North Point Park Research

In 2016, the Conservancy partnered with Stantec to explore the feasibility of creating a seasonal swimming facility in the Charles River at North Point Park. The report concludes that creating a swim facility at North Point Park is feasible, further recommending that the Conservancy conduct research about water conditions at the proposed swim site. The Conservancy plans to continue research at the potential swim site to ensure safe swimming conditions at North Point Park.


Bathymetric & Side Scan Sonar Survey: Understanding Underwater Conditions

The Conservancy partnered with Childs Engineering to test the depth of the river at the proposed swim site while also checking for potentially dangerous permanent debris. The bathymetric survey found that the site’s depth is between 15-25 feet. It was important for the Conservancy to verify that the site has a depth that would allow the design to include a barrier to separate swimmers from sediments. Please note that barrier design has not yet been determined. The side scan sonar survey will inform the design process by identifying underwater debris close to the wall at the edge of the park. The future Swim Park design will likely include a dock or boardwalk leading several feet off the wall to ensure that the swimming area does not come in contact with potentially dangerous debris.

Download a PDF of the surveys here.


Water Quality Research: Testing E. coli and Cyanobacteria

The Conservancy is partnering with Northeastern University to conduct daily water quality testing at the proposed swim site at North Point Park during Summer 2017 and 2018. A Masters student will sample and analyze the water for E. coli and Cyanobacteria, following EPA standards. This data will tell us how many days of the swim season it would be possible for swimming to occur based on Department of Public Health standards. More about this work coming soon!

To learn more about current testing and practices along the Charles River by the Charles River Watershed Association, click here.


For press and partnership 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