Drawing on communities, people and wildlife along the river, Swim Duwamish will tell the story of the threats and opportunities facing the Duwamish River watershed.
Pollution and industrial impacts jeopardize the health of its ecosystems and economies, but the resilient river can – and must – be restored. As Mark swims the river, he will work to connect people with the river and empower communities to speak up and advocate together for a restored river and ultimately a cleaner Puget Sound.
- From headwaters to saltwater, the Green and Duwamish River is 85 miles long. View Mark’s progress through the river with the interactive map.
- Mark will swim one day a week between May and November of 2015
- The last five miles of the river is a Superfund Site
Deeper Dive into Swim Duwamish
The headwaters of the Duwamish River in the Cascade Mountains are crystal clear, a surprising contrast to the Lower Duwamish Waterway’s contaminated industrial port. On its 85-mile journey from snowcaps to whitecaps, the Duwamish is straightened, dredged, polluted, and taken for granted. Toxic waste and runoff clouds the waters and poisons the fish we eat.
Swim Duwamish is a journey to explore these threats – and their solutions. Along the way, we hope to spark conversations around what a healthy river means at different points, while providing meaningful ways to speak up and advocate for restoration.
Protecting Puget Sound
We can’t protect and restore Puget Sound when one of its main tributaries continues to pollute its waters each day, simply by flowing into it. It’s time to bring the Duwamish River back to health by bringing communities, stakeholders, and partners together to restore the river. It’s time to prevent further degradation of Puget Sound and promote a watershed-wide vision for tackling pollution.
We can’t restore the river and protect Puget Sound without everyone doing their share. King County and the City of Seattle have teamed up to coordinate river recovery and plan for a healthy future through their Green-Duwamish Watershed Plan. The EPA’s Cleanup Plan for the river tackles existing toxic pollution that threatens fish and people, and many local groups and industries have cleanup projects underway throughout the watershed.
Together, we can return the Duwamish to health, but not without support from communities along the every mile of the river – families, school groups, local governments, tribal nations, and people like you.
Follow Mark on his Journey: