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2020 Amazing Bronx River Flotilla Frequently Asked Questions

1) Who can register for the Amazing Bronx River Flotilla: 5-mile Paddle for the River?

Individuals (18+ years old) will form teams of 6 people (in 3 canoes) to paddle 5 miles down the Bronx River. A designated captain should take the lead in forming and leading the team.


2) What are the fundraising expectations?

The Amazing Bronx River Flotilla is a fundraiser to support free and low cost paddling adventures for Bronx youth and their families. Each individual will commit to fundraising a total of $350 per person or $2,100 per team. We can also accommodate individual spots on our open team “Eels”, please contact Thomas Capozzi for more info. Each individual on this team also commits to $350 fundraising minimum. If you do not meet the 350 per person minimum, your credit card may be charged the difference. We’ll support you in reaching your fundraising goal by providing you with your own fundraising webpage to spread the word to family, friends and social network.

Are you ready to form a team? Come up with an exciting team name and designated captain and contact Thomas Capozzi at Thomas.Capozzi@bronxriver.org or 718-430-4602 to help you set up your team.


3) What if I don’t want to form a team, can I join a team?

To accommodate individual spots, we have an open team “Eels.” The individual fundraising minimum for each person is $350. Individual fundraising efforts will be acknowledged for prizes, however, this team does not qualify for team prizes. Please, contact Thomas Capozzi if you have any questions.


4) Is there a registration fee?

Yes, there is a $50 registration fee for participants, which applies towards your fundraising goal of $350. All funds raised for this event including registration fees are tax-deductible.


5) What happens if it rains on May 9th?

In case of inclement weather or unsafe river conditions, we will utilize the rain date of June 6th. Please hold this date and stay tuned to email, our webpage, and social media sites the day before the event. Decisions will be made at least 12 hours prior to proposed start time of event.


6) Can I participate in the Flotilla if I have never paddled?

The 5-mile paddle is challenging for mid-level paddlers and not recommended to first-time paddlers; paddling experience is necessary because this is a long and challenging trip. There will be a refresher paddle open for registered participants in April. The date for this event is TBD but will be released as soon as it has been decided! A registration webpage and code will be provided to team captains.


7) How long will the trip take?

The paddle will start in several waves launching from 9:15am to 10:15am. Please be aware that for a safe dispatch from the canoe portage for the number of canoes participating in the event, there will be a slight wait before your boat gets on water. Completion of this trip depends on the start time of your wave and individual paddling abilities. Allow 4-6 hours to complete this trip, although the trip may be completed in as little as 3 hours. Though we will offer on-site support, please be ready to carry or wheel your canoe with your canoe partner at three portage locations: New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx Zoo and 182nd Street dam.

If you would like to see the route of the trip, check out paddle.bronxriver.org. We will be launching at 219th St.


8) I am not interested in participating in the 5-mile canoe trip. Can I still fundraise for your cause?

Yes, you can! We can help you create your fundraising page and can arrange for you to have your registration fee waived. Contact Thomas Capozzi at Thomas.Capozzi@bronxriver.org for more info.


9) What should I bring/wear/be prepared for?

For all Bronx River trips you should bring light snacks and bottled water, as there are no stores on the banks of the river and no rest stops. There will be an opportunity to refuel on minimal supplies a little over a mile from the end-point. We advise that you bring sunscreen and insect repellent to ensure your comfort.

As New Yorkers know, it is important to dress appropriately for occasions, and our trips are no different. Wear sport sandals or old sneakers to protect your feet and offer you sure footing during portages. All footwear must be closed-toed and securely fastened to your foot, no slip-ons! Wear light, quick-drying clothes in case you get wet. Take note of the weather forecast and dress appropriately.

Bring only what is essential to prevent loss or damage to your things. Ziploc bags protect water sensitive belongings like cameras, cell phones, and wallets. While 95% of paddlers keep their boats upright, there is always a chance for even the most experienced paddlers to tip over.

Filling out and bringing a waiver with you will save time as we prepare to get in the water.

Please be aware, this paddle may take as long as 6 hours (although can be considerably shorter for skilled paddlers) and includes 3 portages around waterfalls, where paddlers get out of boats and carry or wheel their boat to the next put-in. You are responsible for the movement of your vessel from the starting launch to the end location. Please consider your abilities and level of health.


10) What if I do not meet my fundraising goal?

By signing up a team or individual spot, you are committing to reach your fundraising minimum (refer to Question 2) and are responsible for fulfilling your pledge. To secure your team or individual spot, you should strive to meet half of your minimum fundraising goal by April 1. Team captains are responsible for recruiting their team members and providing them with proper instructions and motivation to fulfill their team goal. During your fundraising, you’ll receive fun and helpful tips on how to fundraise.


11) Will there be another opportunity to paddle the 5-mile length of the river?

Yes, additional 5-mile trips will be scheduled during the upcoming season! To receive more information about these paddling trips, please contact Rodrick Bell at paddle@bronxriver.org. In addition, we offer numerous short-distance canoe trips all season long at different sites along the river. Stay in the loop by visiting our website www.bronxriver.org, signing up for our monthly newsletter or following us on social media.


12) Is the Flotilla a canoe race down the river like in past years?

No. The 5-mile trip is not a race. This trip is longer and more challenging and will be your chance to pace yourself, relax, and enjoy the river and its natural surroundings. We’ll have prizes for the highest fundraising individual and fundraising team (excluding the open team “Eels”), as well as a few surprises.


13) Will there still be a chance for paddling clubs and individuals to be a part of this event?

Absolutely! We invite high-skilled paddlers from boathouses and canoe clubs to volunteer at the Flotilla as canoe guides. For available volunteer opportunities, contact Rodrick Bell at paddle@bronxriver.org.


14) Can I use my own canoe and kayak for the race?

No, but you can wear your own [life jacket] personal flotation device (PFDs). We will provide a canoe, paddles, and PFDs for your team. For safety reasons we have limited spots for this event. In addition, there are no motorized craft permitted. All participants are required to register online and agree to fundraising efforts described in Question 2.


15) Is there an age limit/minimum?

For the Flotilla 5-mile trip, you must be 18 and older to participate. However, for the post-race free activities starting at noon at Starlight Park, all ages can join!