First Solo Attempt to Stand Up Paddleboard Entire Length of Wisconsin River
Madison, WI – Sept. 8, 2016 – Adventure-seeking film producer Jesse Hieb of Milwaukee plans to stand up paddle board the entire length of the Wisconsin River while raising awareness for conservation efforts along the state’s “mother river.” Hieb will launch from the headwaters in Lac Vieux Desert on Friday, September 9th and plans to complete his journey in roughly two weeks.
Hieb’s journey is in partnership with the River Alliance of Wisconsin, a statewide non-profit advocacy organization working to protect and restore Wisconsin’s rivers and watersheds.
“This trip down the Wisconsin River is much more than an endurance challenge for me. It is an opportunity to be an active advocate for the natural resources I rely on and that bring me great joy. It’s also about telling the stories of the people and their efforts advocating for fresh water,” said Hieb, who will be in close contact with the River Alliance as he makes his way down the Wisconsin River. The River Alliance will chronicle Hieb’s journey and, by doing so, will tell the story of a remarkable recovery for the river, and the challenges currently facing our state’s “mother river.”
The entire adventure will also be a fundraising effort for River Alliance’s Wisconsin River Initiative, a project that has organized and supported a network of committed citizens to act as the voice for tributary rivers and the big river itself. Nearly two dozen citizen groups, the Friends of the Lower Wisconsin to the Lake Wausau Association, all work to advocate for solutions to their local river issues – from blue-green algae blooms to balancing the river’s use among competing interests. The River Alliance will attempt to raise $4,300 to honor Jesse’s 430 mile excursion and to keep the Wisconsin River Initiative rolling. Proceeds will be invested in advocacy coaching and technical training for the 200+ citizens along the Wisconsin River to ensure their voices are heard in setting policies that protect the watershed.
“Our Wisconsin River Initiative lays the foundation for a lasting Wisconsin River guardianship. Local citizen voices are key to effecting change for the waters they love,” explained River Alliance of Wisconsin’s river restoration director Matt Krueger. “We are thrilled that a water-loving and adventuring-seeking soul like Jesse has decided to take on this challenge and use it as a platform for awareness and advocacy.”
“I am just so excited to be a part of something that can make a difference,” Hieb added.
To follow the SUP adventure, visit the River Alliance of Wisconsin website and sign-up for the e-newsletter (www.wisconsinrivers.org), like on Facebook (www.facebook.com/riveralliance), or follow on Twitter (@riveralliance).
About River Alliance of Wisconsin
Formed in 1993, River Alliance of Wisconsin is a statewide non-profit, non-partisan citizen advocacy organization that works to protect and restore Wisconsin’s rivers and watersheds. The organization’s membership includes more than 2,500 individuals and businesses and more than 80 local watershed groups — one of the largest memberships of statewide river groups in the country. For more information, visit www.wisconsinrivers.org or www.facebook.com/riveralliance.
About Jesse Hieb
A 30 something social worker turned film producer from Milwaukee, Jesse Hieb is an all-around adrenaline junkie and opportunity seeker. Born in Michigan and raised in Japan by his missionary parents, Jesse returned to the U.S. but chases any opportunity to travel the world and experience new people.
In 2014 Jesse was one of the first people to make an attempt to take a paddleboard across Lake Michigan at its widest point. After paddling 17 hours and getting 48 miles across the Great Lake they had to cancel the trip due to weather hazards. Since then Jesse has been on the lookout for the next challenge that could push his limits to the max. Follow Jesse on Periscope and Twitter (@JesseHieb) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/gonepaddlingthefilm).