This year marks the 40th anniversary of Swim, Save The Bay's largest annual fundraiser, which, yearly, serves as a critical support to theirefforts to protect and restore the Narragansett Bay region. Each year, nearly 500 swimmers aged 15 to 77 years, supported by 1500 spectators, swim 1.7 nautical miles across the Bay to raise money and awareness. Swimmers come from more than 25 states to experience the iconic, open water trek from Newport to Jamestown.


This year, Save the Bay is doing something a little different. At 11 am on Saturday, February 27, the organization will kick off registration for Swim with a splash, quite literally. The Splash will be a challenge obstacle course and cold water plunge at Easton's Beach in Newport. Those who register for The Splash will have the option to reserve a spot in the Swim before registration officially begins two days later. Splashers will also receive free admission to Save The Bay's Exploration Center and Aquarium at Easton's Beach and discounted tickets for Save The Bay's Seal Tour later the same day.


"The Splash is a reminder that summer will be here before we know it, as will our 40th Annual Save The Bay Swim in August," said Save The Bay Executive Director Jonathan Stone. "The Swim fills up quickly, and this is a chance to get a spot early for this milestone of 40 years crossing the Bay."


Unlike most cold-water plunges, The Splash includes a short obstacle course that finishes with a cold water dip in the Bay. The obstacle course, designed by Ryan McGowan, owner of Laid Back Fitness on 2800 Post Road in Warwick, will include a balance obstacle, climbing walls, hurdles, a Ninja challenge, and a mystery obstacle from BoldrDash. The first 200 people to register for The Splash will receive a medal. A seven-year Save The Bay swimmer and loyal supporter, McGowan promises beginners and experience athletes alike are welcome to try the course. 


After The Splash, registered plungers will receive free admission to the Exploration Center and Aquarium, the perfect way to warm up afterward. The Exploration Center features three touch tanks with urchins, crabs, little skates, dogfish sharks and more. Some 100 other exhibits feature big fish of the bay, rare lobsters, octopus, terrapins, seahorses and more.


Children can take part in a full schedule of activities such as story time, crafts, scavenger hunts and fish feedings. Plungers can also enjoy discounted tickets, at $15 per person (usually $22), for Save The Bay's Newport Seal Watch Tours at 1 pm or 2 pm. The Save The Bay education vessel will cruise through historic Newport Harbor to take in 360 views of seals resting on Citing Rock off of Rose Island and the Newport Bridge.


Registration for The Splash fundraiser is $30 for adults and $15 for children aged 8 -13 years. Children must be at least eight-years-old and have permission from a parent or guardian. Proceeds support Save The Bays education, restoration and environmental advocacy programs. Register for the Save The Bay Swim, beginning on Monday, February 29.


For more information about the 40th Save The Bay Swim, visit