fish he caught out of the tidal Potomac River in Stafford. If you have forgotten about Newton, or the snakehead, let me refresh your memory: “Caleb Newton held the rod while Phil Wilcox held the net as they landed the possible world recored Northern Snakehead out of Aquia Creek in Stafford, Virginia Saturday. The (ugly-as-sin) fish weighed in at 17.6 pounds, topping the previous record – caught in Japan in 2004 – by a couple of ounces. The northern snake head is, in a word, gross: they can live for days out of the water, can move on land, excrete mucus, smell terrible, have sharp teeth, are as hard to kill as the Terminator (T-850, not the T-1000) and are just plain ugly. They are also an invasive species, and if caught in Virginia are required by law to be, well, terminated. ” Well, according to the Free Lance-Star, word has come back from the International Game Fish Association confirming that the fish is a world record. Newton is aiming to turn his new-found semi-fishing fame into an endorsement deal, because, why not?Noteworthy National Outdoor NewsSeveral national stories of note have come out in the past few days.First, is this cool article on the Daily Beast examining the science and studies currently being conducted on why mosquitos target some people and not others. This obviously has huge implications for us in the South, and could lead to better protection from the pests in the future, including the spread of diseases like dengue fever and malaria. LINKHere is an audio story from NPR about something that has become a hot topic in the East, although this piece concentrates on the West: Ski resorts catering to mountain bikers in the summer in an attempt to find a four season revenue stream. LINKHere is another NPR story about sleep patterns and how a week of camping can reset your internal clock to help you sleep better at night. LINKAnd here is some sad news from the digital media file: Contour has mysteriously and unexpectedly closed up shop. Employees arrived on a typical work day to locked doors and a note saying they were no longer employed by the action video camera company. Contour has positioned itself over the last few years as the most serious contender to GoPro in the market of action POV cameras, so the sudden closing is a surprise. LINKlast_img read more

A Riparian Landowner’s Claim to a King’s Grant Has Stalled the Removal of Virginia’s Monumental Mills Dam

first_imgThe confluence of the Hazel and Thornton Rivers has historically been a gathering place for swimmers, canoeists, anglers—and even occasional baptisms by one local church. Then, in September 2005, Gary Close, Culpeper County’s former attorney, decided to close off the river to public use, igniting a firestorm of protest.Close based his decision on the riparian landowners’ claims of a pre-Revolutionary grant to the river. King’s (or Crown) grants were issued by monarchs to reward loyal subjects with colonial property. At one time, nearly all of Culpeper County was part of such a grant. In 1802, however, the Virginia General Assembly passed a law stipulating that all land under water that was not previously conveyed would henceforth be held by the Commonwealth of Virginia in trust for the public.The landowners along the Hazel had argued to Close that because their land was conveyed before 1802, the law didn’t apply to their property. Now, the Virginia Attorney General’s Office contends that a Crown grant is not recognized until it has been adjudicated by a Virginia court. No such case has ever been litigated on the Hazel River.Close determined that it was illegal to tread on the river bottom—and to float and swim in the area, despite state and federal law to the contrary. On the basis of Close’s actions, landowners routinely summoned law enforcement hundreds of times to expel citizens from the river.After a great deal of public pressure, Close agreed to review his original position and found that he had been wrong to recognize the Crown grant in the absence of judicial review. The public can now use the river near the low-water bridge, although walking on the privately owned riverbanks is still forbidden by law.Locals have harshly criticized the riparian landowners’ actions in the imbroglio, but the truth is that they have some legitimate concerns. Culpeper County court records document dozens of criminal trespassing convictions—and convictions for everything from littering to illicit drug use—along the riverbanks. There is evidence of illegally harvested deer carcasses, their remains unceremoniously dumped on Butler Store Road not far from the river. One riparian landowner claims that a stranger walked right into his home to ask where he could fish. Swimming and fishing in the river is legal; trespassing and littering are not.Old news, you say? Think again. In a new wrinkle to the never-ending Hazel River drama, landowner Ben Grace is objecting to the removal of the defunct Monumental Mills Dam, which originally supported a gristmill but hasn’t operated for decades. Jean Scott, the dam owner and a riparian landowner from the other side of the river, contacted Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) officials to see if she could have the dam removed. Scott argues that the dam serves no useful purpose today, is an eyesore and a health hazard, and blocks multiple species of migrating fish, including river herring and shad.Paddlers in particular are adversely affected by the dam: They cannot portage on Mrs. Scott’s side of the river because of a sheer drop-off of about 20 feet. Meanwhile, the other side of the dam, which still houses part of the old gristmill, is clearly labeled “no trespassing” and references a King’s grant. The state has secured funds to have the dam removed at no cost to either landowner, but Mr. Grace has strenuously objected to state workers coming on his side of the river to remove the dam. Indeed, he has served numerous state employees with “stay-away notices” informing them that he may press charges against them for trespassing should they return.Freedom of Information Act requests reveal that the state has engaged a title company to research the King’s grant claims at $75 per hour. At this writing, the agency has spent $11,653 looking into the matter. The project, however, appears to be at a standstill. Other FOIA requests indicate that state employees feel unsafe and intimidated while working in the area and have even requested that armed Conservation Police Officers accompany them for further work. The Culpeper County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to support the removal of the dam, and at least one riparian landowner downstream of the dam has offered to donate property to establish a canoe launch area when the dam is finally removed.The Hazel River may be a hotly contested river bottom—but it isn’t the only one. Anglers across the Old Dominion are incensed by state officials who advertise local waters as public property and merrily sell fishing licenses—and then refuse to defend anglers in court when they are sued by riparian landowners who claim to hold an exclusive grant to the river bottom. The Crown grant issue cries out for clarity, but thus far only State Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (R-31) and State Senator Creigh Deeds (D-25) have made any attempt to address it. In the last legislative session, Del. Lingamfelter proposed a bill that would have required landowners to notify state agencies of pending river bottom claims and to post publically where such claims originated; that bill died in committee.  This step would have at least provided some clarity for river users.Will Mark Herring, the Old Dominion’s new Attorney General, defend the rights of canoeists, anglers, and swimmers to traverse Virginia’s public waterways? Only time will tell.last_img read more

