, Director of Swimmable Water Programs
Posted: November 11, 2016 at 2:07 pm

Tomorrow, Saturday, November 12, starting at 9AM, swimmers will take to the water at Coronation Park, on Lake Ontario. And the swimming is not going to stop until the following morning, at 9AM.

This 24 Hour Cold Water Relay, the Day and Night for the Great Lakes Trust Swim, will raise money for the Great Lakes Trust. The Great Lakes Trust is an endowment – a forever fund – that supports scientific and historical research, artistic expression, public education, grassroots outreach, and community engagement working to protect and restore the Great Lakes.

Remember, this is November. Mid-November in Canada is not exactly when people are looking to cool off with a swim. Besides, Lake Ontario won’t have much to offer in terms of warmth. Even at the height of summer, Lake Ontario can be downright frigid. In short, this won’t be a fair weather swim. And that’s the point.

The 24 Hour Cold Water Relay is about going to the necessary lengths for swimmable, drinkable, fishable water.

Photo by Great Lakes Trust

The Great Lakes Trust

The idea for the cold water relay was concocted and organized by Great Lakes Solo Swimmers, Madhu Nagaraja and Loren King, along Mauro Campanelli, the manager of the Great Lakes Trust.

Lake Ontario is the deepest of the Great Lakes, with old, cold waters, wall-like currents, and big waves. She tough. We need Lake Ontario to be tough. Lake Ontario is the most threatened of all the Great Lakes. At the same time, Lake Ontario provides drinking water for 9 million people in Canada and the US. The lake’s watershed is home to 1 in 4 Canadians. There are over 100 beaches for residents to swim, fish, and play. The lake sustains so much, even though the she’s been through the ringer. With over a century of overfishing, pollution, and development the water has yet to recover. Challenges like sewage and stormwater continue to contaminate the lake’s already compromised water.

Madhu Nagaraja, (aka Ice Man), who completed a solo swim of Lake Ontario in 2012, came up with the plan for the 24 Hour Cold Water Relay.

“We have a simple goal which is to take care of our beautiful Great lakes in our backyard and make sure our future generations can enjoy it. We wanted to create a simple, fun, crazy event and involve everybody and build a large community that could take ownership of these kind of simple, realistic issues that need a lot of attention these days.”

Donate to the Great Lake Trust here

24 Hour Cold Water Swim Relay Details

Start: November 12, 9AM
End: November 13, 9AM
Where: Coronation Park, Oakville, ON
Full details of the relay can be found here.
Facebook event details are available here.

Please FB message or email Mauro Campanelli with your request for water time and duration (Minimum 20 minute commitment)

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