In 2012, WFSU Ecology producer Rob Diaz de Villegas kayaked the Apalachicola River on his first RiverTrek. The five day, 107-mile adventure is a fundraiser for Apalachicola Riverkeeper. A team of kayakers collects donations and raises awareness of the Apalachicola River and Bay system. Over those five days, the team gets a sampling of the rich ecosystems surrounding the river, and the issues facing the river, and the bay it feeds.
That first RiverTrek covered by WFSU came shortly after the collapse of the Apalachicola Bay oyster fishery, emphasizing the importance of the river and its altered flows to the estuary. Different stories revealed themselves on subsequent RiverTrek segments. In different years, higher or lower river flows allowed us access to different side adventures. And in each year a changing cast of team members and guest speakers- from Florida’s State Geologist to Rob’s own four-year old son- provided different perspectives.
From here, you can access each of WFSU’s RiverTrek segments. You may also be interested in our explorations of the Apalachicola River basin further from the river.
Rob kayaks the river with his four-year old son, who climbs Sand Mountain and explores Owl Creek. Also, a cycling team runs a parallel trek alongside the river, convening with the kayakers in Apalachicola.
Florida’s State Geologist uncovers the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines region’s distant past through his collection of marine fossils found on Alum Bluff, including one of the fearsome Megalodon shark.
Rob paddles the entire river for the first time in nine years. The RiverTrek team learns of efforts to restore flows to the floodplain, confronts snake phobias, and meet fishermen cruising the river at night. Also, we revisit Alum Bluff, Sutton Lake, Sand Mountain, and Owl Creek.