A German scientist is swimming the Tennessee River as part of Tenneswim.
Furtwangen University professor Andreas Fath joined the clean water project to raise water quality awareness.
Fath is with a crew taking water samples identifying more than 600 different chemicals and microplastics.
Tenneswim director Martin Knoll said Fath swam the Rhine River in Europe in 2014 breaking world records in speed and distance. Knoll said he reached out to Fath after his famous swim to ask if he would consider swimming a river in the United States.
He said they decided on the Tennessee River because of it’s proximity to Knoll’s home and it’s similarity to the Rhine River.
For this project, Fath is partnering with the University of the South, the Tennessee Aquarium, the Nature Conservancy, the University of Georgia River Basin Center, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee State Parks, the Ijams Nature Center, the River Discovery Center, and the Riverview and Lyndhurst Foundations of Chattanooga.
Knoll said Fath swims around 20 miles a day and will swim through 9 lakes.
He started his journey in Knoxville and will end it where the Tennessee river meets the Ohio River in Paducah. Fath is scheduled to reach Paducah by August 28 where a ceremony will be held for him at the River Discovery Center.