World’s best paddlers battle for the Carolina Cup this weekend

Some of the best standup paddleboarders, prone, kayak, surfski and OC endurance racers from around the world will compete this weekend in Wrightsville Beach, NC for the Carolina Cup. Competitors include Olympians and world-record holders all the way down to first-time paddlers. The event will also hold clinics and workshops about ocean racing, SUP paddling, outrigger canoe paddling and more.

One must-watch event taking place at the Carolina Cup this weekend is the grueling 21-kilometer Graveyard Race, one of the most difficult paddling races on the circuit. Australian Michael Booth and Germany’s Sonni Honscheid will both defend their titles.

Kentucky biologists need the public’s help in identifying barn owl nesting sites

Biologists with Kentucky’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources are asking for the public’s help in identifying barn owl nesting locations in an attempt to determine why the species is so rare in the state. Barn owls were common in the Bluegrass state as late as the 1960’s. By 2016, however, there were only 75 documented nesting locations statewide. Barn owls prefer open areas like pastures and hayfields. They nest in hollow trees and manmade structures like barns, silos, haylofts and attics.

Barn owls are sensitive to disturbance, so researchers ask that if you do find a nest to not disturb it. Researchers are also asking the public to report any dead barn owls they find. Anyone with any information about barn owls should email Kate Slankard at kate.slankard@ky.gov or call 1-800-858-1549.

Camping is on the rise in the U.S. and campers are more diverse than ever

According to the just-released 2019 North American Camping Report, more than 7.2 million American households have begun camping in the last five years, bringing the total number of U.S. camping households to a new high of 78.8 million. People are also camping more frequently, with 72 percent growth in people who report they camp three or more times each year.

Of the 1.4 million households that began camping in 2018, 56 percent are Millennials and 51 percent are from non-white groups. Hispanic campers now represent 11 percent of all camping households while African American campers now represent 9 percent of camping households and Asian American campers make up 7 percent. African American campers are the youngest demographic of campers, with 64 percent Millennial representation.