Press Release

Press Release Department of Conservation and Recreation Announces Free Water Safety Programs

DCR partners with New England Swimming to expand program statewide
For immediate release:
  • Department of Conservation & Recreation

Media Contact for Department of Conservation and Recreation Announces Free Water Safety Programs

Nick Connors

BOSTONBuilding on efforts to improve water safety and develop skills and competencies among waterfront visitors across the Commonwealth, the Department of Conservation and Recreation today announced a partnership with New England Swimming to provide a series free Water Safety Days programming at select agency-managed pools throughout the state. Water Safety Days will offer safe, fun activities to help teach and inform young people between 4 and 14 years old about aquatic safety and water skills while promoting the importance of water competency.

“The Baker-Polito Administration is proud to partner with organizations, such as New England Swimming, to join us in our efforts to promote safe and enjoyable summer recreation that develops water skills and a level of comfort around the water for children and their families throughout the Commonwealth,” said DCR Commissioner Jim Montgomery. “These Water Safety Days will offer fun, engaging activities and help children and their families better understand some of the basics around safe and responsible recreation in or near waterbodies.”

“New England Swimming (NES) is proud to partner with the DCR to increase the water safety of young people throughout the state,” said Matt Soska, General Chair of New England Swimming. “We are committed to reaching beyond our competitive swimming roots to help promote safety and comfort around the water throughout the state. I am grateful for the hundreds of NES volunteers who will be joining us to make this possible.”

Water Safety Days will be offered at select locations, and each program will take approximately three hours to complete. DCR and New England swimming first partnered in 2019 holding two water safety days at the Melnea A. Cass Memorial Swimming Pool in Roxbury, MA. This year, DCR and New England Swimming will expand to at least five locations statewide hosting approximately 150-200 participants a session. The program dates vary by location and participants will be asked to register in advance; however, walk-ins may be accommodated if maximum capacity is not reached.   




Melnea Cass Pool, Roxbury

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Register Here

Dennis F. Shine Memorial Swimming Pool, Worcester

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Register Here

Francis J. McCrehan Memorial Swimming Pool, Cambridge

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Register Here

Geisler Memorial Pool, Lawrence

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Register Here

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Pool, Fall River

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Register Here

This summer, DCR is offering free Learn to Swim programs at 12 locations statewide. Lessons began on Monday, July 5, 2021 in three two-week sessions for people of all ages. For information about lessons, please visit the agency’s website and call your local facility. Additionally, many YMCAs across the Commonwealth offer swimming lessons for children, teens and adults. If you live in the Boston area, view the list of YMCA Boston swim classes. If you live outside Boston, please visit the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs' “Find Your Y” website to locate a YMCA near you. Furthermore, the American Red Cross offers swimming lessons for children, teens and adults at several of its locations in Massachusetts, as well. The Red Cross also offers a wide selection of CPR/AED, first aid, lifeguarding, swimming and water safety, caregiving, disaster response, and emergency preparedness training. Visit the Red Cross for the “Learn to Swim” provider list and select Massachusetts for more information. 

In June, DCR announced that it has increased lifeguard pay from $17/hour, or $18/hour for head guards, to $20/hour and $21/hour. Lifeguards who remain committed for the entire season with DCR will also receive a $500 bonus at the end of the season. In July, 2021, Governor Baker filed legislation to increase fines for swimming outside designated waterfronts across the Commonwealth. The legislation, “An Act Relative to Enhanced Enforcement of Swimming Limitations,” would increase the maximum fine to $500 for entering or swimming in any waters on DCR property that are not designated for swimming, to deter residents and visitors from swimming in unsafe areas.


Media Contact for Department of Conservation and Recreation Announces Free Water Safety Programs

Department of Conservation & Recreation 

DCR manages state parks and oversees more than 450,000 acres throughout Massachusetts. It protects, promotes, and enhances the state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources.