We partnered with ORP!
And we couldn't be happier!
If you've been following us on Instagram, you probably noticed I've been participating in SpinSheet Magazine's* Century Club challenge, in which I am trying to spend 100 days on the water between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019. Something has been bothering me about doing this challenge, though. I've been a water lover for most of my life, so I've kept up with amazing feats people have done on the water over the past few decades. I've watched people row across every ocean imaginable. I remember someone making an attempt to kayak around Greenland (or was it Iceland?), but I don't remember if they finished. How many times has the record been broken over the years for the youngest person to sail solo around the world unassisted?
Amazing feats as they were, I don't recall many of them doing it for anything other than personal gain. Still, people rallied behind them and they were able to raise the necessary funds and sponsorships. In my mind, though, I was always a little perturbed that they weren’t challenging themselves to bring attention to a worthy cause or nonprofit. Then I realized that's exactly what I have been doing with the Century Club challenge…
I've been posting photos and videos on Instagram and YouTube for my modest, yet supportive audience for over 3 years. During that time, I've done very little of what we originally created Chesapeake Wanderlust to do: Support the Chesapeake Bay through adventure and tourism while promoting local artists, businesses, and the people and organizations that are out there doing good for the Bay. I think our adventures on the Bay are spot on with part of our mission statement, and although we support local artists and businesses, we can do so much more.
On November 9th, I made an Instagram post with a pretty photo of my paddle board sitting in the water among the autumn leaves. In the caption I asked for your moral support to get me through the last few weeks of this challenge I set myself on. The post was well received, and many of you are cheering for me, which feels really good! But something in my gut doesn't feel right. Later that night, I made a pact with myself to do something special because I realized I did something out of character for myself and out of alignment with the values Kari and I set forth for Chesapeake Wanderlust. I asked for your support to get me through a personal goal without any regard to the impact this goal could have on something much larger than myself.
Then it hit me.
The Chesapeake Bay needs a lot of help throughout the watershed, but one of the biggest, least expensive, and most productive impacts to the Bay comes from oysters. Oysters are the magic bullet. They promote a healthy economy through aquaculture, wild oystering, tourism, and restaurants. I was recently in Maine and saw Virginia oysters on the menu. They promote resiliency through improved water quality and strengthening shorelines and marshes. They are delicious! One cool thing about oysters is that eating them is actually better than not eating them because – if you make sure their shells are recycled – then one oyster shell can become a home for as many as 10 more baby oysters! As if that wasn't enough, new research has found they are a carbon sink, so there are positive signs about oysters becoming a valuable resource in capturing carbon in the oceans.
It all came together, then I wasn't able to sleep the rest of the night; I need to turn the remaining 20+ days of my challenge into a fundraiser. I immediately went to work to make this happen.
For this giving season, Chesapeake Wanderlust is proudly partnering with the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) - a nonprofit dedicated to restoring Maryland’s native oyster population - in an exciting endeavor that will plant at least 20,000 baby oysters if I complete the challenge and become a member of the Century Club. Yeah...Twenty THOUSAND! We are asking you to help us double!… triple?!… quadruple?!!… however much we can come together to multiply that number!
I'm adding a little flair to the #spinsheet100 in hopes of encouraging you to pledge with us. This year marks ORP's 25th anniversary and they are asking donors to “Give $25 or 25% More” in end-of-year support to their programs. As if the time crunch of completing my final 20 days of the challenge with only 40 days left in the year isn't hard enough on me, in honor of ORP’s 25th anniversary year, I'm going to add 5 more days. Yes, I'm crazy. But sometimes it takes a little crazy to accomplish big things. Well, here is my 25 More. I'll do 20 days +5 more, for an annual total of 105 days on the water, and, in turn, Chesapeake Wanderlust will donate $200 to ORP, which will help plant 20,000 oysters.
We’re asking all of you Chessie-lovers to help the Chesapeake Bay by pledging with us. If I finish my 20+5 before the clock strikes midnight, officially ending 2019, can you make a pledge to a good cause? Our goal is to raise an additional $200, for a total of $400 which would plant 40,000 baby oysters. We are only asking EIGHT other people to pledge with us!
Can you “Give $25 More” during this end-of-year giving season? Knowing we’re doing something extra together to take care of the Bay will make me all the more likely to finish! :)
You can use this link to sign our pledge. All the details are on that page.
Use this link to go directly to ORP’s donation page. Just do me a favor and mention Chesapeake Wanderlust in the 'Additional Comments' box. We don't get any kickbacks, but it would feel good to know I sent someone over there!
*The kind folks at SpinSheet Magazine were generous enough to allow me to turn my participation in the SpinSheet Century Club challenge into a fundraiser, but are in no way involved in this fundraising effort, or sponsoring any portion of it in any way.
We are an adventurous couple exploring the Chesapeake Bay by boat, paddle board, jet ski, and whatever other means necessary!
Friends Of chessie
For the best in Chesapeake Bay liveaboard lifestyle and reviews on boating products, visit our good friends at Lifesaport (hint: say it out loud).