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Happy 10th Anniversary to the SWIM Coalition in NYC

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With an amazing 10 years under its belt, SWIM Coalition is looking ahead to the next decade of stormwater advocacy.

If you haven’t met the Stormwater Infrastructure Matters Coalition – or “SWIM” Coalition – yet, head on over to www.swimmableNYC.org and say congrats! SWIM turned 10 years old last week at a celebration held at the offices of coalition member Hudson River Foundation, at the Battery in lower Manhattan.

As a coalition, SWIM works to advocate for swimmable, fishable waters in New York City – engaging with agencies, universities, advocacy groups, citizens and civic associations around the five boroughs on behalf of the sixth borough: our shared waterways.

SWIM is the stakeholder group working closest with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection on the Long Term Control Plans for the City’s combined sewer systems as well as the upcoming separate storm sewer system management plan (expected in 2018).

Riverkeeper has been involved with the coalition since shortly after its inception, working to provide legal, campaign, advocacy, and scientific support for SWIM’s key campaigns: combined sewers, separate sewers, water quality, and green infrastructure.

Recently, the SWIM coalition has had a number of successes – in collaborating on NYC’s Green Infrastructure Plan, helping to coalesce the Coney Island Creek and Flushing Waterway communities around clean water, and in educating untold numbers of New Yorkers about their local waters.

SWIM also issues factsheets and handbooks on issues ranging from green infrastructure technology to local waterbody permitting updates. SWIM has recently begun translating those materials (and the website itself) into a number of different languages to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the best stormwater information.

The SWIM Coalition is organized by its steering committee – made up of Riverkeeper staff attorney Sean Dixon as well as professionals from the Pratt Institute, NYC’s Soil and Water Conservation District, the Gaia Institute, the Bronx River Alliance, and NRDC.

Earlier in 2017, Riverkeeper and SWIM announced a new era in collaboration. SWIM is not its own independent fiscal entity – its successes are driven by the organizations and people that make up the coalition. As such, it needed a fiscal home for grants and donations. Riverkeeper provided that home this year.

Riverkeeper wishes the SWIM Coalition 10 more years of success (and many more beyond that) and looks forward to continuing our partnership in the future. Visit www.SwimmableNYC.org to learn more about the Coalition and to discover more about what its members are up to, what new factsheets and guides have been developed, and what new events, meetings, and advocacy efforts the city’s stormwater professionals are up to on behalf of our sixth borough!

Photo: View from SWIM 10th Anniversary celebration at the Hudson River Foundation in NYC.

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