Swimming to Save our rivers
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH OPEN WATER SWIMMER: MATTHEW MOSELEY
Here's what Matt had to say:
Q:How’d you get into swimming? When did you transition into open water swimming?
A: I swam competitively as a kid and through high school. I didn’t get back into it until going to graduate school at CU. My wife Kristin gave me a canoe for my birthday with a trip down the Colorado River. I brought my swim cap, goggles and suit and swam the river. It was transformative because there were no lane lines. No clock or coach. I found that swimming in open water was liberating and I never looked back.
Q: What do you hope these record breaking swims will accomplish?
A: I hope that through exposing people to these beautiful and special places they might also care about it. I want to create a bigger awareness about what water means to the survival of our species. I believe water is the most critical issue of our time, yet people think that as long as the water comes out of the tap, everything is alright. We need to shake people out of their complacency. I’m finishing my next book about water told through swimming called Soul is Waterproof: Swimming as Art. Water for Life through CG Sports Publishing in December.
Matt Moseley swimming in the Green River, filming for Silent River which was produced to support national non-profit American Rivers.
Matt Moseley wading through the shallows of the Green River in Utah.
Q: Have you noticed pollution worsening in the bodies of water that you have swam in? Have you noticed decreased flow rates in the bodies of water that you have swam in?
A: Both water quality and quantity is a growing problem, especially in the West. When I swam 40 miles on the Green River last summer, it was eight times lower than it should have been and the lowest flows ever recorded. This is the case for rivers around the west. There is 25% less water in the Colorado River than 20 years ago. This aridification of the west has very real consequences. The Green River swim was in partnership with American Rivers who produced a short film called Silent River, which tells the story about rivers in the west and how they are being impacted by climate change.
Q: What is one thing that people can do to reduce their impact on American rivers and freshwater sources?
A: We don’t create incentives to leave water in rivers, we only create incentives for taking it out and using it. We need to keep our rivers healthy, clean and free flowing by protecting our waterways. One thing people can do is to stop using so much water on lawns.
Epic Water Filters supported Matt Moseley and the crew during the Filming of Silent River with filtered water bottles so they could stay safely hydrated on set.
As the world leaders and government officials continue to search for a solution to the water crisis that is being experienced by millions of people, Matt Moseley will continue to raise awareness surrounding the importance of keeping our lakes and rivers clean through swimming.
If you’d like to hear more about Matt Moseley’s life as an open water swimmer or learn about the intricacies of water conservation, you can check out the Water We Drinking Podcast.