Sunday’s Portland Bridge Swim, now an annual event, was a great success. 77 swimmers, supported by dozens of volunteers in boats and on the shore, completed the 11 mile open water swim from the Sellwood Bridge to the St. Johns Bridge. 38 swimmers did the entire route solo, and others participated on the 13 relay teams. Check out race results on the Portland Bridge Swim Facebook page.
The Bridge Swim highlights the investments Portlanders have made over the last few decades to make the Willamette River safe for swimming and recreation. It’s working! Combined sewage overflows to the river are now extremely rare. Environmental Services’ work to repair our sewer system (which is nearly 100 years old in some areas), manage stormwater naturally through green streets, rain gardens, trees and ecoroofs, and protect clean-water sources for our rivers and streams is adding up to a healthier river.
An 11-mile swim may not be for everyone, so for the rest of us, it’s not too late to sign up for the Big Float this weekend!
There are also two more opportunities this year to get out to Ross Island and help with restoration efforts there.
Find out more about what you can do for healthy rivers and streams.