WBUR News WBUR News

Support the news

Conservancy Wants You To Be Able To Swim In The Charles River Whenever You Want

The site by North Point Park where the Charles River Conservancy wants to create a permanent swimming dock. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
The site by North Point Park where the Charles River Conservancy wants to create a permanent swimming dock. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
This article is more than 4 years old.

A Cambridge-based nonprofit has another idea to make "that dirty water" a little more appealing.

The Charles River Conservancy, which hosts its fourth annual City Splash event Tuesday, has been making an effort in recent years to get more residents swimming in the Charles. Now, the conservancy wants to create a permanent floating dock on the river, near North Point Park.

A rendering of what the conservancy imagines a floating dock would look like. (Courtesy Charles River Conservancy)
A rendering of what the conservancy imagines a floating dock would look like. (Courtesy Charles River Conservancy)

"Due to decades and hundreds of millions of dollars of remediation, Boston and Cambridge are poised to set an example for other American cities by leading the country with a safe and innovative swimming facility that is accessible and beautiful," Renata von Tscharner, conservancy founder and president, said in a statement.

The river that came to be known for its pollution has undergone a number of cleanups, bringing the Environmental Protection Agency's report card score up to an A- in 2013 and B+ for 2014.

On Tuesday, the conservancy — along with design firm partner, Stantec — released the results of a feasibility study conducted on the proposed project. The study, which reviewed potential locations, recommends developing the permanent swim spot in North Point Park provided that further tests are done.

The site in North Point Park the Charles River Conservancy's feasibility study recommends for a permanent swimming facility. (Courtesy Charles River Conservancy)
The site in North Point Park the Charles River Conservancy's feasibility study recommends for a permanent swimming facility. (Courtesy Charles River Conservancy)

The area is an "ideal location," according to a statement from the conservancy, "because of its generous lawn spaces, direct access to the river, nearby connections to the MBTA, proximity to several Hubway bike rental stations, a playground and spray deck."

Additionally, the group launched an Indiegogo campaign Tuesday aiming to raise $25,000 to pay for water tests, permits and designs for the dock.

But don't get your swimmies on yet. Developing the Charles River's first permanent swimming location will take a long time, and the conservancy estimates it would have a "seven-figure price tag."

In the meantime, here's a few photos from Tuesday's City Splash event on the Esplanade:

Lynne Karsten and Karen Edlund of Somerville jump into the Charles River together on Tuesday afternoon. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Lynne Karsten and Karen Edlund of Somerville jump into the Charles River together on Tuesday afternoon. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Swimmers take a dip during the fourth annual City Splash, hosted by the Charles River Conservancy. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Swimmers take a dip during the fourth annual City Splash, hosted by the Charles River Conservancy. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Nick Hill, from Cambridge, takes his first jump into the Charles River. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Nick Hill, from Cambridge, takes his first jump into the Charles River. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Kids jump into the river. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Kids jump into the river. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
A woman swims backstroke at the edge of the designated swimming area. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
A woman swims backstroke at the edge of the designated swimming area. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

This article was originally published on July 12, 2016.

Related:

Amy Gorel Twitter Freelance Editor, Digital News
Amy Gorel was previously the producing editor of The ARTery.

More…

Support the news