On Saturday, July 27, hundreds of swimmers and kayakers will tackle a 1.7-nautical-mile journey from Newport to Jamestown during Save The Bay’s 43rd annual Swim. At 8:55 a.m., following opening remarks by returning Swim Ambassador and Olympic swimmer, Elizabeth Beisel, the first of five waves of swimmers will set out across Narragansett Bay in the nonprofit organization’s largest annual fundraiser.

“The Swim, which began as a call to action for the entire Bay community, continues to remind us all of the benefit and importance of clean local waters,” said Save The Bay Executive Director and Swim participant Jonathan Stone. “By swimming in an area that was once fouled with oil, trash, and human waste, Swim participants demonstrate the progress that has been made toward Save The Bay’s vision of a fully swimmable, fishable, healthy Narragansett Bay.”

As one of the most storied open-water swimming events in the country, the Swim attracts nearly 600 participants from more than 25 states, as well as more than 150 local volunteers.

“A great sense of community emerges at the Swim,” said Save The Bay Events Manager Leanne Danielsen in a press release. “When you see the athletes, volunteers, and spectators gather in the shadow of one of Rhode Island’s most recognizable landmarks, the Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge, to tackle this one-of-a-kind physical challenge, you realize just how worthy Narragansett Bay is of celebration and protection.”

With a fundraising goal of $266,000, 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. This year’s fundraising efforts have the potential to be more impactful than ever in light of a fundraising match challenge posed by longtime swimmer, Larry Fish, who has pledged to donate $25,000 to the event—if Save The Bay meets its fundraising goal. Individuals interested in donating to this year’s Swim can do so knowing their gift may leverage additional funds, further bolstering Save The Bay’s education, habitat and advocacy efforts. Information about how to help Save The Bay meet the “Fish Challenge,” including details about donating to the organization’s new Swim Scholarship program, is available online at savebay.org/support-the-swim.

Additional support for the Save The Bay Swim comes from event sponsors, including: Sage Family Foundation, Navigant Credit Union, REI, F.L. Putnam Investment Management Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Absolut, Roger Williams University, and MOO; as well as Dassault Systèmes, Rexel Energy Solutions, Brown Medicine, Granny Squibb’s Organic Iced Tea, Bradford Soap Works, Howes Lubricant, Roy Carpenter’s Beach, The Foundry, and Belmont Market.

Those interested in registering for or donating to the Swim are encouraged to visit swim.savebay.org/2019 for more information or to contact Leanne Danielsen at ldanielsen@savebay.org or 401-272-3540 x140. 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 jlewis@savebay.org.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).