Inner Harbor Swimming Event Scheduled for June 23rd

| May 20, 2024 | 0 Comments

Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore press release:

WATERFRONT PARTNERSHIP ANNOUNCES DATE  

FOR “HARBOR SPLASH” SWIMMING EVENT ON JUNE 23 

BALTIMORE – The litter-strewn and polluted waterway in 2010 drove Waterfront Partnership to launch the Healthy Harbor Initiative, championing the goal of a “swimmable, fishable” Baltimore Harbor. Today, made possible by the decade-plus action of Waterfront Partnership and a group of partners including nonprofits, educational institutions, the local government, business leaders, citizen volunteers and a family of trash wheels, the water in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is clean enough to swim in. To celebrate, Waterfront Partnership is hosting a public “Harbor Splash” swimming event on Sunday, June 23, 2024, with registration opening on May 29 for all “Harbor Splash” newsletter subscribers.  

“We know our work is far from over, but we must start swimming. It’s a commitment to keep working to ensure that our ecosystem thrives and that swimming in the harbor becomes a routine occurrence,” said Michael Hankin, president and CEO of Brown Advisory and chairman of Waterfront Partnership’s Healthy Harbor Initiative. “We had an ambitious goal and, with a lot of hard work and people believing we could do it; we are finally realizing our vision.” 

The public swimming event will accommodate 125 people ages 18 and older in five timed sessions to ensure safety and proper monitoring by Ultimate Watersports, an on-water event management company. A group of key partners and elected officials, including Mayor Brandon Scott and Comptroller Brooke Lierman, will start the event with a ceremonial jump at 9:20 a.m. from a floating dock at Bond Street Wharf in Fells Point.  

Though routine monitoring has found that water in the Harbor meets Maryland’s standard for swimming on dry weather days, there are still important factors like boat traffic, polluted sediment and wet weather to consider, as with any large body of open water. Due to these concerns, it is recommended that swimming in the Harbor only take place during scheduled events like “Harbor Splash”. 

“The work and partnership of everyone who came together to support the Healthy Harbor Initiative are remarkable and we cannot wait to celebrate as a group alongside the public on June 23,” said Laurie Schwartz, president of the Waterfront Partnership. 

This event signifies the culmination of years of steadfast dedication by Waterfront Partnership and its partners to the Healthy Harbor Initiative’s goals. In 2014, Waterfront Partnership installed Mr. Trash Wheel, a first-of-its-kind technology to remove trash from rivers. In 2017, Baltimore City pledged to invest over $1 billion in sewer infrastructure repairs and upgrades. Most recently, legislators passed critical environmental legislation and scientists have conducted extensive water monitoring. As a result, sanitary sewer overflows have been reduced by 76% over the last five years, five million pounds of litter have been removed from the water and many single-use plastics have been banned.  

“After generations of neglecting our streams and Harbor, we expect a healthy amount of skepticism. But this is just the beginning. We want to see other events in the Harbor like triathlons, marathon swimming and stand-up paddleboard races. One day we may even have a beach,” said Adam Lindquist, vice president of the Waterfront Partnership. 

To learn more and access registration for “Harbor Splash” on Wednesday, May 29, the public must sign up for Waterfront Partnership’s mailing list at www.HarborSplash.org. 

Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore photos

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News releases from various sources around South Baltimore.
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