Press Release for Boise River: Source to Snake

by Graphica

by Graphica

Contact: Heather Dermott, Executive Director



Water Quality Advocate to Swim Boise River’s 102-Mile Length

Idaho Business for the Outdoors’ water journey to help educate and celebrate the Boise  River

BOISE,Idaho – (July 25, 2019) – This August, renowned swimmer and water quality advocate Christopher Swain will become the first person to swim the Boise River from its source in the Sawtooth Mountains to its confluence with the Snake River. 

Idaho Business for the Outdoors, a non-partisan business member organization supporting Idaho’s public lands, public waters and outdoors, created the Boise River: Source to Snake journey to identify the river’s challenges and to celebrate the ecological, economic and social value it provides to the communities it sustains over its 102-mile length.

“While we each have a different relationship and connection to the river, the Boise River Watershed truly links us all,” said Idaho Business for the Outdoors Executive Director Heather Dermott. “Swain is our lead swimmer, but this is a community-wide water engagement effort. Through the Source to Snake swim and all the activities related to it we hope to empower citizen scientists and drive awareness and action to support fishable, swimmable, drinkable waters throughout Idaho.”

The organization has developed a free mobile app Boise River: Source to Snakefor the public to track simple actions to support the health of the river and to follow Swain’s progress in real-time. 

On August 8, Swain will start by swimming across Redfish Lake to access the trailhead to Spangle Lake, the source water for the Boise River high in the Sawtooth Mountains. Idaho Business for the Outdoors will provide citizen scientists and support crew to join Swain and document the journey as he travels from Redfish Lake to Spangle Lake, down to Atlanta, Arrowrock, Lucky Peak, Boise and all the way to Parma where the Boise River connects with the Snake River. 

Along the way, Swain will share his location, personal physiology and water quality data through social media. He will also stop to conduct stakeholder interviews with land owners, business leaders, community members, farmers, miners, students and river recreationists. 

In addition to data provided by Swain, Idaho Business for the Outdoors will be gathering baseline data on water quality from Source to Snake, supporting water workshops for high school students from Idaho City, Mountain Home, Boise, Caldwell, Eagle and Parma, and hosting community river engagement events. High school water workshops will focus on fishable, swimmable and drinkable water quality standards, as well as the economic and health benefits of outdoor recreation. 

Idaho Business for the Outdoors, community leaders and outdoors advocates will gather with Swain along the Boise River Greenbelt near the Julia Davis Bandshell at 11:30 a.m. on August 6 to officially kick off the Source to Snake swim. 

Additional community events include:

August 8          Redfish Lake Swim & expedition packs into Sawtooth Mountains to access trailhead to Spangle Lake at 10a.m.

August 9 or 10         Swain swims Spangle Lake and begins Boise River journey

August 24        Swim with Swain at Sandy Point (in partnership with Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, Boise Bike Project and the Challenged Athlete Foundation) 10a.m.-12p.m.

August 28        Swimming the Boise River: Source to Snake, City Club / Idaho Environmental Forum Lunch with Swain (The Grove, 11:45-1:15)

August 30        Friends of the River community eventat Kristin Armstrong Park with Christopher Swain, 5:30-8:30p.m. 


About Idaho Business for the Outdoors

Idaho Business for the Outdoors provides a collective business voice in support of the investments, jobs, innovations, revenues and wellness benefits sustained by our outdoors and public lands.For more information, visit

About Christopher Swain

Christopher Swain is the first person in history to swim the Hudson River, Lake Champlain and the entire 1,243 miles of the Columbia River from British Columbia to the Pacific Ocean. Swain swims to put threatened waterways squarely in the public eye, and to support water protection, restoration and education efforts. For more information, visit