The Santa Monica based Los Angeles Waterkeeper will hold their 5th annual paddleboard race fundraiser, Stand Up For Clean Water, on April 16 and organizers want locals to know there are ample opportunities to support the cause, both in and out of the water.

The event is actually several races for paddlers of all ages and abilities. There will be a two-mile “fun” race, two-mile relay race, five-mile competitive race and kids stand-up paddle races. Tickets for racers are $50.

Locals that want to enjoy the festivities from dry land can purchase a spectator ticket for $25 and enjoy the post-race award ceremony and beach party.

This year’s race will take place on the Point Dume State Marine Reserve, a Marine Protected Area (MPA) that is home to aquatic species such as sheephead and rockfish and is along the migratory path for humpback whales.

“What makes this event so special is that in addition to it being a celebration of our beautiful coastline, the race complements Waterkeeper’s successful work to safeguard Marine Protected Areas” said Los Angeles Waterkeeper Executive Director Bruce Reznik. “Much like underwater national parks, MPAs protect ecologically important areas of our ocean allowing them to replenish and flourish – ensuring future generations will be able to enjoy a thriving coastline teeming with wildlife.”

Katiana Johnson, event coordinator for Stand Up For Clean Water, said the event allows participants to do good while having a good time.

“We want people to learn and connect with the ocean and our goal is to promote community stewardship of the coast,” she said. “If they only want to come for a beer, food and a beach party, they will inadvertently learn about Waterkeeper. If we can just get more people to the actual event site, and to see how beautiful it is, they don’t have to be someone in the SUP or surf industry to come to the event and enjoy the music, raffle, fun and education.”

Races start at 9:30 a.m. with the open race. Live music begins at 11 a.m. The beach party also includes a silent auction and raffle with all proceeds supporting Los Angeles Waterkeeper’s work to protect and restore Los Angeles coastal waters and inland waterways.

All tickets include lunch, a commemorative beer glass and one beer ticket. The first 200 racers to arrive on the day will get a race bag with additional goodies. Auction and raffle prizes include surf/SUP boards and a customized golf cart.

Johnson said she strongly encourages everyone, racers and spectators, to register before the event. Doing so helps with organization and will allow everyone to access the event without long lines.

“We want to encourage advance registration and we want to encourage spectator registration,” she said. “You can register on the day of the event, but you]can register in advance so you don’t have to wait in line and can just start the party.”

Registration information is available online at, from there tickets for racers and spectators can be purchased after creating an account and selecting the appropriate ticket. Sponsorship information is also available online.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and world-renowned paddleboarder and surfer Anthony Vela will be part of the event. Both celebrities have a long history supporting the Los Angeles Waterkeeper. Kennedy will discuss how the local Waterkeeper connects with the efforts of more than 280 independent Waterkeepers protecting waterways across the globe. World-renowned paddleboarder and surfer Anthony Vela will emcee Stand Up For Clean Water.

Founded in 1993, Los Angeles Waterkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore Santa Monica Bay, San Pedro Bay and adjacent waters through enforcement, fieldwork, and community action. Stand Up for Clean Water – one of the largest stand-up paddle boarding events in Los Angeles and a Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Series Event is presented nationally by Toyota and locally by Whole Foods Market.

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...