Blog & Video

Wondering what Mark saw as he swam down the Green and Duwamish Rivers? Scroll down for blog posts chronicling the journey.


View the Swim Duwamish interactive map for a visual of Mark’s progress on his journey to the Sound.


October 12, 2015

One year ago, I committed to swim the Duwamish River from headwaters to mouth. On September 30, I finished the swim. From its start in the upper Green River to Puget Sound, the Duwamish is much more than a Superfund site.

Continue reading the blogpost: Finishing Swim Duwamish


October 5, 2015

I’ve been waiting for this. From the time I got into the river’s pristine headwaters, I was waiting for the Darth Vader of my journey. It’s time to swim through the Duwamish River’s toxic mess. This is the part of the river that scares people.

Continue reading the blogpost: Stormwater & Toxics


September 25, 2015

The Duwamish begins in Starfire Soccer Complex, the home of the Seattle Sounders soccer team.  The river is hidden behind steep levees to stop flooding, so you can’t see the river from the soccer fields, and you can’t see the soccer fields from the river.

Continue reading the blogpost: Entering the Duwamish


September 22, 2015

I was swimming underwater with thousands of wild pink salmon and reached out my hand. There was a crowd of fish and they couldn’t all dodge away. I touched one and it felt electric.

Continue reading the blogpost: I Touched A Salmon


September 10, 2015

The Mayor of Kent, Suzette Cooke, loves salmon and rivers. We got together and arranged a Swim Duwamish event in Kent, and both the mayor and the salmon cooperated.

Continue reading the blogpost: Pink Salmon Joining the Fun


August 25, 2015

Over 600,000 pink salmon are expected to swim up the Green and Duwamish Rivers this year. Mark got up close and personal with these big fish – and saw some fishermen, too!

Continue reading the blogpost: Swimming with Adult Salmon


August 6, 2015

There’s nothing like getting immersed in your work, especially when your work is saving Puget Sound. Getting underwater helps us see things from a fish’s point of view and it’s good fun on a hot day. Just ask Martha and Sheida, our first guest swimmers.

Continue reading the blog post: Swimming with Sheida and Martha


July 28, 2015

Most of the people that I talk to along the river know their favorite places well, but they don’t know areas further upstream or downstream.

Continue reading the blog post: Duwamish Downstream


July 21, 2015

The Green River gorge is beautiful, but dangerous. I’ve been warned that it’s not safe to swim this section, so I’m only entering at a few safe places.

Continue reading the blog post: Flaming Geyser State Park

Watch video from this part of Mark’s swim.


July 15th, 2015

I was the one in the wetsuit coming out of the Duwamish River at Duwamish Waterway Park to offer my testimonial on the great restoration work that’s been done, after seeing some of it from a fish’s-eye view. 

Continue reading the blog post: WRIA 9


July 7th, 2015

The river is so clean here that the toxic pollution in the Duwamish seems like a very distant problem. Yet this water is the same water that will soon make it downstream to the Lower Duwamish.

Continue reading the blog post: Kanaskat-Palmer Park

Check out Mark’s underwater footage, and see if you recognize any fish. 


June 29th, 2015

One challenge in swimming the headwaters of a river is deciding where to get in the water.  Too far upstream and you’re sitting in a wet puddle, too far downstream and you miss part of the river.

Continue reading the blog post: Sunday Creek 


June 24th, 2015

At its headwaters in the Cascade Mountains, the Green River is just a trickle. But that didn’t stop me from getting some great underwater footage!


June 15th, 2015

The headwaters of the Duwamish River are not easy to find.  Start with a map and you’re in trouble—you need some local knowledge first. 

Continue reading the blog post: The Source of the Duwamish River


June 8th, 2015

I’ve heard a lot about the Duwamish River, but what is it really like? Is it a dead river? What do we use it for? Is there hope for the future?

Continue reading the blog post: Getting to Know the Duwamish


May 28, 2015

Mark is starting his trip down the river, watch this short video  to learn more about the project – and get an underwater view of the river!

Video: The Journey Begins

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