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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Swimsourcing The English Channel For Ocean Health

Photos courtesy of Kelvin Trautman, English Channel, UK.

Lewis Pugh is certainly focused and remains on message as he constantly strives to create and tackle difficult and unusual swims around the world while drawing attention and creating awareness about the impact of climate change and the vital role our oceans play for humanity.

From the bottom of the world in Antarctica to the top of the world on Mount Everest, from the warm marine environment of the Maldives to the North Pole, the UN Environment’s Patron of Oceans will take off in July on an English Channel crossing.

But this crossing is not the typical crossing between England and France pioneered in 1875 by Captain Matthew Webb.

Instead he will literally stage swim the entire 560 km length of the English Channel that may take up to 50 days to complete. “We’re drowning in commitments; it is high-time for action,” said Pugh. “I am embarking on this swim to highlight importance of proper marine protected areas – areas where human activity such as fishing, drilling, shipping, gunnery practice and disputing marine life is restricted and/or prohibited.

The totality of UK waters include 750,000 square kilometers, but only 7 square kilometers are fully protected marine reserve. It within the southernmost coastline where Pugh will conduct his stage swim as a plea to create additional marine protected areas that offer one of the best options to maintain ocean health and avoid further degradation, especially when developed as part of a wider management solution.

Pugh is swimsourcing his Channel swim. “I want politicians, mums, children, businessmen and women, anyone to join me for any section of the swim. There is nothing better than seeing the impact of our wrongdoing with your own two eyes."

He plans on 10+ km swims per day, but that distance will be dependent upon the conditions that will range from enjoyably tranquil to turbulent.

Surfers Against Sewage, a grass-roots organization engaged in cleaning up beaches in the UK with 75,000 volunteers will support Pugh’s effort.

We must stop the plastic from entering our rivers and seas. And we must create a series of marine reserves around the UK,” says Pugh who plans to take his swimsourcing campaigns to other shores around the world in the future. "Anyone is welcome to join me for any section of this swim."

The Channel Swimming Association will observe and verify the swim with Daily Swim Reports to be posted in the Daily News of Open Water Swimming.

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