If you'd rather not risk disgusting infections and other diseases, leave the sludge swimming to Christopher Swain, who's spent years of his life swimming through some of America's most disgusting waters to raise awareness of environmental pollution. He's currently swimming from Boston to the noxious harbor waters of Washington, DC, stopping in at hundreds of schools along the way to help kids learn about recycling.
Environmental hero, or just an idiot? You be the judge.
Swain has been focused on his mission for quite some time. In 2003 and 2004, he swam the length of four of America’s polluted waterways: the Charles River, Lake Champlain, the Hudson River, and the Columbia River, typically swimming about seven miles every day. Each day, Swain took photographs of the dirty waterscapes, and jotted extensive notes in a journal about each of the trips. “The water boasts the bouquet of a pond life smoothie: notes of mud, plants, tannin, poop, and gasoline, are all in evidence,” he wrote of his journey down Lake Champlain.
Swimming in this sort of pollution sounds like it could be hazardous to your health, and Swain knows for a fact that it is: despite taking frequent breaks to gargle with hydrogen peroxide, he’s gotten countless ear, respiratory, and lymph node infections. But, as he told ABC News in 2004, “I realized that if somebody doesn’t put themselves on the line, nothing changes.”
Link (Photo by Carrie Branovan)
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