Dip into one of the Mississippi’s Gulf Coast’s officially designated water trails and enjoy a uniquely adventurous perspective of the region’s abundant natural beauty and native wildlife with the Pascagoula Run Paddle Battle this Saturday, June 23. Online registration closes Thursday, June 21. Last minute registrations will be allowed at the meet and greet event at Brady’s Steak and Seafood on Friday, June 22, from 5 to 8 p.m. The second annual Pascagoula Run Paddle Battle is a 12.5 mile race down the Pascagoula River for all types of human powered paddle craft. The race will begin at Little River Marina in Moss Point and end at Lighthouse Park in Pascagoula. The paddle battle is for both competitive and leisure paddlers in the area as it is a race as well as a pleasure ride. “Paddle sports are extremely popular, especially where there are beautiful, accessible waterways like in Pascagoula,” said Lauri-Ellen Smith, the city’s director of community relations. Prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place finishers in 17 categories. There are various categories for kayaks, canoes, and standup paddleboards. An awards ceremony will be held once all racers are off the course. “Paddling is a great way to get active and stay in shape but also allows you to slow down and take in all the natural beauty the Mississippi Gulf Coast has to offer,” Smith said. “We are becoming more widely known as a destination city for ecotourism. So, we are committed to providing sporting and recreational programming that accentuates the natural resources and beauty of our city while getting people outdoors and active.” The registration fee is $50 for American Canoe Association members and $55 for non-members. Register online at www.cityofpascagoula.com until close of business this Thursday. Kayak rentals are available through Nelson Outdoors and must be reserved in advance by contacting 228-769-6699. Shuttles from Lighthouse Park will be provided for race participants park. There are two pull out points along the course, and numerous safety boats will be on the water to assist in case of emergencies. The American Canoe Association is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling. They also provide support to help protect paddling environments and they sanction programming and events that promote paddle sport competition and recreation, and provide insurance for events such as this. This event was originally scheduled for April 14 but was rescheduled due to the weather.