This Week's Challenge

The first week's challenge for the 2019 Virtual Canoe Race will be posted at 9 am on Monday, October 7th, 2019 for registered participants. Please direct any questions to canoerace@delawareriverkeeper.org.

Weekly Challenge

Extra Mile Questions

Each question is worth two points. Submit all answers on an Extra River Mile Question worksheet, found in the Teacher's Guide. Please email canoerace@delawareriverkeeper.org with questions.


  1. What is the DRBC?
  2. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is part of the National Park Service. When was the National Park Service created?
  3. What is the Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s Pollution hotline number?
  4. One of the earliest settlements in the Delaware River region was established by the Swedes near what is present day Wilmington, Delaware. This settlement would be renamed “Christina” for the young woman who was then queen of Sweden. What was the first name given to this settlement?
  5. The American eel plays an essential role in the Delaware River ecosystem. If American eels disappeared from the food chain, the variety and numbers of other species in this ecosystem would be affected. What term is used to describe species that play essential roles in their ecosystems?
  6. A flyway is the flight path traveled by migratory birds each spring and fall. The Delaware Bay is important stopover many birds that migrate between the Arctic and points in the Caribbean. Along which flyway is the Delaware Bay located?
  7. The Lenni Lenape lived region from southern Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey through eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware. What did the Lenni Lenape call the region in which they lived?
  8. What is the Green Amendment movement?
  9. Pettys Island is considered part of which Delaware River watershed state?
  10. John James Audubon is known for his paintings of birds collected in his book, Birds of America. Audubon lived for a short time in Pennsylvania. Where in Pennsylvania did Audubon live?


Extra Mile Activities

All answers to extra mile activities must be submitted before 11:59 pm on November 17. Documentation for extra mile activities must be submitted on the Virtual Canoe Race worksheets, found in the Teacher's Guide. Email documentation to canoerace@delawareriverkeeper.org.

Activity #1: Making a Video

Watch the Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s Remember the River video (2008) at www.delawareriverkeeper.org. Work with your parent, teacher, or guardian and anyone paddling with you to with create a short video (less than 5 minutes) about the Delaware River. Your video should explain why you think it is important to protect the Delaware RIver. Videos should be appropriate for sharing across the Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s social media.

Earn 10 River Miles! Submit only one video per boat. Submit an Extra River Mile Activity worksheet with a link to your video.


Activity #2: Examining Your Drinking Water

For this activity, you are going to look at your drinking water. We think of water as colorless and tasteless, but before your drinking water comes to the faucet in your home or school, it may have flowed underground, travel through rivers, or been treated by a water supplier to kill bacteria. The trip your water takes from its source to your faucet can affect its color, odor, and taste.

This activity has two parts. Complete one or both parts.

2a. Conduct a taste test of your drinking water. Test your water and let us know what you observe. Conduct the tests below. Select the answer that best describe your water.

      • Fill a glass of water. Hold it up to light. Describe what you see. Is it clear? Cloudy? Do you see any floating in your water? Does it appear to be tinted? If so,what color?
      • Do you smell anything: Nothing? Or do you smell rotten eggs? A swimming pool? Fingernail polish remover?
      • Take a sip. What do you taste? Does your water taste good to you? Or does it taste flat with no noticeable taste? Does it taste bitter? Does your water taste fishy? Like rotten eggs? Is it salt or does it taste sweet?

And do let us know the source of your water sample (e.g., “home in [fill in the name of your town] or school in [fill in the name of your town].

Earn 3 River Miles for Activity 2a. Submit your results on a Extra River Mile Activity worksheet. Submit only one worksheet per boat.

2b. Compare your drinking water to distilled water. You will need a source of distilled water for this challenge. Distilled water has gone through a filtration process that removes contaminants as well as any naturally occurring minerals, but these minerals can affect the way that water tastes. How does your water compare to distilled water? Conduct the tests below. Select the answer that best describe your water.

      • Fill a glass with drinking water. Fill a second glass with distilled water. Hold both glasses up to light. How is the water similar? How is it different?
      • Smell the water in both glasses. Do they smell the same? Different? How are they the same or different?
      • Take a sip of each glass. Do they taste the same? Different? How are they the same or different?

And do let us know the source of your water sample (e.g., “home in [fill in the name of your town] or school in [fill in the name of your town].

Earn 2 River Miles for Activity 2b. Submit your results on a Extra River Mile Activity worksheet. Submit only one worksheet per boat.


Activity #3: People of the Delaware River Watershed

Throughout her life, Nancy Shukaitis has been a driving force in efforts to protect the Delaware River. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area was created in part as a resulted of Nancy’s efforts. You will find a story about Nancy’s life here, https://www.nps.gov/dewa/learn/historyculture/upload/cmxstgNANCY.pdf. This story appeared in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area’s newsletter, Spanning the Gap, in 2005. This story, http://www.poconorecord.com/article/20150831/NEWS/150839921, appeared in the Pocono Record marking the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area‘s 50th anniversary. Nancy was honored recently in Monroe County where she served as a county commissioner from 1968 to 1983 (see http://wnep.com/2016/03/16/five-women-honored-in-monroe-county/). Review the information at the links or research other about Nancy’s life and write a short paragraph (less than 200 words) on how Nancy helped protect the Delaware River and create the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

Earn 5 River Miles. Submit your results on a Submit an Extra River Mile Activity worksheet. Submit only one report per boat.