At 6:45 am on Saturday, Augusut 4, the first of five waves of swimmers and kayakers participating in Save The Bay’s 42nd annual Swim will embark on a 1.7-nautical-mile journey across Narragansett Bay in the nonprofit organization’s biggest fundraising event of the year. Approximately 500 swimmers and 200 kayakers will begin their passage at the Newport Naval Base—following opening remarks from this year’s Swim Ambassador, Olympic athlete Elizabeth Beisel—before making their watery way to Potter Cove in Jamestown.
“The annual Swim provides us with a perfect opportunity to reflect on the progress we, as a community, have made in our efforts to improve Narragansett Bay,” said Save The Bay Executive Director and Swim participant Jonathan Stone in a press release.
“In 1977, swimming in the Bay was considered, at best, disgusting and, at worst, downright hazardous,” said Stone. “Now, hundreds of us swim safely alongside marine life in increasingly cleaner waters.”
As one of the most storied open-water events in the country, the Swim attracts nearly 700 participants from more than 25 states, as well as more than 150 local volunteers.
“The Swim is a true community event,” said Save The Bay Events Manager Leanne Danielsen in a news release. “Athletes, volunteers, and spectators come together as early as sunrise, alongside one of Rhode Island’s most recognizable landmarks (the Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge), to support one another during a unique, and ambitious, physical challenge—all in the name of protecting our Bay and in celebration of our coastal resources.”
With a fundraising goal of $325,000, the Swim is Save The Bay’s largest annual fundraiser, providing critical support toward the organization’s mission to protect and improve Narragansett Bay and its watershed. Additional support to this year’s Swim has been provided by the event’s Gold Medal Sponsor, the Waterkeeper Alliance; Silver Medal Sponsor, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island; and Bronze Medal Sponsors Amica Mutual Insurance Company and Rexel Energy Solutions. Proceeds from the Swim benefit Save The Bay’s education, restoration, and advocacy programs.
This year’s Swim is part of the Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Series, presented nationally by Toyota. SPLASH events support Waterkeeper Organizations across the United States by engaging community members and outdoor enthusiasts in local water-based recreational activities like swimming, paddling, kayaking, fishing and much more. To learn more about the Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Save The Bay Annual Swim to benefit Narragansett Baykeeper and the SPLASH Event Series, visit www.splashseries.org.
Those interested in registering for or donating to the Swim are encouraged to visit swim.savebay.org/2018 for more information. Volunteers interested in lending a hand in either Jamestown or Newport can sign up online at savebay.org/volunteer or by contacting Save The Bay Volunteer Manager July Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.