Dr. Andreas Fath has started his 652-mile journey down the Tennessee River, and his first day in the river was celebrated on July 27 at the Ijams Nature Center just north of Knoxville. Fath will be accompanied throughout his epic swim through the Tennessee Valley by Professor Martin Knoll of the Department of Earth and Environmental Systems and two recent Sewanee graduates.
During the month-long adventure, the TenneSwim team will be taking water samples for analysis of chemical contaminants and micro-plastics, and they will stop in riverside communities to highlight the importance of water supply and water quality to humans and other organisms. George Grice, C'17, is piloting Sewanee's support boat, and Clark Lupton, C'17, is driving the primary support vehicle throughout the trip.
On his first day in the water, Fath was accompanied by St. Andrew's-Sewanee swimmers Zolon Knoll and Aidan Smith. The team hopes to progress 18-22 miles per day, and to reach their final destination at the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers in late August. You can follow their progress with the GPS tracker at the TenneSwim website. See coverage of the first day in the Knoxville News Sentinel.
Other sponsors of the trip and research include the University of Georgia, the Nature Conservancy, the Tennessee Aquarium, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Riverview Foundation, Hochschule Furtwangen University, Tennessee State Parks, and the Lyndhurst Foundation, among others.