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Environmental Swimmer Completes 100-Mile Journey

July 24, 1989

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) _ After swimming most of the length of New Jersey, Skip Storch says he’s pretty impressed with the condition of the ocean, even though his last two days found him stroking past some unusual floating debris.

Storch, 31, a self-described ″environmental swimmer,″ completed the final leg of a 100-mile swim down the New Jersey coast Sunday, continuing his quest to draw attention to coastal pollution.

On the final leg, en route from Brigantine to Atlantic City, he had to navigate around a watermelon, a wooden crate and a potato sack. It was the end of a swim that began Monday at Liberty Island in Upper New York Bay.

Storch, a gemologist from Monsey, N.Y., says he suffered thousands of jellyfish stings on his journey.

But he said he encountered less pollution than he did last year when he swam 153 miles down the Hudson River from Albany, N.Y., to the Statue of Liberty to draw attention to the state of the river.

″If I was to walk, it wouldn’t make an impression,″ Storch said of the pollution after emerging from the water in front of Caesars Hotel Casino.

″As far as the water quality I’d give it a B,″ Storch said Sunday in a mid-swim interview with WCBS radio. ″As far as improvement, I’d give it a B+.″

Storch, accompanied by two boats, swam each day from about 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and devoted the rest of the time to environmental awareness events.

As Storch’s trip got under way last week, the state had its first widespread beach closings in Cape May County, when fecal coliform bacteria exceeded acceptable levels.

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