Group swims in Willamette River to promote accessibility

PORTLAND, Ore. - About 25 people jumped into the Willamette River Monday morning in an effort to promote accessibility of the water.

The event is being organized by the Human Access Project, which hopes to increase access to the river.

Organizer Willie Levenson called the 45-minute event a "protest swim."

"We're looking to bring attention to the fact that although the Willamette River is Portland's largest public open space, there's extreme deficit of water edge access opportunities to get to it," Levenson said.

To those who may be disgusted by the thought of jumping in a river that is sometimes the site of sewage overflow, Levenson says, jump in!

"There's a lot of work to be done to restore the full ecological health of the Willamette, but for now, we can celebrate that it's safe for swimming," Levenson said.

The group will also host "The Big Float" on July 26.

"You can check out a concert from your inner tube, we have a band barge, we're anticipating 3,000 people," Levenson said.

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