The Relay, which is co-sponsored by the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners, is a highly competitive canoe and kayak race on what had been one of New Jersey’s most mistreated rivers, and it takes place this Saturday, May 8, from 8 a.m. to noon. If you want to watch, just line up along the Passaic anyplace between the Nereid Boat Club in Rutherford and the Essex County Riverbank Park in Newark (see map below). Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. is going to be paddling with the Essex County team.
If you want to race, there may still be time to register. You can download a form from the PVSC’s Web site (the PDF is hidden under the “Events” tab) or call Tom Pietrykoski at 973-817-5735. The $10 fee includes snack, T-shirt and insurance.
The race is also a great way to see what’s been done to clean up the Passaic. The PVSC’s River Restoration Program has removed nearly 8,000 tons of debris from the Passaic River, its tributaries and Newark Bay since it began a decade ago.
Not yet ready to race? Then how about a canoeing lesson at the Essex County Environmental Center? On Saturday, May 15 at 9:30 a.m., the center is offering a class in paddling safety and techniques, geared for beginners and children ages 10 and up who are accompanied by a parent or guardian. The cost is $15 per person or $30 per canoe, and you’ve got to register in advance. For information, call 973-228-8776.