08-17-2022  11:50 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 25 July 2022

On Saturday, July 30, the Black Swimming Initiative is holding a free, all-ages eco-swim camp at Broughton Beach, a Metro park located at 4141 NE Marine Drive in Portland. 

Participants will have the chance to learn important water safety skills, better understand the ecology of the Columbia River, and have fun in the water. While the event is open to all, it is intentionally created to be a welcoming and supportive environment for Black individuals and families to develop their skills and knowledge about water safety and environmental stewardship. Each participant will receive a free life jacket provided by Metro. 

Why it matters 

Due to long-standing inequities in access to both swim instruction and safe places to swim, Black people are statistically at higher risk of drowning than Americans as a whole. Consider the following national statistics: 

  • Nearly 70% of Black children have low-to-no swimming ability. 
  • In swimming pools, Black children ages 10-14 years drown at rates 7.6 times higher than white children do. 
  • Drowning death rates for Black people are 1.5 times higher than are the rates for white people.   

How to participate

Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Guests can sign up for one of two sessions: either 10 a.m. to noon or 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Visit https://www.blackswimpdx.us/upcoming-eventsregister to register. Parking is available at the Broughton Beach parking lot. The parking fee is $5 per car. 

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