Deana Jerdee is an incredible woman and paddler who has dedicated herself to environmental protection and waterway access in her community. Deana is an ACA Level 2: Essentials of Kayaking Touring Instructor and the Executive Director of Paddle Antrim, a nonprofit founded in 2014, whose mission is to protect water resources in Northern Michigan’s Chain of Lakes by using paddlesports to connect people to these waterways. Noticing a lack of consistent paddling safety class offerings on her local waterways, Deana and a few other amazing volunteers were certified as ACA Level 2: Essentials of Kayak Touring instructors, and they now teach intro paddling classes in the region. They have also grown a more holistic and well-rounded paddling community by inviting other instructors to deliver courses in other disciplines such as canoeing, stand up paddling, and more.
Her current position at Paddle Antrim has enabled her to provide others with the information they need to paddle the Chain of Lakes in a way that emphasizes both stewardship and safety. Paddle Antrim offers classes and community paddling events throughout the summer, including the Paddle Antrim Festival. The festival is a two-day, non-competitive event which invites paddlers to explore 7 to 42 miles of the Chain of Lakes Water Trail; the event also hosts off-the-water social events through the weekend to further build friendships, connections, and memories for all attendees.
To learn more about Paddle Antrim and the Chain of Lakes Water Trail, please go to www.paddleantrim.com.