Charles River Conservancy City Splash Swim

City Splash

Registration for City Splash and the Afterparty is open! Swim slots are currently full, but you can still sign up for the waitlist and register for on-land activities. You need to register for each event separately. Spots are limited, and the event fills up fast!

A man in green swim trunks jumps into a roped off section of the Charles River. Photo by Aram Boghosian.

2022 will be the Charles River Conservancy’s 6th year of urban river swims. Join us on Saturday, June 18th from 12 to 4pm at the Fiedler Field dock for an afternoon of swimming, splashing, and jumping in the river! We’ll also host a variety of on-land activities that showcase ways to cool off safely in the heat of the summer.

Join us after a full day of swimming (whether you jumped in the Charles or not!) at an Afterparty from 4 to 6pm at Night Shift Brewing’s Owl’s Nest on the Esplanade for food, drinks, and conversation with the CRC! To register for the one-mile swim, click here. If you’re interested in sponsoring City Splash 2022, please email crc@thecharles.org and view our sponsorship information here.

City Splash is a community event that provides the public the rare opportunity to swim in the Charles River and raise awareness to bring river swimming back to Boston! This annual state-sanctioned swim, hosted by the CRC, allows the public to experience the joy of swimming in the Charles River—one of the cleanest urban rivers in the United States! The event is held in a demarcated deep-water area off the Fiedler Dock on the DCR Esplanade in Boston. Due to important safety considerations, swimming in the Charles River is only allowed if a permit is obtained from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (MassDCR) and we work in partnership with MassDCR to obtain a Special Use Permit for this unique event. The CRC has a vision to create a seasonal home for swimming in the Charles, but does not encourage swimming in the Charles outside of permitted events.  

Participants jump into the Charles River at the 2017 City Splash swim. Photo by Aram Boghosian.

SPONSORS

The CRC is grateful for the support of sponsors who make this event possible.

Think your organization would be a good sponsor for future events? Please review our sponsorship flyer and contact our Executive Director Laura Jasinski at ljasinski@thecharles.org.

PRESS

State House News Service: Swimmers return to the Charles River this summer (April 27, 2022)
Beacon Hill Times: Charles River Swimming Day (April 28, 2022)
WBZ News Radio: ‘City Splash’ Returns To The Charles River This Summer (April 28, 2022)
Boston Magazine: If You Want to Take a Swim in the Charles River, They Can’t Stop You on June 18 (April 29, 2022)
Boston.com: Cool off with a state-sanctioned dip in the Charles River (May 4, 2022)
Boston University News Service: LISTEN: Day of Swimming at Charles River Returns After COVID-related Cancellation (May 4, 2022)

See our press page for coverage of past events.

PRAISE FOR CITY SPLASH

“There’s something really great about fresh water. It’s just a great feeling to be able to jump in water that, on a hot day, makes you feel clean and refreshed and invigorated.”– Paul Parravano, Resident, via the Boston Globe

“It would be great if they did this more often…I would be happy if any day you wanted to, it was OK to jump into the river.” – Tim Sullivan, Resident, via the Boston Globe

“It’s a fun, safe swim, and it’s part of the Conservancy’s and my efforts to bring swimming back to Charles.” –State Rep. Jay Livingstone, via the Beacon Hill Times

“When you’re in the water and you look out and see the view, it’s incredible,”– Kathleen McDermott, Resident, via the Boston Globe

HISTORY OF THE SPLASH

The Charles River Conservancy’s first City Splash on July 13, 2013 marked one the first public community swims in the Charles River in more than fifty years. Swimming has been prohibited in the Charles since the 1950’s when a growing awareness of the health risks posed by pollution in the Charles caused the beaches and bathhouses lining the river to close. After years of environmental health progress, most notably the EPA’s Charles River Initiative, swimming is now allowed through state-sanctioned events such as the Charles River Conservancy’s City Splash events and the Charles River Swimming Club’s annual One-Mile Swim Race, which began in 2007.

MILESTONES

  • 1995: EPA Initiative
  • 1996: Governor Weld Dives into the Charles
  • 2004: The CRC launches the Charles River Swimming Initiative
  • 2013: The CRC hosts the first Charles River Community Swim in the lower basin in over 50 years
  • As of 2021: over 1,200 community members have jumped into the Charles River
Swimmers at the first City Splash event in 2013.

Lead photo by Topher Baldwin.