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Hochul, Adams unveils $16m statewide swim initiative with innovative floating pool in NYC

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Governor Kathy Hochul has planned a splash with a statewide swim proposal, introducing a groundbreaking $16 million investment plan, in collaboration with Mayor Eric Adams, to enhance swimming access across New York.

The proposal features a unique floating pool concept called +Pool, set to grace the waters surrounding Manhattan, offering city dwellers a chance to swim in pristine, filtered water against the iconic city skyline.

Addressing the public at the Children’s Aid – Dunlevy Milbank Community Center in Harlem, Governor Hochul emphasized the innovative nature of the +Pool project, previously stalled due to funding challenges. However, with a $12 million commitment from the state and an additional $4 million from City Hall, a pilot program could potentially open as early as this summer.

The initiative extends beyond Manhattan, as Governor Hochul announces a $60 million capital grant program, aiming to establish ten landmark swimming pools in underserved communities statewide. With rising temperatures straining existing public pools managed by the Department of Parks and Recreation, the investment becomes a crucial step in addressing the surging demand for swimming facilities.

Mayor Eric Adams underscores the urgency of investment, highlighting the need to teach young New Yorkers swimming skills, considering the city’s abundant water resources. The pandemic-induced lifeguard shortages at city-run beaches and pools have led to program cancellations, reduced operating hours, and unguarded beaches. Mayor Adams emphasizes the importance of not only reopening pools but also building a robust lifeguard pipeline for future generations.

Despite potential budget challenges, Governor Hochul justifies the expense by prioritizing the goal of saving lives through swimming education. Citing statistics on the leading causes of death among different age groups, she stresses the importance of tackling the rising number of drownings, particularly among children aged 5 to 14.

The proposal is a comprehensive response to both the immediate need for expanded swimming access and the long-term goal of fostering water safety education, reflecting the collaborative efforts of state and city officials.

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