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New York man plans to swim all 150 miles of the Boise River

Christopher Swain wants to show how big of a lifeline the river is to the valley.
Credit: Tyson White/KTVB
Christopher Swain plans to take a big swim in Idaho this summer.

BOISE, Idaho — Over 107,000 miles of rivers run through the Gem State.

They're irreplaceable resources for wildlife, agriculture, even human survival.

Yet many of those rivers, including the Boise River, continue to face pollution challenges due to a number of factors, including significant population growth.

So, clean water activist Christopher Swain is taking it upon himself to show just how big of a lifeline the Boise River really is by swimming the entire length of the river to highlight its value to communities all along the valley.

"500 years ago, this river would have been safe to fish in, to drink from, to swim in every single day. We think we could get back to that state,” said Swain. "Nothing changes unless somebody is willing to put themselves on the line."

Swain, who is from New York, will begin his swim in August.

He'll start by swimming the length of Redfish Lake to access the trailhead to the Spangle Lake trailhead. From there Swain will swim to the Snake River -- about 150 miles.  

Then, he'll head down to Atlanta, Arrowrock, Lucky Peak, Boise and all the way to Parma where the Boise River connects with the Snake River -- about 150 miles.