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I've been swimming in the bay all my life, more often North of Hart & Miller Island, mostly because by the time its warm enough the nettles are fierce. We've never had any concerns, but some common sense is needed. I wouldn't go in if I had an open wound, ear infection, etc...also, I would avoid swimming in some places (the Patapsco comes to mind)
From: Bay FAQ - About the Bay - Chesapeake Bay Program
Is it safe to swim in the Bay?
Though people do have some concern about water quality in certain rivers, especially near industrial areas, it is generally safe to swim in the Bay and its tributaries. However, swimmers, boaters and fishermen should obey any signs posted by state officials that restrict certain activities. Because potential human health impacts are an important issue, state agencies regularly test waterways for problems related to human health issues. Where human health concerns are identified, appropriate warnings are issued. For more information about the safety of swimming in your local waterways, contact your local health department.
Scientists have identified three localized Regions of Concern that are considered “toxic hot spots”:
- The Elizabeth River in Virginia
- The Patapsco River/Baltimore Harbor in Maryland
- The Anacostia River in the District of Columbia.
Tartan 37 - S/V Windgeist
Sailing the Chesapeake Bay
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Photo by Joe McCary
Last edited by T37Chef; 03-20-2010 at 07:46 AM.