LAKELAND – The WWALS Watershed Coalition works to draw attention to the South Georgia rivers with its monthly paddles and cleanups.

The group sponsors the Banks Lake Full Harvest Moon paddle, 6:50 p.m., Oct. 1, at the Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Ga. 122. Guests will gather at 6:30 p.m.

The event is held each time there is a full moon, John Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper, said.

“The more people we can get out on our waters, the more they will realize Banks Lake is a gem and our rivers (Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Little, Suwannee and more) are fun and different every time,” he said.

At Banks Lake, Quarterman said spectators can view bats coming out of trees, an alligator and a moon rise.

Participants are asked to bring a personal flotation device, boat, paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, trash pickers, trash bags and a first-aid kit.

“Every WWALS outing is also a cleanup,” Quarterman said.

WWALS offers kayaks for borrowing but requires notice two days prior to event day.

Anyone with a boat must have a light to afford other boaters to see them. Organizers suggest wearing a whistle but don’t require one.

Participants are asked to wear a mask during sign-in. Masks will be available for people without one, organizers said.

“There's plenty of space at Banks Lake boat ramp to stay six feet apart and plenty of room on the water to stay 10 feet and more apart,” Quarterman said.

The paddle is free to WWALS members. Non-members can pay the $10 fee on event day or at wwals.net/donations/#outings.

Quarterman said the funding collected benefits more WWALS outings, its projects and its advocacy.

WWALS will sponsor the Boomerang paddle race Oct. 24 at the state line boat ramp. Competitors will race from Georgia into Florida and will make a return trip.

More information on the race is at wwals.net/pictures/2020-10-24--boomerang/.

More information about the Banks Lake paddle is wwals.net/events-2/outings-events/ and on the group’s social media accounts.

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