Ottawa Riverkeeper 4K Swim is this Saturday, August 15th!

2nd annual Riverkeeper 4K interprovincial open water swim in support of a clean and healthy river.

Press Release

August 11th, 2015 – OTTAWA, Ontario

For Immediate Release

Up to 100 brave swimmers are getting ready to swim across the Ottawa River from Aylmer to Ottawa in the 2nd annual Riverkeeper 4K interprovincial swim, formerly known as  “Escape to/from Aylmer-traz”, to highlight the need for collaboration and action on both sides of the Ottawa River because water quality knows no borders.

As we prepare for the 2nd edition enthusiasm is running high. All money raised will go towards water quality test kits since clean water is something the swimmers, escort paddlers, volunteers and event sponsors are very passionate about!

“The athleticism and determination of the swimmers inspires me,” says Development Director Ruth McKlusky. “The challenging open water swim prompts people and communities in Ontario and Quebec to take actions leading to a truly swimmable, drinkable, fishable Ottawa River.”

Swimmers will “splash off” at 8:00 a.m. at Parc des Cèdres, in Aylmer, Quebec.

Open water demands more of swimmers. The variable conditions plus seeing others push themselves gets adrenalin pumping. Seeing swimmers embrace the challenges of the Riverkeeper 4K should motivate everyone to take the challenges facing the Ottawa River seriously.

Race Director Tom Anzai, from Swim Ottawa

Swimmers — including reigning champion Lesley Dusevic and visually-impaired triathlete Shelley Ann Morris — have two hours to complete the swim, and will start arriving at Lac Deschenes Sailing Club, 10 Rangeview Ave., in Ottawa at 9 a.m.

“We are so pleased by the level of local support for this fundraiser,” says Ms. McKlusky. “Volunteers are an important part of the puzzle making the Riverkeeper 4K possible and fun. In addition, support from our generous sponsors: Bushtukah, Lush, International Academy of Massage, Rainbow Foods, Whole Foods Market, Jackpine, Ottawa City Rafting, Anzai, Rideau Rowing and Paddling, and Swim Ottawa means 100 per cent of the pledges collected go to our popular Riverwatch Program.”

Endurance swimmers wanting to participate in the Riverkeeper 4K Swim can still register online and download a pledge form at or by phone  at 613.321.1120 The registration fee is $50. Participants are reminded to bring their pledges to the Ottawa Riverkeeper office during Race Kit pick up on Thursday, August 13th.  

Anyone unable to participate but still wanting to support a swimmable, drinkable, fishable river can pledge Lesley Dusevic or Shelly Anne Morris online here or by calling 613-321-1120.

We invite everyone, including our friends in the media, to come cheer on our swimmers at what we expect to be an incredible moving fundraising event for the magnificent Ottawa River. 


Ruth McKlusky
Development Director  | Phone 613.321.1120 | Cell 613.859.7267

Tom Anzai
Ottawa’s Swim Specialist | Cell:  613.558.2238 |

Adele Michon
Director of Operations for Quebec | Phone 613.321.1120 | Cell 819.576.2123

Social Media, Photos and Videos

Updates on Facebook and Twitter using #Riverkeeper4K and #4KMSentinelle.
Find photos and videos on our Youtube and Flickr accounts.

About Ottawa Riverkeeper

Ottawa Riverkeeper is an independent voice for the Ottawa River, providing leadership and inspiration to protect, promote and improve its ecological health and future.  Founded in 2001, Ottawa Riverkeeper is a grassroots charity that works collaboratively to inspire others to take action, to encourage responsible decision making, to hold polluters accountable and to recommend alternative practices and policies to safeguard the Ottawa River and its tributaries. Ottawa Riverkeeper is a member of Waterkeeper Alliance, an international grassroots organization founded by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. To learn more visit

About Swim Ottawa

Swim Ottawa is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the joys of swimming through both pre-competitive and competitive swimming for all Ottawa residents and eligible non-residents.  The medium-sized club allows swimmers to bond and grow as an intimate team while becoming some of Ottawa’s strongest swimmers. Swim Ottawa believes in long-term athlete development and giving their swimmers the support to enjoy a lifetime of swimming. To learn more visit