Climate, Kayak, and Conversation

Environmentalist and former Kitty Hawk Kites hang gliding instructor, Will Freund is sharing the story of change’s effect on the east coast’s ecosystems. He has created the Climate, Kayak, and Conversation project to bolster the discussion around climate change and the communities most affected by it.

Meet Will

Will Freund

Will Freund is no stranger to the Atlantic Coast. Growing up in Raleigh, NC, becoming a member of the Boy Scouts of America, and earning his degree in biology at the College of Charleston solidified Will’s passion for studying coastal ecosystems. After living in the Outer Banks for several years, Will has seen first-hand the effects of climate change on the United State’s east coast. Now he has taken on an ambitious journey up the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in a . Hear from Will himself in his project announcement video below.

In March of 2020, Will will set out in a kayak to travel from Miami, Florida to Norfolk, Virginia. Along this journey, he will be visiting coastal communities to record conversations with residents on the impacts of climate change in their community. As well as give them the tools to become engaged in their local environment through citizen science.

The Journey

Starting out in Miami, FL, Will plans to travel up the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway up to Norfolk, VA. A journey of just over 1,300 miles. Along the way, he will face the elements in just a Hobie Adventure Island sailing kayak. Planned stops include Brunswick, GA; Charleston, SC; Georgetown, SC; Wilmington, NC; Beaufort, NC; and Nags Head, NC. Will has scheduled for more possible stops depending on weather or impulse. During his journey, Will will interview local residents about how climate change has, or hasn’t, affected their communities.

In preparation for the trip, Will just completed a test run from Tampa, Florida to Sarasota. Along the way, you can track Will’s progress here. And you can stay up to date on social media @climatekayakandconversation. Currently, Will is set to start his journey in just two weeks!

The Boat

Hobie Mirage Adventure Island kayak

Kitty Hawk Surf Co. is proud to supply Will with a Hobie Mirage Adventure Island sailing kayak. This kayak features a pedal drive, as well as a traditional sail. This enables Will to travel completely free of fossil fuels, even if the wind doesn’t cooperate. Will also has room inside the kite to stow his belongings and has made some modifications to film hands-free and sleep atop the kayak.