Dirty Dozen Wilderness Hike Challenge

first_img2014 marks the 50th anniversary of The Wilderness Act, the legislation that established the National Wilderness Preservation System and set aside an initial 9.1 million acres of wildlands. Congress, through this Act, recognized the importance of Wilderness as a resource for generations to come.In celebration of this anniversary, The Southern Appalachian Office of The Wilderness Society wants you to get out and enjoy the Wilderness Areas near you!The Dirty Dozen Wilderness Hike Challenge is a chance for you to visit the wildest places that are preserved by The Wilderness Act. Log 10+ miles in 12 Wilderness Areas in the Southeast, show us and tell us about it, and you could win outdoor swag.The Challenge? Hike 10+ miles in 12 Wilderness Areas in the Southeast.Eligible states include: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia (Participants may piece together 10+ miles in a Wilderness Area over several shorter hikes, particularly if a Wilderness Area’s size does not permit a single 10-mile hike. They may consider round-trip mileage toward the 10+-mile requirement.)How to Join the Challenge:• Register to participate via the Dirty Dozen Hike Challenge online form at www.southeastwilderness50.org.• Submit the Hike Experience Submission Form online for each hike you complete. This form must be submitted along with required photo for each of the Wilderness Areas you hike.• You will be asked to submit one photo for each Wilderness Area hike you complete. Send a photo of your hike: of you on your hike, or something awesome you saw along the trail. You can also submit additional photos with your Hike Experience Submission Form, which will be considered for our best photo prizes at the end of the challenge.TWS_hiking-shot_082914Some hike experiences and photos may be selected for inclusion on the southeastwilderness50.org blog and/or in Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine coverage throughout the year.A list of Wilderness Areas within the Southeast, including maps, and all hike challenge details can be found online at www.southeastwilderness50.org/dirty-dozenSwag:Those who sign up for the challenge will receive an official Dirty Dozen Wilderness Hike Challenge sticker. Those who complete the challenge will receive an embroidered patch and may be eligible for additional prizes.Connect!Check out experiences from other Dirty Dozen challenge participants, and share your wilderness moments on social media. On Twitter or Instagram, use #dirtydozenhikechallenge and #wearethewild, and like the hike challenge Facebook page to stay connected.Prize Winners:In addition to recognizing all of those who complete the Dirty Dozen Wilderness Hike Challenge, additional winners will be recognized in the following categories:• Finished First• Hiked the Most Miles• Hiked in the Most Wilderness Areas• Hiked in the Most States• Best Hike Photos• Most Creative Hike Experience DescriptionsA celebration event will be held to congratulate those who complete the challenge. Some of those who participate in or complete the challenge may also be featured in Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine throughout the year. Winner of the best hike photos and most creative hike descriptions will be recognized in Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine.tws_dirtydozen_graphic_v2last_img read more

Can the Upper Bald River Gorge Finally Be Protected?

