200+ swimmers cross Narragansett Bay in Save The Bay’s annual Swim fundraiser

At 8:40 a.m. on Saturday, August 6, more than 200 swimmers took to the waves of Narragansett Bay’s East Passage in support of Save The Bay’s mission to protect and improve Narragansett Bay. The two-mile journey from the shore of the Naval War College in Newport to Potter Cove in Jamestown marked the 46th year of the nonprofit organization’s flagship fundraiser. The event invites participants to “exercise their right to a clean and healthy Bay” with a one-of-a-kind, open water, cross-Bay swim that raises awareness and funds for Save The Bay’s advocacy, education and habitat restoration and adaptation efforts.

“The Swim gives all of us the opportunity to celebrate the recreational benefits of a clean and healthy Narragansett Bay,” said Save The Bay Executive Director—and annual Swim participant—Jonathan Stone. “This challenging, open water swim reminds us just how much has changed since the early days of Save The Bay’s advocacy when many Bay waters were too polluted for human contact. Plus,” he added, “it’s a lot of fun.”

Prior to the first of two waves of swimmers taking off from the Newport shoreline, Swim Ambassador, Olympian, and Rhode Island native Elizabeth Beisel welcomed participants to the event, saying:

“We are all here for the same reason today, and that’s Save The Bay. I grew up swimming in Rhode Island, and going to the Olympics was never really the plan; it was all about enjoying the water and going to our beaches. Today, I swim in this water almost every day and that’s because of Save The Bay and the work that they do. It’s an honor to be a small part of this incredible organization and thank you to each and every one of you here today. All of your efforts are going to such a great cause.”

At 9:20 a.m., swimmers began arriving in Jamestown, kicking off a nearly two-hour celebration during which Save The Bay Executive Director, Jonathan Stone, presented awards to the long-time swimmers named below:

30-Year Participant:
Phyllis Syres (Storrs, Conn.)

25-Year Participants:
Frederick Bartlett (Narragansett, R.I.)

20-Year Participants:
Michael Davis (East Greenwich, R.I.)
Paul Dow (Middletown, R.I.)
James Farrar (Newport, R.I.)
Jay Garrett (Newport, R.I.)
William Templeton (Providence, R.I.)

15-Year Participants:
Marc Greichen (Boynton Beach, Fla.)
Maura Harrington (Newton, Mass.)
Lori Miller Horton (Kingston, R.I.)
Manabu Takasawa (North Attleboro, Mass.)
Judith Westrick (Lincoln, R.I.)

10-Year Participants:
Sherburne Cameron (Barrington, R.I.)
Peter Castellucci (Boston, Mass.)
Elizabeth Gibbs (Middletown, R.I.)
Bill Lane (North Attleboro, Mass.)
Paul Michaud (Swansea, Mass.)
Timothy Nace (Portsmouth, R.I.)
Douglas Sayles (Barrington, R.I.)
John Vitha (Portsmouth, R.I.)
Colin Walsh (Jamestown, R.I.)

5-Year Participants:
Thomas Bowater (Pawtucket, R.I.)
Marc Braunstein (Newport, R.I.)
Susan Brown (North Kingstown, R.I.)
Allena Buchholz (Providence, R.I.)
Joan Cahill (Juneau, Alaska)
Catherine Cowen (North Kingstown, R.I.)
Jennifer Faber (Burlingame, Calif.)
John Fogarty (Barrington, R.I.)
Eric Hastings (Providence, R.I.)
Steven Kassakian (Portland, Ore.)
Charlotte Kresse (North Kingstown, R.I.)
Kelley McShane (Westerly, R.I.)
Michael Pimental (Narragansett, R.I.)
Scott Posnick (Foxboro, Mass.)
Tracey Posnick (Foxboro, Mass.)
Jack Whittier (South Hamilton, Mass.)

While Elizabeth Beisel acknowledged the following participating teams of swimmers, who train and fundraise together:

Team Pier Pressure
Team PBC
Team NAVY Newport
Team Gooseberry
Team Bushwood
Shark Bait
Rexel Energy
Laid-back Fitness
East Side YMCA
Buttonwood Beach
Community of Strength
Rhode Island Fishermen’s Association
Swimming Sisters

While the event concluded near 11 a.m., those looking to “exercise their right to a clean and healthy Bay” can still do so by participating in the Save The Bay Open, a Swim alternative.

“The Open offers athletes of all disciplines the opportunity to choose their challenge, complete it their way, on their own time,” explained Danielsen. “Participants can choose from challenges in kayaking, biking, running, and more, complete their challenges where they’d like, submit their times, and contribute to the effort.”

Those interested in donating to the 2022 Swim or participating in the Open are encouraged to visit savebay.org/swim, or to contact Leanne Danielsen at ldanielsen@savebay.org.

As one of the most storied open-water events in the country, the Swim attracts hundreds of swimmers from across the country, as well as more than a hundred local volunteers, to the only event that invites swimmers to cross Narragansett Bay’s East Passage. The event is Save The Bay’s largest annual fundraiser, providing critical support to the organization’s mission to protect and improve Narragansett Bay and its watershed. The event is generously sponsored by local businesses, and fundraising efforts are supported by thousands of individuals who donate funds to swimmers.



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