The Truckee River Source to Sea Paddle is a Rivers for Change fundraiser that features a core team of five individuals who will paddle the entire 150 miles of the Truckee River — the journey starts in Meyers, brings participants along Lake Tahoe’s West Shore, through Tahoe City, Truckee, and Reno, ending at the river’s terminus at Pyramid Lake.

The core team of five paddlers will support 10 student ambassadors who are paddling approximately 50 miles of the total journey. These students will learn about the ecological values supported by the river during their journey, and will then continue the program by educating their peers through in-school presentations.

Chloe Tippett, 10, and Annsley Akers, 14, are two of the student ambassadors embarking on this once-in-a-lifetime journey. We chatted with the girls via email about their experiences on the river, how they want to protect our watershed, and what they hope to be when they grow up.


Guest paddlers are invited to participate in various legs of the Source to Sea Paddle, but are required to register before the adventure. Everyone is invited to the on-shore educational events. For more info visit

What is your first memory of being on the river?

CHLOE: My parents started taking me on the river when I was a baby. My first memory, though, is from when I was about 2 or 3 years old. I got into my mom’s inflatable kayak and sat on a bee. It stung me and I remember how much it hurt. I kept on going anyways because I loved the river so much.

ANNSLEY: One of my first memories on the river was after all of my friends had gotten ready to go kayaking, and they convinced me to get into a kayak. When I stepped in, the boat flipped in about an inch of water. All my friends laughed and I didn’t get in another kayak for about a year.

Have you ever done anything like this before? Are you participating in the entire journey?

C: I have done similar things before. With my family, I have done many multi-day river trips. And with Mr. Eli from Creekside Charter School, I have studied nature. But, this will be the first time that I do a Source to Sea literacy trip that combines kayaking and nature studies. The student ambassadors like me will be paddling six out of the nine days. On our days off, we will be participating in a field trip for kids from nearby schools and doing a fundraiser.

A: I have never done anything like Source to Sea, but I have been on many rafting trips. So far my favorite stretch of water has been the Gates of Lodore.

Why did you decide to participate in this endeavor?

C: I wanted to do this trip because I love everything about it. I love fundraising, I love kayaking, I love learning about the environment, I love public speaking, and most of all, I love spending time with kids that share the same passions.

A: In my eighth-grade class we have a project called the Social Action Project. We have to think of a cause in a community and fix it. I wanted to do something with the river so I joined Rivers for Change.

What would you tell kids your age is the most important thing to do to protect our watersheds?

C: Plastic bags and bottles are a big problem for our watersheds. Try not to use single-use plastic bottles. If you do, recycle them. The same goes for plastic bags.

A: I would also tell kids to plant more trees and plants so that soil stays in place and does not affect the watershed runoff.

What is your favorite body of water (ocean, river, lake, pond, etc.)? Why?

C: I love Lake Tahoe and Donner Lake. But my favorite body of water is the Mediterranean Sea. I visit my great-grandmother there every summer. I love how warm the water is.

A: I have two favorite bodies of water. The river — because I love swimming rapids, rafting, and kayaking. I also love the lake. I enjoy going to the docks with my friends and swimming.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

C: I’m not sure what I want to be when I grow up, maybe a marine biologist or a chef. No matter what, though, I know I’ll always be a kayaker.
A: When I grow up, I want to be a professional skier in the winter and raft guide in the summer. That way I can have fun all year around. I do want to go to college and study photography.


  • Ally Gravina

    Ally Gravina is a freelance journalist and former Moonshine editor based in Graeagle. She has a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she specialized in arts and culture reporting.

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