Young Del Norters enjoyed a scenic adventure paddling the largest coastal lagoon in California recently. For many of them it was their first time squeezing into a wet suit and sliding into a kayak. Within minutes of slipping into Lake Earl, several boats were overturned as brown pelicans and great blue herons fluttered away from the splashing and roaring laughter.

Once the water stilled and participants settled onto the surface of the water, the HSU instructors inflated a ball and launched a game of paddle polo. This was one of many events that the Smith River Alliance is organizing in hopes of encouraging Del Norte youth to enjoy and learn to appreciate the abundant wildlife and recreational opportunities provided by our public lands.