Human Access Project encourages river swimming, social distancing during the pandemic

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More people are taking to rivers to cool off this summer, especially because outdoor swimming allows for social distancing.

For the last 10 years, Portlander Willie Levenson has been encouraging people to swim in the Willamette and Columbia rivers. His Human Access Project has cleaned-up and opened Audrey McCall Beach and Poet’s Beach downtown, as well as installed ladders to allow people to swim off the Portland fire house dock.

He said there’s been renewed interest in swimming in the river due to pandemic-related closures and people looking to spend time outside.

“You know it’s a celebration of how far we’ve come with our river that people are getting back into it,” said Levenson.

“And ultimately, when people get into it, they care more about it and are inclined to take better care of it.”

Read OPB

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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