Delaware boaters test cardboard canoes

Can cardboard float? The second annual cardboard regatta in the Nanticoke River in Blades put that question to the test.

The answer? Sort of. A big crowd gathered along the banks of the Nanticoke earlier this month to see some brave souls test the buoyancy and seaworthiness of cardboard canoes.

“All the cardboard here is actually on its second life, it either came through dumpsters or it’s been used somehow before,” said Phil Miller of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

The regatta serves a dual purpose, Miller said. “[It’s] a fun way to get our water quality messaging out there, get our residents down to the Nanticoke River, give them a chance to appreciate the river and send them home with some information on how to protect our waterways.”

For Craig Whitaker of Seaford, it was a chance to test his ship building skills alongside his father. “We’ve built numerous boats over the years using different materials and I’ve never done anything out of cardboard before, so yeah, why not give it the old college try.”

Some of the canoes floated surprisingly well. Others left their passengers rather wet as they  quickly took on water.

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