In the interest of Swimmer safety, we are required to cancel the 31st Annual Buzzards Bay SWIM scheduled for tomorrow morning, June 22nd. The event has been cancelled due to the threat of discharge of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO) from the antiquated New Bedford Wastewater Treatment System into the Harbor.

Weather forecasts are calling for more than a half an inch of rain overnight. That volume of rain in a short period of time overtaxes the aging New Bedford sewer system and results in the discharge of raw sewage from up to 27 pipes along the City’s coastline. And when this happens within one tidal cycle of the Swim start, the decision to cancel the Swim becomes not a choice, but an obligation to protect the health of all of our Swimmers.

The City of New Bedford has invested nearly half a Billion dollars in the past 29 years to upgrade and improve its wastewater system. Our Swimmers have seen these improvements in the water first hand; the Harbor is dramatically cleaner than it was when we began the SWIM in 1993, but this problem persists and needs even more advocacy to finish the work of ridding the Bay forever of raw sewage discharges.

Everyone here at the Coalition is disappointed that we had to make this cancellation. We have dodged this bullet for 31 years – never having to cancel the event for this reason until today.

Working to Save Buzzards Bay

The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a membership-supported organization dedicated to improving the health of the Buzzards Bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research, and advocacy.

We work to protect clean water on the Bay and on the land: