GA Coastal Aquathons



Aquathon Around St Catherines Island

July 13, 2013, 6:30 a.m.
      Jennifer P Bew

This adventure aquathon is a 25.5 mile circumnavigation of running and swimming. It begins on the northern tip of a Georgia barrier island with a 12 mile beach run and swim across 2 inlets. When I reach the southern point, I will transition to a 13.5 mile open water swim in the Georgia Intercoastal Waterway until I reach North Beach where I began.
  • This event raises money for CURE Childhood Cancer.
  • Enjoying the pristine coast of Georgia from land and water will be an amazing scenic experience from land and water in a way that most don't get a chance to experience.
  • Though solo, I have an outstanding support team to give me aid and also protection from river traffic in the ICW. The special connection as a team makes the journey possible and wonderful.
  • I want the children and families that are a part of the CURE team to feel inspired and move their own mountains, conquer any and all obstacles that come their way through life, and remember to always keep hope in their hearts and souls.

The unique chain of the Georgia barrier islands provide natural protection to the coastline and the mainland from severe weather and environmental conditions. It is essential to keep the vulnerable ecosystem thriving  on these pristine islands by research, conservation, and protection.

 Jennifer & Bew children releasing baby Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles.         
The Georgia islands account for one third of the marshes along the Eastern Seaboard. Approximately 110 miles long, the Georgia coast is protected to sustain the ecology and nurture species of microbial, plant and animal life. Only 4 out of the 10 largest GA barrier islands are accessible by bridge.

The marshlands, with the ebb and flow of the tide, are the integral component of preserving the rich natural history of the islands. There are many ongoing projects along the GA coast involving sea turtles, nesting bird habitats, estuary, microbial, toxicity, and erosion research for protection, and conservation.

I worked on St Catherines as a wildlife biologist and was lucky enough to be surrounded by the vast variety of numerous species on this spectacular island. After I had my children and was introduced to open water swimming, I wanted to circumnavigate St Catherines by run and swim. Each GA barrier island has its own distinctive world that separates them by being their own ecosystem. This chain depends on each other for their survival. The Georgia barrier islands are bio indicators of the entire Eastern Seaboard's health and future.
            Jillian O'Malley
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