HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA May 31, 2012 – Next year marks the 500th anniversary of explorer Ponce de Leon’s arrival to Florida’s shores. In celebration of this momentous occasion, Quiksilver Waterman Collection and Florida waterman Justin Riney have teamed up to launch Expedition Florida 500 (XF500), a yearlong journey combining the best of exploration, adventure, stewardship,science, and sport into a package that will include the full gamut of the waterman’s lifestyle. This epic journey officially launches on January 1, 2013, but the adventure begins this July as the team kicks off a series of five conservation paddles throughout the state of Florida on a waterway near you.
WHAT: The XF500 Conservation Paddles are five unique paddles throughout the state of Florida to raise awareness for stewardship efforts to protect local waterways. The team will leverage social media to educate and inspire others to do their part as they shed light on the beauty of these five waterways. The XF500 Conservation Paddles also provide an opportunity for the team to familiarize themselves with select Florida waterways and ecosystems in preparation for the yearlong expedition beginning in January of 2013. The team will use this series as an opportunity to train in the months leading up to XF500 as a warm-up for the expedition.
Paddle Location Dates *Subject to Change
Paddle #1: The Apalachicola River – July 21-27
Paddle #2: Key Largo to Miami (Biscayne Bay) – August 18-27
Paddle #3: The St. Johns River (Lower Basin) – September 22-28
Paddle #4: The Kissimmee River – October 20-29
Paddle #5: The Wilderness Waterway (Everglades) – November 24-December 3
WHO: Justin Riney, Quiksilver Waterman Collection ambassador, founder of Mother Ocean, and creator of XF500, will lead a small team of paddlers for each stop on the series. The team will be camping primitively and living off the land the entire way, doing cleanups where possible and leaving the waterways in better condition than when theyarrived.
CELEBRITY PADDLERS: Local and international celebrities will be joining the team for parts of the series,including members from the Quiksilver family. XF500 also invites the media and local photographers to come out and capture the experience from select locations to be determined for each paddle.
PADDLE PARTNERS: The team ispartnering with local organizations that serve as ambassadors for each waterway in order to highlight the work they’re doing to protect these waters. These organizations will also add unique historical and cultural perspectives to the paddles with their local knowledge, so XF500 will see well below the surface when advocating for the preservation of these waterways.
FOLLOW THE JOURNEY: The entire experience will be shared through daily blogging, photos, videos, and content to be published on the Expedition Florida 500 Facebook page at www.facebook.com/XF500.