For more than a decade now, a group of locals at the North Shore “wade in” the Magothy River to see how far they can go before they can no longer see their feet. 

A bit of a weird practice you’d think, but it’s actually an effort to test the water quality and clarity, and a big advocacy push to clean up the area. 

Every fourth of July for the past 12 years or so, a group of 14 to 16 people -- usually adults with a sprinkle of children and teenagers mixed in -- stand in a line and walk into water as far as they can, to see at which point they can no longer see their feet. 

This year, the results have been better than any year prior. The people at the “wade in” walked up to 43 inches. 

“In fact, participants went in so far, and could see so deep, that the water was too high for some of the youngsters."

It is such a unique and engaging way to test the river’s health and environmental factors that are contributing to it. 

“Though the method sounds quaint, water clarity is actually a strong indicator of the river’s health. Good clarity means sunlight can reach grasses and plant life below. And since grasses create habitats for crabs and fish and help filter pollutants from the water, their growth is essential to the health of the Magothy and the Chesapeake Bay.”

The “wade in” has been a great resource to back up scientific research on the water in this region. 

You can learn more about how the “wade in” works and what it’s done for the community here

wade in

Courtesy of

Have you heard of the North Shore “wade in?” Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Speaking of water quality, Baltimore has an unusual way of cleaning the Baltimore Harbor. Read all about it here!