Red Foxes Dive into the Hudson with Renowned Environmentalist
September 11, 2023 - In what was one of the most unique days on campus in recent memory, Red Fox student-athletes flanked by President Weinman, and his wife Beth Weinman, dove into the Hudson River last week to show support for renowned international endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh. The environmental advocate has taken on a historic challenge, swimming 315 miles of the Hudson to raise awareness for river and ocean health. In his trek down from the Adirondacks to New York City, Pugh was joined by a Red Fox contingent that included more than two dozen student-athletes.
Student-athletes from the swim, water polo, and crew teams all got out in the water at Quiet Cove Riverfront Park, just north of campus, to swim and row alongside Pugh. A large crowd gathered to cheer on Pugh and the Red Foxes as they made their way to the Marist riverfront dock.
Many of the student-athletes expressed their enthusiasm about joining Pugh and President Weinman on the water.
It’s not every day that a college president and three different sports teams get to jump into their local river with a famous swimmer and advocate. Marist’s engagement in Pugh’s Hudson swim showcases the College’s commitment to environmental sustainability as well as its dedication to uplifting local and global communities.
President Weinman, a triathlon athlete, and his wife Beth, a competitive swimmer, were excited to join the student-athletes to support Pugh’s mission and highlight the importance of the Hudson River to the College and surrounding community.
“Not only did I have to keep up with Lewis, and our Division I student-athletes in the Hudson, but I had to try to keep up with my wife Beth, who is an amazing swimmer,” President Weinman said. “The Hudson River means so much to us. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it is a laboratory for our science students, a venue of competition for our crew students, and a very special place for our community.”
Not long ago, Pugh and the Red Foxes would not have been able to swim in the Hudson due to heavy pollution, but because of decades of cleanup efforts, the dream of a healthier Hudson River has continued to come to fruition.
After the swim, Pugh came back to the Cornell Boathouse on campus for an open forum event to speak with students, members of the local government, and the Marist community.
President Weinman and Dan Shapley, the Senior Director of Advocacy, Policy, and Planning for Riverkeeper joined Pugh to discuss the revitalization of the Hudson River and encourage continued efforts for the Hudson and rivers and oceans around the world.
They discussed a range of environmental topics, including climate change, environmental degradation, water pollution, access to fresh and potable water, threatened biodiversity and survival of the animal kingdom, lessons from indigenous cultures, and the interconnected health of rivers and oceans.