Gunpowder Riverkeeper launches Swim Guide

Gunpowder Riverkeeper launches Swim Guide

For Immediate Release: July 21, 2021

CONTACT:

Theaux M. Le Gardeur 410-967-3526 gunpowderriverkeeper@gmail.com

Monkton, MD – Gunpowder Riverkeeper announces the July 21, 2021 launch of Swim Guide, an online tool and smartphone app to display localized bacteria monitoring data for Harford and Baltimore County streams, rivers and tidal waters. The Swim Guide will allow people to find safe beaches and swimming areas to recreate and enjoy their waterways in one easy place.

Provided and managed by swimdrinkfish.org, a network of 100 water protection affiliates worldwide, the Swim Guide helps connect communities to their waterways, raising awareness and appreciation for clean water.

Gunpowder Riverkeeper, Theaux Le Gardeur, announced “The Swim Guide will serve as an important outreach guide to recreational activities and will feature photographs and historical data about the locations, as well as a way to report pollution concerns back to the Riverkeeper, which will help people make informed decisions about whether to swim or paddle.”

Local testing locations such as Hereford, Sweathouse Branch, Jerusalem Mill, the Hammerman area of Gunpowder State Park, in Baltimore County and Mariner Point Park and eventually Flying Point Park in Harford County will be updated bi-weekly by Baltimore County, Harford County, and Gunpowder Riverkeeper during the summer swimming season.

“We are lucky to have protected open spaces in parkland fronting many of the waterways that flow through Baltimore and Harford Counties” noted Le Gardeur, “In fact, we have over 3345 miles of streams in both counties. However, I’m often asked if the streams, rivers and tidal areas are safe to swim in, especially after a heavy rainfall. The Swim Guide provides a free, easy to use way for swimmers and paddlers to see the most recent bacteria data for their favorite bathing beaches and waterways.”

Bacteria data for public beaches and favorite swimming holes are collected, analyzed and compared to the Environmental Protection Agency’s geometric mean and single test limit for safe swimming levels. In Swim Guide, testing locations in Baltimore and Harford County which are below the threshold are green, and locations whose most recent results are above the limit are red, representing an increased risk of illness based on the Environmental Protection APA Safe Swimming Standards. We will also report out trend analysis once we receive monthly means.

Western Shore Chesapeake Bay waterfront communities like the Bush, Gunpowder Bird and Middle River areas and others may contact Gunpowder Riverkeeper to find out how their swimming or water recreation areas can be monitored and added to the Swim Guide if they are interested.

More information on the Swim Guide, and app download instructions, can be found at www.theswimguide.org.  Baltimore, Harford and Gunpowder Riverkeeper data will be posted on the Gunpowder Riverkeeper’s Swim Guide page throughout the summer until Labor Day weekend: https://gunpowderriverkeeper.org/swim-guide/.

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