WNPR

Clean Water Advocate Stops in New Haven During Swim Across Long Island Sound

Oct 20, 2016

Christopher Swain estimates he'll reach New York City in early November.

Clean water advocate Christopher Swain stopped in New Haven during a 130-mile swim from Montauk to New York City.

He swam up to the dock of The Sound School, a vocational aquaculture center to talk about "poop in the water."

Swain is calling for an end to the dumping of raw sewage into waterways.

"When it rains a lot anywhere on the Connecticut, Long Island or New York shoreline, the sewage treatment plants that are supposed to handle all that water get overwhelmed really fast, because there’s rainwater combined with the sewage in some of the same old pipes," he said. "Long story short, that means they just start dumping everything straight in."

Outfitted in his wetsuit, Swain told the group of students Long Island Sound has the potential to be clean enough to swim in every day and encouraged them to write to their elected officials.

Students at The Sound School watch as clean water activist swims to shore.
Credit Lori Mack / WNPR

"This belongs to you, so if people mess it up you can tell them to stop—people mess it up you can sue them under the Clean Water Act," said Swain. "But most of all, you can say that you want it to be clean. So, I’m not saying you all need to call up the White House and say you want help cleaning Long Island Sound, but you can."

Swain swims about three to five hours a day when water and weather conditions are favorable and estimates he’ll reach New York City in early November.