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     The 3,900-mile long coastline of the Gulf of Mexico is formed by three countries, Cuba, Mexico and the United States.   Its long shoreline, broken only by two narrow entrances, supports a diversity and richness of habitat that is not approached anywhere else in North America and is largely unappreciated.  On February 2, 2003 Arthur Hebert and Larry Koenig, both from South Louisiana will embark on a 7-month, 4,000 miles self-propelled and unsupported journey by sea kayak that will take them completely around La Costa Del Golfo, (the Gulf Coast). Arthur and Larry will be following the coast of the United States and Mexico.  To the best of our knowledge this circumnavigation of the Gulf has never previously been done by kayak.

     Staying generally within site of land they will depart Grand Isle on the Louisiana coast and paddle westward, counterclockwise toward Texas and beyond. It is expected that they will cover 20 30 miles a day. Most nights they will camp on shore, a variable feature that consists of saline marsh initially but gives way to sandy barrier beaches, high dunes, broad lagoons, vast river deltas, volcanic headlands, mangrove labyrinths and coral reefs.  The tremendous diversity of landscape and habitat will present major challenges to selection of the best equipment for safe water procurement, cooking, camping, and general health maintenance.

    A website will be maintained by land based support personnel in Louisiana. The kayaking team is planning to send weekly updates to their website ( www.lacostadelgolfo.com ).  With the updates everyone can travel around the entire Gulf coast along with the team.  Together we all can learn more about the culture and ecology of the coast of Mexico and the United States. This will permit those interested in paddling, camping, foreign travel, and other outdoor pursuits to follow the course of the expedition as it progresses. Both Larry and Arthur are concerned with the ecology of the Gulf coast and would like to share their experiences with everyone around the world through their website.  The Expedition mission is to support ecotourisim around the entire Gulf of Mexico.

     Safety is critical in an expedition of this magnitude, and forethought and preparation are the keys to safety. Larry, an emergency physician of 20 years experience and Arthur paddled the entire Louisiana coastline, (approximately 500 miles), together in 1994 and, in anticipation of Arthur's Gulf crossing, began an unceasing study of safe sea paddling.  Arthur has become a coastal kayaking instructor in the American Canoe Association and Larry, a kayaking coach in the British Canoe Union.  Both organizations emphasize safety above all.