Help Conserve the Whimsical, Wondrous Rivers of America

From the mighty Mississippi, which has more twists and turns than a soap opera, to the rodeo rapids of the Colorado River, these flowing wonders are far more important than just a pretty place to crack open a beer. Rivers hold the secrets of long-forgotten civilizations and foster ecological mysteries that baffle scientists. Rivers supply the water for irrigation, town plumbing systems, and even your morning cup o’ joe. Not to mention the availability of food that humans and animals can pull from the water (neither man nor bear can resist a plump pink salmon filet, right?).

Let’s also not overlook the charm of the smaller, lesser-known streams that crisscross the nation. From the gentle babbling brooks of New England, providing nourishment to the forest, to the Pacific Northwest’s swift currents, each rivulet contributes in its own unique way to our environment.

That’s why, on this Earth Day, 2024, we want to talk about … RIVERS!

His Heart Belongs to the Guadalupe

Stacy Thigpen, Co-Owner of Paddle, TX, here in New Braunfels, has a wealth of knowledge to share on the topic of rivers. At Paddle TX, they offer Lighted Crystal Kayaks for one-of-a-kind nighttime adventures, Paddle Boards (SUPs), kayaks, and tubes, as well as paddle board lessons, paddle board yoga, and SUP adventures to help visitors (and locals) enjoy a day on the rivers of Texas safely. 

“My heart belongs to the Guadalupe,” he told us when asked about his favorite Texas River to explore. “I have seen her beauty in so many ways. From the North and South Fork to the Gulf, she has so many faces, places, animals, and wonders to see.”

Although he has experience in almost all river adventure activities, Stacy said he LOVES to paddle board. He is also a WSA SUP Instructor. 

“It’s the best of all worlds,” he said. “With the paddle, you can explore more. You can carry a kiddo, pup, human, or cooler with you. It’s easy to get off and on. Plus, if you stand, you get to see soooooo much more nature.”

We asked Stacy what makes the Texas River experience different from other places, and he had many thoughts.

“I would say the diversity! From the different colors of water and temperatures to the many species in each river, some only existing in that particular spot. The wildlife surrounding you is amazing. There may be cattle, native wildlife, or some exotics in the water with you. Also, the people, we are like a whole other country, and our Texas Pride is evident when we start bragging on the rivers.”

When Fun Becomes Harmful to The River

RIVER ROAD CLOTHING Shirts Keep Gruene Clean

In his experience, Stacy has seen many ways that people can do things they may not even realize are harmful to the environment. For instance, he said it’s important to remember that no glass or Styrofoam is allowed on the river (at least in Texas).

“Vape pens are also something new we’re seeing left behind a lot,” he said. “Or people will bring tents and chairs to sit in low-water areas and leave broken parts in the water when they go.”

Using cheap tubes that pop on the first rock is also a problem, especially when they get left in the river. Stacy recommends always using an outfitter when you want to plan an adventure on the river.

“Our equipment is better and won’t fail in most cases,” he said. “This means less to carry out and nothing to store or get home except yourself.”

Things We All Can Do to Help

Now, you might wonder, “How can I, a mere mortal, help protect these watery wonders for future generations?” Well, fear not, friends, we have some tips that are as easy to follow as the steps to apply sunscreen (which is also very important).

Leave Only Your Footprints When You Go:
When venturing into the wilderness, channel your inner ninja and leave no trace of your existence behind. Pack out what you pack in, resist the urge to litter, and refrain from rearranging nature’s furniture (meaning, leave that fallen log right where it is, thank you).

Stacy Says!
Show the world you care and pick up other pieces of trash you find
in addition to your own. Also, maybe you don’t need five cases of beer
for a 3-hour float trip. 😉


Flow with the Current, Not Against It:
Just as a leaf floats downstream, embrace the rhythm of nature. Minimize your impact by paddling gently, avoid trampling sensitive riverbanks, and steer clear of delicate ecosystems.

Channel Your Inner Eco-Warrior:
Arm yourself with knowledge and join the crusade for river conservation. Support local initiatives, volunteer for clean-up efforts, and advocate for policies that safeguard these precious waterways.




Keep It Clean Even at Home:
Remember, what goes down the drain eventually finds its way to the river. So, be mindful of your water usage, opt for eco-friendly cleaning products, and say NO to single-use plastics whenever possible.

Educate Yourself:
Ignorance may be bliss, but knowledge is power. So, dive into the depths of river ecology, learn about native species before you visit somewhere new, and talk to others about the importance of river conservation.

Stacy Says!
Pay attention, get on the rivers, and become involved. There are river clean-ups
and conservation organizations like the Comal County Conservation Alliance
where you can have fun and also learn about how special our rivers are.
  Look for one near you!!


We All Have an Inner ‘River Rat’ in Our Hearts

When we protect rivers, we conserve not only the beauty of America’s landscapes but also the lifeblood of this country. Oliver Wendell Holmes knew it well, as he immortalized the river in his timeless poems,

“A river is more than an amenity;
it is a treasure.”


PaddleTX is your ultimate destination for river adventure! Whether you’re seeking a leisurely float down the tranquil waters of the Comal River or a thrilling ride along the rapids of the Guadalupe River, they’ve got you covered. In addition to Stacy, PaddleTX is co-owned by Shane & Nicole Wolf. 

Book online and get 10% off at!


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