Northwest River Supplies Launches 2021 Just Add Water Project
MOSCOW, Idaho — Northwest River Supplies (NRS) is launching the third year, and third phase, of the Just Add Water Project with a goal of building an inclusive paddlesports community for the future, creating new advocates for conservation, and protecting the health of — and access to — public lands and waters.
“There’s been a lot of talk in the outdoor industry about how we can build a more welcoming and accessible outdoor community, about how we can get more people from different backgrounds outside and engaged in conservation,” says Mark Deming, NRS director of marketing. “At some point you have to stop talking and put your paddle in the water. With the Just Add Water Project, we’re putting our values into action and actively working to create the paddlesports community we want to see in the world.”
In its first two years, NRS’s Just Add Water Project evolved from a social sharing campaign to an industry-wide conversation in 2020 with Faith Briggs and Adam Edwards about how brands, individuals and nonprofit organizations can work together to build a more welcoming and inclusive sport. Now, the Just Add Water Project will become an ongoing effort to support and amplify the work of organizations and individuals who are developing new paddlers from a variety of backgrounds and promoting conservation of our shared lands and waters.
“From this point forward, Just Add Water will be about building an infrastructure to hold up the big, welcoming tent we all want to see our sport and our industry become,” says Deming.
The Just Add Water Project aims to create pathways for new entrants to paddlesports, help train instructors and guides from diverse backgrounds, and sustain the work of organizations serving underrepresented communities and advancing conservation causes. NRS is proud to work with a growing group of people and organizations, to continue to hold ourselves accountable and keep integrating these stories into the fabric of our company and community.
“I’m almost always the only person of color on my river trips, and it's been like that since I started boating 15 years ago. Last June, it occurred to me that I could do something to change that. I wanted to make paddling more accessible for members of my community to help bring together BIPOC & allies on the water." —Lily Durkee, Diversify Whitewater
“Paddling can be an intimidating thing to get into. Fostering club-style groups where new paddlers can try out equipment, learn where to go and meet other people to paddle with seems essential to growing our community.” —Karrie Thomas, Northern Forest Canoe Trail
“We have a lot of work to do, but OARS is committed to taking decisive steps toward diversity, equity, and inclusion and to breaking down barriers to the outdoors.” —Steve Markle, OARS
“I know we are having a positive impact as students who finish high school are still paddling and coming back as student instructors to help the next generation.” —Devon Barker Hicks, Dare to Kayak
“I'm taking a message of inclusiveness and encouragement for new participants in water sports everywhere I go this year.” —Evan Stafford, Paddle Wise
The Just Add Water Project will be a long term, sustained effort aimed at building strong, durable relationships with people and organizations that are putting in the work to make lasting and positive change. The annual project will continue to grow with people and organizations, hold the company accountable and keep integrating stories into the fabric of NRS and its community.
For more information about the Just Add Water Project, visit https://www.nrs.com/just-add-water/.
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100% employee-owned, NRS is the world’s leading supplier of equipment and apparel for water recreation, safety and rescue. Founded in 1972 with a vision to create a better kind of company, NRS is dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of its customers, employees and community. For more information on NRS, visit nrs.com, email the company at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877.677.4327.