Local man competes in kayak challenge to raise awareness and protect Georgia’s waterways

Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 10:45 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The majority of us commute to and from work by car, but have you ever tried to get home using the water?

Our Michaela Romero shows us why one man is making his trip home by kayak in hopes of getting more people outside and exploring Georgia’s waterways.

Jon Dedic is always down for a challenge.

“So far this year I have done a little over 400, I think it’s about 405 miles right now.”

That’s how many miles he has traveled by kayak just this year.

“Currently, Georgia River Network is hosting a paddle-a-thon. It’s a competition for paddling miles on the Georgia rivers. Right now, I am in the competition trying to get some miles in and because I work a full-time job it is kinda hard to get miles in so I am commuting home from work by kayak.”

He is used to being on the water, but it being in a competition like this makes it more fun for him.

“It kinda adds another dynamic to just my regular kayaking trips. Pretty consistently I kayak about 500 miles a year so it’s been nice so far.”

Along with fulfilling his passion for kayaking, he has been experiencing nature on a whole other level trying to get the most mileage in.

“Our marsh is full of all kinds of interesting ocean life. Tons of dolphins you will see alligators in fresh water and I mean in the past week I have even seen a shark close to my kayak so it’s pretty cool.”

And while he is getting the experience of a lifetime, he is contributing to a bigger picture.

Jon is in the top 3 of our paddlers but he is our top paddler for collecting the most trash. His efforts to collect trash are a huge help to our waterways when we can clean up our rivers, they are healthier, and they improve our drinking water as well.”

And he hopes his presence on our waterways makes more people want to get out and appreciate our world from a different perspective.

“It’s a whole other world out there on the water. There is a lot of really cool things out on the marsh. There are some uninhabited islands out there really cool tings to see along our rivers.”