Content via Clean Ocean Access, Photo by Jason Evans

On what felt like the first sign of fall, over 50 swimmers from five states took to the water to advance the mission of Clean Ocean Access on August 25, 2019 by swimming from Perrotti Park to King Park Swim Area. The event has a focus to bring awareness to the importance of year-round efforts for clean water and healthy oceans as part of the 6th annual Swim to Skim hosted by Clean Ocean Access in Newport, Rhode Island. The effort generated over $4,000 to be used directly to take action to support and expand the marina trash skimmer program to improve water quality and prevent nearshore litter from becoming marine debris. 

Together, with entry fees and sponsorship from Peoples Credit Union and Blount fine foods, Clean Ocean Access raised over $4,000 with additional funds from the generous support of Sara Campbell, and Custom House Coffee who donated a percentage of their daily proceeds to Clean Ocean Access to support the event. Liberty Donuts and Empire Tea & Coffee provided excellent morning refreshments. 

Clean Ocean Access extends gratitude to all that helped including on the water safety and buoy operations were all made possible because of committed in-kind support from Sail Newport (Kim Hapgood), Old Port Marine Services (Tony Iacono), Carter Fisher (Newport Yachting Center), and Clean Ocean Access Board Treasurer Ian Estaphan Owen. On the water photography taken by Jason Evans. Thank you to the 3 lifeguards, 6 kayakers and 17 paddle boarders who worked with the entire on the water team to make the event safe. Special thanks to Tim Mills Harbormaster for Newport, RI. 

All our efforts to achieve our mission are actioned by a small team of dedicated full-time staff and a small army of interns and volunteers, and this amazing team put together the entire event! From planning to permitting, insurance, course maps, venue setup, execution, results and breakdown – the entire team worked hard for many months, weeks, and many hours today to put together a safe, fun and impactful event. We also want to give a big shout to the Swim to Skim committee members Doug Sayles, Monica DeAngelis, and Garrett Russ. 

Whether it is swimming at your favorite beach, fishing from a rocky coastline, or launching a paddling craft from the same spot, our mission is of crucial importance to make sure future generations can enjoy these ocean activities. The community support and participation send a strong message that clean water and healthy oceans does matter, and Clean Ocean Access will continue the good fight to make sure future generations can enjoy the ocean just as much as we do today. 

Next up for Clean Ocean Access is the installation of a marina trash skimmer in Stamford, CT. To date, Clean Ocean Access has installed skimmers in Rhode Island (Newport, Portsmouth, Providence), Massachusetts (Fall River, New Bedford), and Maryland (Baltimore)

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).