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Harbor Splash maxes out in 10 minutes. Participants quick to sign up for Inner Harbor plunge

CBS News Live
CBS News Baltimore Live

BALTIMORE -- Hundreds rushed for the opportunity to jump into Baltimore's Inner Harbor next month.

The Harbor Splash, scheduled for June 23, maxed out within 10 minutes for 150 participants. However, there is a waitlist for those who are interested.

This will be the first public swimming event in the Inner Harbor in more than 40 years, which celebrates Waterfront Partnership's water quality data report that shows the harbor meets the Maryland standard for swimming on most dry weather days.

"We know our work is far from over, but we must start swimming. It's a commitment to keep working to ensure that our ecosystem thrives and that swimming in the harbor becomes a routine occurrence," said Michael Hankin, president and CEO of Brown Advisory and chairman of Waterfront Partnership's Healthy Harbor Initiative. "We had an ambitious goal and, with a lot of hard work and people believing we could do it; we are finally realizing our vision."     

The public swimming event will include five timed sessions to ensure safety and proper monitoring by Ultimate Watersports, an on-water event management company. 

A group of key partners and elected officials, including Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and Maryland Comptroller Brooke Lierman, will start the event with a ceremonial jump at 9:20 a.m. from a floating dock at Bond Street Wharf in Fells Point.  

The report also cites data from the Maryland Department of the Environment, which shows that sewage overflows are down 97% since 2018.   

For more than a decade, Waterfront Partnership has been working to make the Baltimore Inner Harbor more swimmable and fishable.

Last year, a few water advocates and researchers jumped into the Harbor to tease this year's event. 

The Waterfront Partnership says those looking to take a swim should do so during scheduled events with designated swimming locations.

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