Challenge Accepted: Why This Man is Swimming the Entire Hudson River
Don't look at me, I just do the doggy paddle at the local pool. There's one maniac (I use that term lovingly), though, that has decided to swim the entire length of the Hudson River.
British-born endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh, who has swam in nearly every famous body of water ranging from the English Channel to the North Pole, recently set his sights on the mighty river that runs more than 300 miles through upstate New York, ending in New York City. And there's a very good reason.
Swimming the Hudson River for a Sustainable Future
Pugh's mission is centered on what he calls "a peaceful and sustainable future" for our oceans and rivers. His swim in the artic was meant to highlight rising ocean temperatures, while his plunge at My Everest's Lake Pumori aimed to point the spotlight on disappearing Himalayan glaciers. The Hudson River mission focuses on pollution. From the Lewis Pugh Foundation:
On August 13 2023, Lewis Pugh began his 315-mile swim down the Hudson River, from its source to its end at New York City... to highlight the critical role rivers play in a habitable planet. Lewis will explore the interconnectedness of rivers and oceans, and stress the urgent need to restore, protect and respect them.
The Swimming Journey Down the Hudson River
Throughout the journey, Pugh and him team are meeting with everyone from environmental scientists to local water departments to better understand both current pollution levels in the water as well as strategies in place for a cleaner future for the Hudson River. Check out his current progress below.
The Fight for a Cleaner Hudson River
The fight for a clean Hudson River has spanned decades. From Pete Seeger and the Clearwater campaigning to remove PCBs dumped by General Electric to the pushback against nuclear powerplants like the Hudson Valley's Indian Point, Pugh is joining a long history of activists campaigning for cleaner waters.
Pugh aims to reach the end of the Hudson River on or around September 13th, intending for his completion to coincide with the United Nations' General Assembly Week. You can learn more about the mission to protect the world's rivers here.