Ben Tuff, the Ocean State’s own superhero, is setting out to be the first person to swim 19 miles nonstop from Block Island, RI to Jamestown, RI through the Rhode Island Sound and into Narragansett Bay on August 1, 2021, to raise funds and awareness for environmental non-profit organization Clean Ocean Access, based in Middletown, RI.
After training every day for the past year, Ben is prepared to take on the challenge of the 19-mile open ocean swim because he has seen firsthand the beauty and fragility of the ocean that he loves. “We can’t sit back andthink our oceans will heal on their own. Clean Ocean Access works day in and day out to eliminate marinedebris, improve water quality and protect and preserve shoreline access. Their work must advance, so I’m helping to make that happen.”
Ben’s dedication to ocean conservation and passion for incredible feats has gained the attention of Australian technology company Ocean Guardian, maker of the world’s only proven shark deterrent, and he will be wearing it for the entire swim. “It’s nice to have the peace of mind that you are doing something to deter sharks because once you’re out there, you are part of the food chain.”
Ben Tuff is a Director Admissions at a private school, a former triathlete, and grew up in Jamestown, where he learned to appreciate the opportunities and experiences that come from an accessible shoreline, swimming waters, and a healthy ocean. In August 2019, Ben took action to help Clean Ocean Access and swam 23 miles nonstop, without a wetsuit, around Conanicut Island, raising over $54,000. As Ben recalled, “I knew there wasan awesome opportunity for me to help raise money for a grassroots organization that has lasting effects on ourmarine environment, so swimming to Improve Ocean Health for Rhode Island is what I’m doing.”
Since 2006, Clean Ocean Access has worked for a clean, healthy ocean that is accessible to all. With all the threats facing our ocean, their work is needed today more than ever. Dave McLaughlin, the Executive Director, shared “Ben’s swim will end on the afternoon of July 31, but our work to protect the ocean never stops.Whether your passion is professional sailing, recreational surfing, casual walks along the shoreline, fishing as a family tradition, or resting peacefully on the beach – our work will take bolder steps and greater strides to improve ocean health for the Ocean State.”
About Clean Ocean Access
Clean Ocean Access is a nonprofit organization with the vision of a clean, healthy ocean that is accessible to all. Since we began in 2006, COA has worked to support a healthy coastal environment through community science and engagement. COA is focused primarily on Aquidneck and Conanicut Islands, with programs and partnerships extending across Rhode Island and the Northeast. Our founding programs of CLEAN, OCEAN, and ACCESS focus on eliminating marine debris, improving water quality, and protecting and preserving shoreline access. Grounded by our values, COA strives to achieve our vision through our mission to inspire and educate the community to take action through environmentally responsible behaviors. For more information, please visit www.cleanoceanaccess.org