Best Kayak Company, Best Paddleboard Company, Best Watersports Company
For the last 30 years, Chris Crolley has been leading kayakers on excursions from Shem Creek to Bull Island to the deep reaches of the PeeDee and Congaree Rivers. After taking literally thousands of people on watery adventures, you would be correct to assume that he has made a great many friends and connections. Over the last few years, he’s managed to translate that network and love of the Lowcountry into a new venture called the Coastal Expeditions Foundation. Through this nonprofit, he’s worked directly with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service creating turtle conservation projects along Cape Romain and with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources rebuilding the vital bird sanctuary sandbars along Crab Bank. He’s also launched a Boeing-sponsored initiative teaching resilience through kayaking to disabled and wounded veterans.
“The foundation — it serves wild animals like sea turtles, wild places like Crab Bank and wild people like veterans,” he said. “It’s just such a natural flow too. It’s the maturation of what we’ve been doing all along. I mean you, you and me and our kids are blessed man. Because we got some kind of undeniable call to be involved with water. It’s so strong that we can’t ignore it. A lot of people have this sort of vestigial itch. And they just don’t know what it is. Well, it’s that same call. You bring them outside and they’re reintroduced to their birthright — to something real. All of a sudden, they’re amidst something that takes their breath away.”
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