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Baltimore Harbors Hope: Transformative Experience from Participating in Harbor Splash 2024 Raises Awareness for Cleaner Waterways

"Transformation at Harbor Splash"

Is Baltimore’s harbor swimmable? How participating in Harbor Splash 2024 changed me

Yesterday, I jumped in Baltimore’s harbor. Today, I’m a changed man.

More than 150 people took a leap of faith into the waters at Bond Street Wharf on June 23, 2024, aiming to raise awareness for a cleaner, more usable waterway. I was among them, and the experience was, to put it simply, transformative.

A New Perspective on Baltimore’s Waters

Today, I carry the fresh scent of clean harbor water. As the sun had set the day before, I jumped into the heart of Baltimore’s harbor and emerged rejuvenated. The harbor’s waters were ideally tempered – cool enough to be refreshing, yet warm enough to keep me comfortably immersed for a while.

I felt a sense of community as I joined over 150 people at the inaugural Harbor Splash, organized by the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore. There was music, speeches and yes, plenty of water splashing. It was an unprecedented affair for Baltimore and, indeed, for me.

The Harbor Felt Like Home

I’d be remiss to not admit that I was initially skeptical of the cleanliness of the harbor. Its past as an industrial wasteland is no secret. For centuries, it has been the dumping ground for sewage, fertilizer, industrial waste, and in recent times, discarded electronic scooters. Yet, here I was, ready to plunge into its waters in a show of hope and validation for the efforts put in to clean up the harbor.

Is it safe to swim in the Inner Harbor? This was a question looming over my head. But when it was declared swimmable, the excitement within me knew no bounds — akin to a sit-at-home mom’s joy upon discovering an open jar of peanut butter.

A Public Asset in the Making

A clean, swimmable harbor can be one of Baltimore’s most significant public assets. If we continue to make strides in cleaning up the harbor, I imagine future generations spending their summers swimming, floating and playing in the refreshing waters of the Patapsco River. And the best part? This fun would come at minimal cost.

The Harbor Splash may have been seen as a stunt by some, but to me, it signified a significant milestone for Baltimore. We stepped into a new chapter in our relationship with the harbor, uniting the city in a newfound appreciation for our diverse cultural history and community spirit — all while enjoying a refreshing dip in the water.


Baltimore Harbors Hope: Transformative Experience from Participating in Harbor Splash 2024 Raises Awareness for Cleaner Waterways

HERE Irmo
Author: HERE Irmo

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