Fourth Annual Great Salt Pond Swim

Wed, 06/27/2018 - 11:15am

   Swim because you can.
   Swim because you know how.
   Swim because your mother said
   it could save your life someday.
   She’s right, you know.
   Swim for your glutes.  Your back.
   Your heart.
   Swim to start off a great day.
   Swim to shake off a bad one.
   Swim for your school.
   For your city.
   To turn disability into strength.
   To become a better runner.
   A better athlete.
   Join us for The Great Salt Pond Swim 4 and
   Swim for it.
   Whatever it may be.



The upcoming Great Salt Pond Annual Swim will take place at 11 a.m. on July 28, 2018. Up to one hundred and fifty swimmers, ages fifteen and up (or by permission of the swim director if under 15 years of age), will meet at Andy’s Way to have fun, get some exercise, and raise money to protect the Great Salt Pond. From Andy’s Way, they will swim out towards Beane Point, in a straight line, marked by buoys, and then back to where they started for a total distance of one mile.
The swim brings together people of all different backgrounds and skill types.  It is important to note that “this is not a timed race or event.You will find triathletes, college/ex-college swimmers, leisurely swimmers, and those who are there to socialize with their friends in waves with the use of inner tubes, snorkels, fins and kick boards,” says Cheryl Moore, vice president of the board of directors for the Committee for the Great Salt Pond. “This event is so much fun because it is held in such a beautiful place, and the event includes all levels of swimmers.”
The swim is a fundraiser for the Committee for the Great Salt Pond, a not-for-profit, whose mission is to “protect and enhance the environmental quality of the Great Salt Pond and its watershed” and to make people aware of the GSP. The Great Salt Pond is one of Block Island’s most significant natural features and the backdrop of lots of summer fun. Every year, boaters and landlubbers alike are drawn to the pond to paddleboard and swim, for events like Block Island Race Week and the Block Island Giant Shark Tournament, or to grab a mudslide at the Oar.
Swimmers will help protect this local asset, as all proceeds from the swim will go towards additional water testing in recreational swim areas as well as the CGSP’s other efforts to keep the Great Salt Pond clean and its marine life healthy. The Committee for the Great Salt Pond’s initiatives include the Dunes & Buffer Protection Project as well as Non-Point Source Water Pollution, and Water Quality Testing initiatives. The Dunes & Buffer Protection Program focuses on repairing the dunes that were damaged in 2012 by Super Storm Sandy and protecting the pond’s vulnerable dunes to prevent a breach in the next big storm.  The Non-Point Source Water Pollution initiative is working on eliminating pollution that is not caused by a single source but by many small pollutants (e.g. fertilizers). The Water Quality Testing initiative is similar to the Non-Point Source Water Pollution initiative, however, it focuses on tracking the source of contaminants, such as raw sewage and fuel leakage that are directly deposited into the pond. For testing, CGSP follows the guidelines of the University of Rhode Island Watershed Watch Program, which costs about $10,000 per year. This is why CGSP is dependent on donations and events like the Great Salt Pond Annual Swim for financial support.