Paddling: Understanding the Rio Grande

This is Passport to Texas

The Rio Grande Valley and its river are misunderstood, but Eric Ellman, Executive Director of the non-profit Los Caminos Del Rio,is out to change that.

The organization’s focus is on historical and environmental preservation. And we’ve found recently that paddling is a great way to bring people’s attention to the area, and to fundamentally alter the way that they perceive the Rio Grande River and the Rio Grande Valley.

Most of us have an opinion about the Rio Grande, but few of us have actually spent time on it. Yet when we do, Ellman says we are forced to reexamine our preconceptions.

There are all kinds of positive associations to be made with the river. The river is free-flowing, it’s there’s year-round, the weather is warm, the birding is great, we have some of the most historic buildings in the country on either side. We’ve been running trips there and taking literally hundreds of people down there in the last few years and we have never had a single unpleasant incident. And, we really think it’s going to become the wintertime destination for canoe and kayak racing for the entire United States and perhaps northern Mexico.

And Ellman says there’s something you may not know about the Rio Grande River that could surprise you.

Gary Lacey who designed the US National Whitewater Training center could hardly believe it.

And we’ll tell you about it tomorrow.

Until then…That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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