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RIVERPALOOZA: AMERICAN INDIAN CULTURAL INTERPRETATION PADDLE
This amazing trip is a partnership between Potomac Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks and the tribal chair, Francis Gray, of the Piscataway Conoy Tribal Council. We are truly honored to provide a pre-paddle cultural history presentation, then guide and provide interpretation of cultural resources along our circular paddle starting at Atlantic Kayak Company. Atlantic Kayak owners Joe and Shellie Perrie, have a passion for culture and history, and will also provide interpretive and ecological education for our program.
Mattawoman Creek is the ancestral home of the Piscataway tribe, despite being pushed from their homelands, many of the tribal members still live in the Southern Maryland area. The name of Mattawoman creek comes from the Algonquin term Mataughquamend, which translates to “where one goes pleasantly” or the more contemporary version, “a place to go quietly”. To no surprise, this term describes the Mattawoman creek perfectly.
This section of the Potomac is connected to national trail routes, including the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. State and federal agencies have consistently characterized the Mattawoman watershed as exceptional in terms of its biodiversity and biological productivity. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has noted the creek’s abundant underwater grasses. It is also home to more than 50 species of fish, as well as mussels, wood ducks, and bald eagles. Its extensive wetlands and forest help support one of the healthiest food webs in the Chesapeake Bay.
Following your river excursion, you can spend time at the Mattawoman Creek Education Center, which has numerous aquariums to observe fish and other critters from Mattawoman Creek, close-up and personal! Come support Potomac Riverkeeper and partners to celebrate Mattawoman Creek the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act! Please consider signing up to paddle for clean water to support fifty years of clean water progress and the goals of “fishable, swimmable” waterways so future generations can continue to enjoy the Potomac River and critical tributaries like Mattawoman Creek.