Since 1984, Nahant S.W.I.M. Inc. (Safer Waters in Massachusetts) has worked to protect our regional waters, beaches and land from pollution and other harm.

Our activities include:

  • monitoring water quality and publicizing the discharge of waste material into coastal waters
  • planning and implementing environmental initiatives
  • meeting with entities who make environmental decisions
  • providing scientific and technical expertise
  • organizing community action
  • working with other environmental groups
  • informing the public via the media and educational events

We generate educational programs, sponsor expert speakers on environmental issues, testify at hearings on urgent environmental issues, and provide written comments on issues facing Nahant. SWIM's extensive email distribution list shares news published in local newspapers and informs the public on urgent happenings, such as the sighting of a rare Right Whale, a heavily littered beach in need of cleanup, or an irruption of Snowy Owls on Nahant. SWIM also functions as a resource for residents with questions about environmental concerns.

Our Beginnings

In 1984, Articles of Incorporation for Nahant S.W.I.M. Inc. were established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a result of the discovery that Lynn had a tentative waiver to release inadequately treated sewage into Broad Sound, from an outfall a little over a mile south of Nahant. As a result of SWIM’s vigorous campaigning, a Secondary Sewage Treatment Plant was activated in 1991 to treat wastewater from Lynn, Nahant, Swampscott, and Saugus.

Charlotte Moore, an artist and former Nahant resident, designed our "woman swimming" logo in 1997.

Read more:

Our Team


Vi Patek (President), Candace Cahill (Clerk)

Board of Directors:

Nancy Cantelmo, Ellen Goldberg, Amy Klee, Kristin Lee, Bill Mahoney, Chris Mathias, Max McDonough, Katharina Radlberger and Wendy Wornham


Bill Crawford, John Benson, Polly Bradley


Charlie Bisbee, Max McDonough, Vi Patek

What We Have Achieved

  • SWIM was instrumental in requiring Boston to build its sewage outfall farther from Nahant and the North Shore.
  • SWIM made sure that Boston, Lynn and Salem installed secondary sewage treatment.
  • SWIM prevented dumping of contaminated dredging spoils from Chelsea Creek just offshore from Nahant. This victory has had widespread ramifications, stopping and preventing other proposals to use the ocean to dispose of polluted material.
  • SWIM helped fight proposed construction of floodgates across the Saugus River.
  • SWIM worked to protect the lobsters from environmental effects of the gas pipeline recently built offshore from Beverly to the South Shore.
  • SWIM worked to create a "No Discharge Area" in Massachusetts that would prevent increased pollution of Nahant waters. The resulting new law now protects the entire Massachusetts coast.
  • SWIM testified at a hearing in State House in favor of H3505 concerning cruise ship discharge. This was energized by discovery of macerated cruise ship discharge found on a beach in Nahant.
  • SWIM helped coordinate the cleanup of a massive dock which washed up on Curlew Beach.
  • SWIM collaborated with the Nahant Preservation Trust, the Town of Nahant and Mass Audubon with the result that a derelict property on Furbush road has been purchased and will be returned to its natural state.
  • SWIM is collaborating with the Nahant Preservation Trust and Mass Audubon and the Town of Nahant in a major initiative to create a management plan for the Mass Audubon’s Nahant Thicket property.
Sandpipers on Beach by Alice Cort
Poster Kids by Vi Patek
Woman and Girls Cleaning Beach by Vi Patek

Questions or comments?

Contact Us