The Buzzards Bay Coalition has announced that the 2020 Buzzards Bay Swim will be cancelled due to the unprecedented and still-evolving conditions presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The health and well-being of our participants, volunteers, emergency personnel, staff, and our community is our top priority,” Coalition President Mark Rasmussen said in a message to this year’s swimmers. “Under the current circumstances, and based upon the guidance of public health officials, we concluded that this year’s event cannot take place safely.

The event, which has been run annually since 1993, brings hundreds of participants to New Bedford each June to swim across New Bedford Harbor to Fort Phoenix State Park in Fairhaven, where the event ends with a beach party brunch. Last year’s event raised more than $187,000 to support education, conservation, water quality monitoring, and advocacy work.

“I’m sure that you share our disappointment in this year’s cancellation of the swim, but I hope you take solace in the fact that your early fundraising has already contributed more than $25,000 to sustain Bay protection efforts,” Rasmussen told swimmers. “In the current environment, those funds are more critical than ever to continuing our water quality monitoring, land conservation, public education and clean water advocacy work.”

The Coalition has other events planned later this summer and fall. The organization will field a team of runners for the Falmouth Road Race, which will be held as a “virtual” run on August 16, 2020. And on Sunday, October 4, the Coalition will host the Watershed Ride—an event in which cyclists ride one of three overlapping courses, the longest of which stretches 100 miles from Sakonnet Point to Woods Hole.

Registered swimmers have multiple options due to the cancellation, including deferring registration until the 2021 swim or transferring their registration to participate in the upcoming Watershed Ride. Full details are included in the memo to registrants.