People really want to jump into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to swim. That much became clear after registration for “Harbor Splash” filled up 10 minutes after opening.

The 150 spots that were taken Wednesday prompted The Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore to offer a waitlist sign up for the public swim on June 23 at a floating dock at the Bond Street Wharf.

Waitlist spots may become available — but they are not guaranteed.

Adam Lindquist, vice president at Waterfront Partnership, said this type of demand to swim in the harbor transcends the late June event and could open the waterways up for more recreational opportunities.

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“With Harbor Splash selling out in ten minutes, it’s clear there is a real demand for more water recreation opportunities in the Baltimore Harbor. Everyone deserves to be able to swim and paddle in clean and healthy public waterways,” he wrote in a statement.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and Maryland Comptroller Brooke Lierman will start the event, with a ceremonial jump at 9:20 a.m. from a floating dock at the Bond Street Wharf.

As development plans progress to revitalize Baltimore’s Harborplace, the city has taken steps improve the waterways that surround the harbor and make them more swimmable and fishable, such as Mr. Trash Wheel, a trash interceptor that collects garbage, and the city’s pledge to invest over $1 billion in sewer infrastructure repairs and upgrades.

Lindquist encourages city leaders to infuse more capital into the harbor. He also speaks from experience after he and other water advocates and researchers leapt from the same floating dock where the public event will be held, in September last year.

“We hope that Harbor Splash and the upcoming Baltimore Floatilla will compel our leaders to invest more in our waterfront and our infrastructure. Waterfront Partnership is committed to doing its part to provide more water access and more swim events in the future,” he added.

Individuals and teams can still register for Baltimore’s seventh annual Floatilla, where paddlers navigate a five-mile course around the Inner Harbor, scheduled for June 8.

Penelope Blackwell is a Breaking News reporter with The Banner. Previously, she covered local government in Durham, NC, for The News & Observer. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Morgan State University and her master’s in journalism from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

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