Quantcast

Historic Attempt to Swim Georgia Strait Supports Clean Water

Since 1966 many people have attempted to swim the 35km Georgia Strait crossing. It’s longer than the English Channel swim by approximately three kilometers, and only a few have succeeded, among them MP Fin Donnelly.

“BC has such incredible waters for swimming, and there are so many threats facing them now,” she says. “I’ve been inspired in swimming and conservation by other great long-distance swimmers like Lynne Cox and Fin Donnelly. If my swim inspires anyone else to help protect our waters in Canada or anywhere else, I’ll be happy.” Photo courtesy of Rachel Schoeler

On Aug. 3, 2014, Fraser Riverkeeper conservationist Rachel Schoeler will make a historic attempt at this crossing, starting at Neck Point (near Nanaimo) and ending in Sechelt.

Rachel, 23, is a dedicated open-water swimmer and she's been training for her big swim for the past 10 months. Success will make her only the second woman in history to complete the crossing, and the first woman to do so in more than 40 years. (The last was in 1972, by a nurse named Fran Cannon).

Her training to date has included marathon laps at Hillcrest Pool in her Vancouver neighborhood of Mt. Pleasant, as well as cold-water training in the ocean starting in April. She is now working on the finer points of staying alive for 11 hours in frigid ocean, including experiments with oily goop to cover her skin (a mix of Vaseline and lanolin) and figuring out how to eat while afloat.

“Eating while you’re treading water is not as easy as it sounds,” she says. “And the whole swim will be pretty tough. Hopefully conditions are good and I make it across. If I do, when I hit the beach I’m probably just going to lay down. Then I’m going to eat. A lot.” 

On Aug. 3, 2014, Fraser Riverkeeper conservationist Rachel Schoeler will make a historic attempt at this crossing, starting at Neck Point and ending in Sechelt. Photo courtesy of Rachel Schoeler

Rachel works for the conservation charity Fraser Riverkeeper part of the international Waterkeeper Alliance headed by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. She has dedicated her swim, and any donor funds, to the group’s advocacy work on water-quality issues in British Columbia. Currently the group is asking donors to sponsor 100 meters of Rachel’s swim for a $50 donation.

An Ontario native, Rachel fell in love with open-water swimming during summers at her family’s cabin on Lake Steinburg. She moved to British Columbia in 2008 to study at the University of British Columbia, and has since made British Columbia her home.

“BC has such incredible waters for swimming, and there are so many threats facing them now,” she says. “I’ve been inspired in swimming and conservation by other great long-distance swimmers like Lynne Cox and Fin Donnelly. If my swim inspires anyone else to help protect our waters in Canada or anywhere else, I’ll be happy.”

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Arx0nt / Moment / Getty Images

By Taylor Jones, RD

Oats are a highly nutritious grain with many health benefits.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

Get ready to toast bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. National Pollinator Week is June 17-23 and it's a perfect time to celebrate the birds, bugs and lizards that are so essential to the crops we grow, the flowers we smell, and the plants that produce the air we breathe.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Alexander Spatari / Moment / Getty Images

It seems like every day a new diet is declared the healthiest — paleo, ketogenic, Atkins, to name a few — while government agencies regularly release their own recommended dietary guidelines. But there may not be an ideal one-size-fits-all diet, according to a new study.

Read More Show Less
Logging shown as part of a thinning and restoration effort in the Deschutes National Forest in Oregon on Oct. 22, 2014. Oregon Department of Forestry / CC BY 2.0

The U.S Forest Service unveiled a new plan to skirt a major environmental law that requires extensive review for new logging, road building, and mining projects on its nearly 200 million acres of public land. The proposal set off alarm bells for environmental groups, according to Reuters.

Read More Show Less
Maskot / Getty Images

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

It's easy to wonder which foods are healthiest.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Homes in Washington, DC's Brookland neighborhood were condemned to clear room for a highway in the 1960s. The community fought back. Brig Cabe / DC Public Library

By Teju Adisa-Farrar & Raul Garcia

In the summer of 1969 a banner hung over a set of condemned homes in what was then the predominantly black and brown Brookland neighborhood in Washington, DC. It read, "White man's roads through black men's homes."

Earlier in the year, the District attempted to condemn the houses to make space for a proposed freeway. The plans proposed a 10-lane freeway, a behemoth of a project that would divide the nation's capital end-to-end and sever iconic Black neighborhoods like Shaw and the U Street Corridor from the rest of the city.

Read More Show Less
Demonstrators outside a Republican presidential debate in Detroit in 2016. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Michigan prosecutors dropped all criminal charges against government officials involved in the Flint water crisis Thursday, citing concerns about the investigation they had inherited from the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) appointed by former Attorney General Bill Schuette, CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Samara Heisz / iStock / Getty Images

New York state has joined California, West Virginia, Arizona, Mississippi and Maine in ending religious exemptions for parents who prefer not to vaccinate their children, The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less