Tubers, kayakers float for clean Waccamaw River

Kayakers float down the Waccamaw River in Pawleys Island Saturday for the 3rd Annual Ride the Tide event. (Taggart Houck/WPDE)

Tubers and kayakers traveled about four miles down the Waccamaw River Saturday to help raise money for cleaner water.

GIFT, also known as Giving It Forward Together, organized the third annual "Ride the Tide" event, which started at the Litchfield Plantation Marina and ended at Hagley Landing in Pawleys Island.

Each year, people from around the area sign up to float down river the using a non-motorized vehicle. Many choose kayaks or tubes.

The celebration continues with an after-party and proceeds raised benefit a different foundation each year.

This year, the focus was on the quality of water in the same river supporters floated down.

"Last year after the floods in October, I don't think people realized how much trash goes into the river, and a lot of it is lawn furniture and yard decor and things that you would never expect aside from the regular trash," said Margaret Sollars of GIFT.

The group that received this year's proceeds was the Waccamaw Riverkeeper of Winyah Rivers Foundation.

"They have tons of volunteers who go out every week and clean thousands of pounds of trash out of the river," said Sollars.

The foundation also uses educational and advocacy work to protect and preserve the health of the river and surrounding land.

Members from the Waccamaw Riverkeeper also came out to tube. They said any help they can get in their mission could help push for a better future in water quality.

They also said a large amount of drinking water for people along the Grand Strand comes from the Waccamaw River.

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