first_imgIt’s Now or Never. By Pat ByingtonLast February, I traveled to Tennessee to see Bald River Falls, one of the most visited waterfalls in the region. Visually spectacular at over 80 feet high, Bald River Falls is the gateway to the Bald River Wilderness Area.It was a rainy and chilly 33 degrees, the bridges were freezing over, and to my surprise on that late February afternoon, the Tellico River, alongside the Bald River, was teeming with kayakers. Slowly passing by people in wetsuits, carrying their kayaks, I peered at the cars and license plates on the side of the road: Pennsylvania, New York, Iowa, Texas, Colorado and Oregon. These people were serious whitewater enthusiasts and the reason they had chosen to be in rural Tennessee on a wet and bone-chilling weekend in the middle of winter was because of the Tellico River’s clean and clear rushing waters.It’s not just the kayakers who have discovered this outdoor paradise. Throughout the year, fly fishers, hunters, horseback riders, hikers, backpackers, and thousands of windshield tourists journey to Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest. Along with year round recreational opportunities, outdoor related businesses from local sandwich shops to outdoor manufacturers (one of the largest maker of kayaks in the world is Jackson Kayaks in Sparta, Tenn.) are locating near protected lands and rivers in Tennesee. The outdoor recreation industry in Tennessee alone generates $8.2 billion in consumer spending each year and creates 83,000 jobs.An entrepreneur once told me that every successful business needs a “special sauce,” that extra “something” that separates a place, product or business apart from all the others.For Tennessee’s wilderness areas, clean and clear water is the ‘special sauce’.And the reason the surrounding streams, creeks and rivers are so clean and clear is because the Tennessee Wilderness Act of 1984 made it so.It was signed by President Ronald Reagan. Three decades later, Reagan would be proud of the bill he signed into law, but I imagine he would say today the job is not finished.Back in 1984, one of Reagan’s closest friends and allies in the South, Governor Lamar Alexander, was also a champion of the original Tennessee Wilderness Act. Today, Senators Alexander and Bob Corker have introduced a new Tennessee Wilderness Act three times in the past four years.Upon passage, this bill will permanently protect the headwaters of the Upper Bald River by designating one new wilderness area, The Upper Bald River Wilderness, and by adding additional acreage to five others in the Cherokee National Forest, assuring kayakers, fishermen, hunters, local businesses and future generations will forever have clean and clear water.This month, Congress will have its last chance to pass the Tennessee Wilderness Act of 2013. If you care about the outdoors, if you care about the local economy, and if you care about clean and clear water, now more than ever, your member of Congress needs to hear from you. Tell them that you support the Tennessee Wilderness Act of 2013. Tell them that they should support Tennessee’s senators and finish the job.And then, read them President Reagan’s own words: “I just have to believe that with love for our natural heritage and a firm resolve to preserve it with wisdom and care, we can and will give the American land to our children, not impaired, but enhanced. And in doing this, we’ll honor the great and loving God who gave us this land in the first place.”–Pat Byington is the Executive Director of Wild South.last_img read more

BRO Athletes: Chris Hipgrave Takes on the Little Tybee Challenge

first_imgSome events stand the test of time and carve strong enduring memories. The Little Tybee Challenge is one of these races for me. The diversity of the race course is second to none. Starting in a powerful tidal river, the course then jogs into a super narrow and twisty tidal creek before leading you out into the Atlantic thru a surf zone surrounded by sand bars and technical options. Once into the Atlantic a short sprint takes you back into the tidal river and the finish line. The near 8 mile circumnavigation of most of Little Tybee Island takes the fastest of paddlers a little under 50 minutes and requires a unique set of skills to excel across the range of challenges the race course has to offer.After a strong win at this race in 2014 I knew I’d have a target on my back but I also knew I didn’t have the same level of fitness I had last year. I’d have to play defense. After a confused starting procedure and a strong effort off the line, I found myself leading into the tight and technical tidal creek and interrupted a large pod of dolphin playing in the fast moving waters. Once into the creek, it’s very hard to overtake anyone but I could hear the relentless chase of Eric Mims close behind. But as a wildwater paddler, reading and executing these tight turns would mean a small advantage for me.So the question was whether to gut myself and extend my tenuous lead or conserve energy for the later stages of the race. I choose to gut myself. Exiting the tidal creek and entering the ocean, I had approximately 1 minute up on Eric, but now in the ocean, the tables were turned and Eric was in his home environment with the advantage and was closing the gap fast. Seeing a near shore deep water gutter, I surfed into the beach to take the short cut but not before Eric saw me make the turn and gave chase. Once thru the moving water and heading back into the tidal river, I found myself shoulder to shoulder with Eric for the final mile or more to the finish. Sadly, I could not respond to his mastery of using every ocean bump to his advantage and I was also paying the price for pushing hard in the creek. Eric snagged victory by a tad over a minute in a masterful paddle. Mark Volkmann also put in a great effort to take a solid third place after using his intimate knowledge of the area to his advantage to secure the final podium spot.The Little Tybee Challenge never disappoints and I will be back for the 18th annual race in 2016. More information, results and media can be found at http://tybeekayakrace.blogspot.com/—Our BRO Athlete series is powered by Great Outdoor Provision Co., The Hub, Crozet Running, Brown Jeep, Proformance, and the Blue Ridge Cyclery.last_img read more