Swimming Buzzards Bay: A 30-Year Tradition [TOWNSQUARE SUNDAY]
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Buzzards Bay Swim, a fundraiser sponsored by the Buzzards Bay Coalition. This year's event happens on Saturday, June 24.
Hundreds of swimmers will jump in the water near Cisco Brewery and Bar in New Bedford's South End and make their way along a 1.2-mile course, stretching across the outer harbor to the Fort Phoenix Beach State Reservation in Fairhaven.
The swim after-party will include music, food and medals for all swimmers who complete the course. You can still register to take part at savebuzzardsbay.org.
The Coalition's Beth McDermott and Erin Ban joined Townsquare Sunday to talk about the Buzzards Bay Swim and the ongoing effort by the Coalition to protect and preserve the bay.
"Our goal is to make sure the bay continues to be vibrant and healthy for all of us to enjoy for generations to come," Ban said.
More than 300 swimmers are expected and all of the money raised will be directed to Coalition programs aimed at keeping the bay clean. They include monitoring the health of Buzzards Bay, conserving forests, streams and wetlands as a way to protect the bay, and community engagement programs for young people to learn about the importance of clean water.
Are those programs working?
"We have sound science that supports all of our work," McDermott said. "We use something called the Bay Health Index (1-to-100) to measure the cleanliness of the water in different spots across the bay. The first year we did the swim, the score for New Bedford's Outer Harbor was 40. Thirty years later, working with federal, state and local governments, the score is 59, with a goal to get the numbers even higher."
Over the years, the event has raised $1.5 million for clean water.
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