Athletes Take the Plunge to Protect Lake Erie


Four aqua-athletes are taking the plunge to protect Lake Erie.

As part of the Lake Erie Challenge, one swimmer and three people will be stand-up paddle boarding 30 kilometres from the Long Point lighthouse to the Port Dover lighthouse on Saturday morning.

The swimmer begins at 7:30am while the stand-up paddle boarders will begin at 10am.

It will take the swimmer about ten hours to make trek, while those on the paddle board will take about five hours.

They are doing this to raise awareness and funds to protect Lake Erie and its waterways.

Speaking on the Afternoon News, Great Lakes Program Director with the Canadian Freshwater Alliance Raj Gill says there are major problems in Lake Erie from toxic algae blooms to plastics pollution.

Gill says the swimmer is going to find it a challenge.

"This is Daniel's first swim of this length so up until this point, he has done 10km out in Lake Erie, open water," she says. "30km is a whole other challenge. Both mentally, physically but mentally, and that's what he is most anticipating is the mental fatigue"

She hopes people pay attention to the Lake Erie Challenge.

"Raise awareness of some of the issues that Lake Erie is facing so down Windsor way, the algae bloom, it's a bad year for the bloom for this year. I just read the latest forecast by some of the scientists and it looks like it is around Pelee Island and getting close to shore again."

Money raised will support the Lake Erie Guardians — a group of citizens and business people working together to raise awareness and make a concrete difference to the waterways.

— with files from AM800's Peter Langille