Expedition Florida 500's Justin Riney lands in south Florida
7:35 PM, May 24, 2013
6:55 PM, May 25, 2013
West Palm Beach, Fla. - Growing up in Very Beach, Justin Riney was drawn to the water.
"Grew up as a surfer, lifeguard, diver, pretty much anything in the water man, you name it I was involved in it," said Justin.
That love for Florida's biggest natural resource led Justin on a path to help protect it. He started a non-profit called Mother Ocean and partnered with the state of Florida's 500th anniversary. He grabbed his stand up paddle board and started paddling around the state, doing clean-ups and events along the way.
"I created Expedition Florida 500 it's a 365 day journey around the coastline and inland waters to help shed some light on our valuable ecosystems and waterway, " Justin explained.
Starting in Pensacola in January, Justin has already paddled through the Panhandle, down the west coast, and around the Keys.
"I'm realistically living on a paddle board out there and I've seen a lot of crazy things. I've see sharks alligators, crocodiles…you name it," he said.
He's hoping some of his passion will rub off on others. Focusing on the path ahead, but not forgetting about the path behind.
"We're leaving bread crumbs everywhere we go, so we're hoping people take that, become inspired and go do things within their own areas," Justin said.
Social media has become a big part of that, with thousands of Floridians jumping on board.
Kari Foster follows Justin on Facebook "His journey's been amazing just to follow. I love reading when he gets a chance to write and the pictures are just golden," she said.
If you want to follow Justin's journey Expedition Florida 500. He has a facebook page that has close to 10 thousand followers, and welcomes many more. So, please, "like" it.
There are three local events this Memorial weekend.
Saturday: Beach Clean up and surf in Juno Beach sponsored by Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Sunday: Art Exhibit Lighthouse ArtCenter in Tequesta
Monday: Stand Up Paddleboard demo, Stuart.
Here are some great videos of Justin's travels by Jackson Berger: