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The public is invited to witness the completion of the first ever swim of the entire length of the Connecticut River, and join a riverside celebration with special guests!

Join us in Old Lyme, CT, to watch Kari Kastango complete the final swim at 1:30pm, and then gather at 3pm to hear talks from Kari, Connecticut River Conservancy, and Friends of Conte while mingling with like-minded river enthusiasts. 

The Swim Story: 

Kari began swimming the 410-mile-long Connecticut River in 2019 and has swum a new section of the river each year between Memorial Day and Labor Day, with October 15th, 2023, set as the date of the final swim to complete this incredible endeavor.  

Through challenges related to climate, planning logistics, water quality, accessibility and much more, Kari has accomplished this ambitious goal with resilience and dedication. As a unique symbol of connection with her family ancestry, Kari wore 7 Norwegian coins around her neck as she traversed the entirety of the Connecticut River swim journey. Kari will share some of her most memorable moments from the experience, and take questions at the riverside celebration. 

Join the Celebration: 

Spectators are invited to watch the beginning of the swim at 1:30pm, followed by a riverside celebration at 3pm when Kari is expected to arrive after her final swim from Ferry Landing State Park to the Long Island Sound.  

The riverside celebration will include talks from Connecticut River Conservancy leadership, Kari Kastango and members of her support team, and a representative of the Friends of Conte. Talks will honor Kari’s personal journey, challenges, and accomplishment of swimming the Connecticut River and recognize the decades of conservation effort and unique collaborative partnerships throughout the watershed that contribute to clean and swimmable rivers for all.  

Agenda and Details:

1:30pm – Watch the start of Kari’s final swim to officially become the first person to swim the entirety of the Connecticut River. Spectators can meet at Marine D.E.E.P. Headquarters at 333 Ferry Rd, Old Lyme, CT, and walk along the boardwalk as Kari swims. 

3pm – Join the riverside celebration at Great Island Boat Launch where a tent will be set up, local conservation partners and members of the press will be mingling, and visual aides will highlight Kari’s journey. Light refreshments will be served, and some chairs will be set up.  


The final swim distance is 2.6 miles from the Amtrak bridge to the end of the Connecticut River Paddler’s Trail. Kari will be swimming to the west (left) of Great Island.