Brookline residents take part in Charles River swim


Wicked Local Brookline

Brookline —

Four Brookline residents, including Rick Born, Bob Sege, David Souza and Rosemary Lasche, were among more than 80 swimmers who took part in the annual Charles River Swim Race, held Saturday, June 4, at the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s River Dock on the Esplanade. The one-mile race celebrates more than two decades of work to restore the water quality of the Charles River.

Organized by the Charles River Swimming Club and supported by the Charles River Conservancy, the race began at the Esplanade and made a one-mile loop around the lower basin. Fred Laskey, executive director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, started the race and Bill Walsh-Rogalski, counsel for Special Projects, announced the US EPA’s annual grade for the river following the race. The DCR’s director of partnerships, Conrad Crawford, gave out the awards.

The U.S. EPA began the Clean Charles Initiative in 1995 with the goal of making the Charles swimmable by 2005. More than $500 million has been spent to date on infrastructure improvements by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authorities and cities and town along the Charles that have significantly reduced the amount of pollution entering the Charles River.

Inspired by the EPA’s goal of making the Charles swimmable by 2005, the Charles River Conservancy began the Swimmable Charles Initiative in 2003. Under the leadership of state Rep. Alice Wolf, the Massachusetts legislature established the Charles River Water Quality Commission to study the feasibility of returning swimming to the river.

For more information about the race, visit, and for more information about the Charles River Conservancy’s initiative, visit

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