BERLIN — As part of Swimmable Waters Weekend, the Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT) and Assateague Coastkeeper invites the public to the Second Annual Isle of Wight Bay Wade-In on Saturday, July 27, at 10 a.m. at the Isle of Wight Nature Park, located off Route 90 at St. Martin Neck Road (between the bridges.)

A wade-in is an unscientific check of water clarity. Retired Maryland State Sen. Bernie Fowler initiated the first one 20 years ago to check water quality in Maryland’s bays and tributaries. The official wade-in measurement, known as the "Sneaker Index", measures how deep waders can go and still see their shoes.

Besides the annual “Wade-In”, ACT will host “Blow It Up For Clean Water” with an inaugural Race For Swimmable Bays where participants will bring their own inflatable water toy of choice and will swim around a short course in the shallow Isle of Wight Bay while wearing or holding their blow up water toy. The race will begin immediately following the Wade-In with a youth division and an adult division. There will be trophies for each division, handmade by local artist Patti Backer.

The Race and Wade-In will be at the canoe/kayak launch area near the entrance to Worcester County’s Isle of Wight Park, located off Route 90 on St. Martin Neck. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the beautiful Worcester County Isle of Wight Nature Park’s picnic area, pier and trails. Be sure to bring sunscreen and old sneakers, or water sandals to protect your feet.

If you can’t join us, visit your local waterway this weekend, wade in, or swim in, and take a photo. Then post those photos to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the hashtag #swimmablewater.

“We will also be taking action this summer to encourage Congress to protect our swimmable waters by ensuring there are adequate funds for monitoring swimming beaches. We want everyone to have a fun, safe summer in the water and our Race For Swimmable Bays is our way to raise awareness about water quality,” said Assateague Coastkeeper Kathy Phillips. “Wade-ins around the state have become a popular way to lobby for water quality and bay restoration efforts. After all, everyone can relate to a desire for swimmable water.”

For more information, please call the ACT office at 410-629-1538 or visit