Go Jump Off A Boat: It's Swimmable Day in San Diego

Snorkeling for lures.

That’s how I describe my childhood.

I grew up near the McKenzie River in Walterville, Ore. That’s just upstream from Eugene/Springfield area. Every summer my brother and I rode our bicycles to the “beach” on the river a mile from our house. (Yes, I did just call it the beach. You see, in Oregon, going to the beach means playing at the sandy swimming hole on the river). We’d lock our bikes to a tree and head upstream for about a half mile with our snorkels and fins. Just before the little trail hit private property, we’d balance our way out on a fallen tree from which we’d launch into the river. We snorkeled left and right, deep fishing holes and shallow ones too, collecting every treasure we could find.


This is not Oregon. This is from a recent hike in the Narrows in Zion National Park in Utah. My early childhood playing in the McKenzie River led me to lifelong pursuits of playing in Swimmable waters.

Occasionally we’d see sunken beer cans and one time we found a wallet with a wedding ring in it. And we’d always see lures. New ones too, that some unexpecting fisherman just bought from the tackle store up the road, only to snag it on a boulder or branch caught underwater.

We’d carefully collect the lures and when we had enough, we’d have a garage sale and sell them back to the same fisherman heading down our street to the best fishing holes in town. What a business model!

It’s because of memories like these that I’m proud to celebrate the Clean Water Act’s 40th anniversary–this federal law helps organizations across the nation keep America’s waters fishable, swimmable and drinkable.

Today, the Waterkeeper Alliance joins to celebrate swimmable waters. Today, I will swim in the ocean.

Here at San Diego Coastkeeper, we work tirelessly to protect and restore fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego. We want you to create your own memories about swimming at La Jolla Cove or surfing in Imperial Beach that you can carry with you wherever you live. Because these are the moments that matter in life and will be the stories that we share over a cup of coffee or during a long walk on the beach.

Today, we want you to take a break from signing letters, advocating for water efficiency and worrying about storm water permits so that you can enjoy Swimmable waters.

Go jump off a boat. Kayak into the sunset. Shred a wave. Train for a tri. Today we celebrate the Clean Water Act and San Diego’s swimmable waters.