City Splash



City Splash is the exciting opportunity to safely swim in the Charles River! The annual state-sanctioned community swim, hosted by the Conservancy, allows members of the public to experience the joy of swimming in their Charles River–one of the cleanest urban rivers in the United States!

Before every City Splash event, water quality tests are done at the event site to ensure the public’s health and safety at the swim.

2017 Recap:



Thank you for joining us to celebrate 5 years of City Splash! To date, over 1,400 people have jumped in the Charles with the Conservancy, and we will continue to advocate to return swimming to the Charles River. Together, we can work towards the day when swimming in the Charles is a regular activity. Once a year is not enough!

We are thrilled to share our passion for urban river swimming with the community and we hope that you had as much fun as we did.

To move this project forward and be able to swim more frequently, we need donors, aquatics experts, scientists, and engineers. Please email if you have a skill or connection that would help us further the Swim Park Project. Click here to make a donation to the Conservancy.

We had some great coverage of the 2017 event! Click here to view our press page.

History of City 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. Recreational 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 annual Charles River Swimming Club’s One-Mile Swim Race, which began in 2007.

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


Thank you to our 2017 sponsor:


For press and sponsorship inquiries, please contact Lucy Salwen at 617.300.8171 or

For more information about the Swim Park Project generally, please contact Vanessa Nason at 617.300.8162 or

To support progress towards a seasonal Swim Park in the Charles, please give to the Charles River Conservancy