Kacie Wallace completes inspirational journey for Paddle for the NC Coastline to raise awareness for the Ocean Recovery Alliance


YOLO Board SUP Racer

Wallace and Kimberley Sutton initiated the 300+ mile standup paddleboard journey along the North Carolina coast to promote ocean sustainability and reduction of the plastic footprint


YOLO Board elite racer Kacie Wallace along with friend and fellow SUPer Kimberley Sutton recently completed a nine-day paddle expedition highlighting the coastline of North Carolina. Partnered by the Ocean Recovery Alliance and YOLO Board, the intense journey began as a grassroots awareness campaign to promote ocean sustainability and the reduction of single-use plastics. Covering over 300 miles along the intracoastal waterway and Outer Banks from North Carolina’s border states of South Carolina to Virginia, supporters followed the mission with regular blog and social media updates.


“As an Ambassador for the Ocean Recovery Alliance, I am often looking for creative ways to promote ocean preservation and plastic waste reduction and elimination,” explained Wallace. “I am a North Carolina native and Kimberley now lives in Wilmington, and we are both passionate about preserving our home state’s beautiful coast. We felt that the Paddle for the NC Coastline would be a unique opportunity to document the state’s delicate ecosystem while raising awareness for the responsible management of plastic waste. An unexpected outcome of this journey was the overwhelming response and support we received from likeminded individuals, marinas and organizations that has inspired us to continue the campaign.”


The Ocean Recovery Alliance is an international organization dedicated to bringing together new ways of thinking, technologies, creativity and collaborations in order to introduce innovative projects and initiatives that will help improve the ocean environment. Wallace and Sutton paddled nearly 40 miles per day for nine days, with a brief hiatus in the middle to let a storm with small craft advisories pass through. Throughout the first few days, they received assistance from a support boat in order to customize their destinations to water and weather conditions. For the second half of the journey, they were on their own and carried daily provisions on their boards. They reached out to North Carolina marinas and parks along the way to educate and promote their mission.


Paddle for the NC Coastline set guidelines for marinas and coastal parks to be recognized for partnership by following or instituting specific preservation criterion. Directives included offering refillable water sources, providing or selling refillable bottles, maintaining a recycling program for all plastics, providing a recycle bin for fishing line, posting educational signage to encourage recycling and taking active steps towards eliminating single-use plastic distribution. In addition, Wallace and Sutton were committed to talking with local individuals and businesses to help build a strong and connected community dedicated to protecting the North Carolina coast.


“Kacie continues to amaze me with her dedication and drive to whatever she sets her mind to, be it racing or environmental awareness efforts,” added Jeff Archer, co-founder of YOLO Board. “She is a true ambassador for the watersports community, and YOLO Board is honored to be a part of Paddle for the NC Coastline. We look forward to seeing how the mission develops and grows.”


To learn more about the journey and goals of Paddle for the NC Coastline, please visit www.paddleforthenccoastline.weebly.com.