Forum: Swimming the Boise River - Source to Snake
Wednesday, August 28, 2019, 11:45 am-1:15pm
The Grove Hotel, Ballroom 2nd floor
Christopher Swain
Come hear from renowned swimmer and water quality advocate, Christopher Swain. This summer, Idaho Business for the Outdoors presents Boise River: Source to Snake, an educational water journey created to bring communities together to support fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in Idaho. Swain loves water and has swum over 3,000 miles in more than two dozen polluted waterways, in support of clean water and universal human rights. He is the first person in history to complete the entire 1,243 miles of the Columbia River from British Columbia to the Pacific Ocean and has promised to support the entire Columbia River water basin whenever he can. He has survived great white shark habitat, attacks by blood-sucking Lamprey Eels, raw sewage discharges, oils spills and water contaminated with PCBs, heavy metals and weapons-grade nuclear waste. Swain will swim the Boise River from its source, high in the Sawtooth mountains, all the way to its confluence with the Snake River in Parma. At the time of this lunch, Swain will be about halfway through his swim.


“I was the kid, at the end of the day, who never wanted to get out of the water,” says Christopher Swain. When the long-distance swimmer takes on the 150 miles of the Boise River this summer, students will track his journey — and see firsthand what’s in the water.

-Article source: CHALLENGING A RIVER — AND HARNESSING ITS POWER TO TEACH, Kevin Richert 05/06/2019,


Join City Club of Boise Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 for a lunch forum with clean water activist Christopher Swain.


This speaker is brought to you by the organizational efforts of Idaho Business for the Outdoors.



Forum Details:


When: Wednesday, August 28th 11:45 am – 1:15 pm

Where: The Grove Hotel, 245 S Capitol Blvd, Boise, ID 83702

Ballroom 2nd floor



$20 City Club Member price

$27 Non-member price

$5 Pre-registration Listen Only price

$10 Day-of Listen Only price

$350 per Table of ten ppl



Audio Recording


Registration deadline - Sun. August 25th, 2019.
Christopher's blog post for National Geographic focuses on the nastiest pollutant he has encountered on swims: raw sewage. You can read it here:


There is much to see regarding Christopher's many waterway swims on his website:


Idaho Statesman Article:




As part of his mission to protect threatened waterways, Christopher Swain was the first person in history to swim the entire lengths of the Columbia, Charles, Hudson, Mohawk, Mystic, and East Rivers, as well as Lake Champlain, the Gowanus Canal, Newtown Creek, Long Island Sound, Narragansett Bay, and large sections of the Atlantic coast of the United States.


During his swims, Swain has survived collisions with boats, 12-foot waves, lightning storms, class IV+ rapids, waterfalls, logjams, toxic blue-green algae, blood-sucking Lamprey Eels, oil slicks, raw sewage spills, Great White Shark habitat, and water laced with arsenic, cyanide, dioxin, radioactive waste, PCBs and neuro-toxic pesticides.


The purpose of Christopher's swims is to put threatened waterways squarely in the public eye, and to support protection, restoration, and education efforts.


In March 2003, Swain received an International Earth Day Award from the Earth Society at United Nations Headquarters in New York City.


Later that year, he received an e-chievement Award on National Public Radio’s e-town.


In 2004, he was elected to the Men's Journal Adventure Hall of Fame, and was featured as Person of the Week on ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.


In 2005, at the invitation of United Nations staff, Swain designed, produced, and emceed a launch event for the United Nations Decade of Action Water For Life 2005-2015, at U.N. Headquarters in New York City. The event, called BLESSING OF THE WATERS, brought together representatives from every major religion, and indigenous peoples from around the globe, to offer their prayers and blessings for the world's waters.


In 2006, Swain became the youngest of twenty-one conservationists profiled in Rachel White Scheuring's book, Shapers of the Great Debate on Conservation: A Biographical Dictionary.


In 2007, Swain received the Harry E. Schlenz Public Education Medal from the Water Environment Federation, and was featured in the International Swimming Hall Of Fame book, Swimmers: Courage & Triumph.


Over the last two decades, Swain has worked with over 80,000 North American schoolchildren, and stories about his environmental efforts have reached a worldwide media audience of more than four billion people.


As much as Swain enjoys his dips in cold, contaminated water, he is happiest when playing with his two daughters.


A special thanks to our Forum Sponsor: Midas Gold


Thank you to Idaho Business for the Outdoors, a non-partisan business member based organization supporting Idaho’s public lands, public waters and outdoors, for bringing Christopher Swain to swim the Boise River: Source to Snake.


City Club thanks our Premier Sponsor, Northwest Nazarene University and the NNU School of Business and our Annual sponsor, Idaho Humanities Council. The 2019 Forum Series is sponsored by the contributions made by AARP of Idaho, Bank of Idaho, Echelon Group, Micron, and St. Luke's Health Systems. We are pleased to welcome university students to attend our events thanks to our University partners Boise State University, Northwest Nazarene University, and University of Idaho. Our media partners include Boise State Public Radio, 670 KBOI, Idaho Public Television, Idaho Statesman, and Peppershock Media.


Chair: Katherine Himes
Underwriters: Midas Gold