City Launches Let’s Swim NYC Program with Historic Budget


Mayor Eric Adams unveiled a sweeping $1 billion initiative on June 19 aimed at
overhauling New York City’s public pools, a historic investment designed to
safeguard residents from increasingly severe heat waves and bolster water safety

Dubbed Let’s Swim NYC, the initiative represents the city’s largest commitment to
its swimming infrastructure since the 1970s. Over the next five years, the plan will
funnel funds into 39 pools across all five boroughs, including the construction of two
new indoor pools and the complete renovation of three others.

The announcement comes amid growing concerns over climate change, which has
intensified heat waves and underscored the need for accessible cooling centers in
densely populated urban areas like New York City. The upgrades are expected to
expand safe water access and equip New Yorkers with crucial water safety skills

As part of the initiative, the New York City Department of Education also debuted
two state-of-the-art pools at the Harry S. Truman High School campus in the Bronx.
These additions are part of a broader effort to update aquatic facilities across city
schools, ensuring safe and modern spaces for student use and community

“New York City’s pools and beaches are incredible places for New Yorkers to come
together, learn to swim, and beat the heat — and as climate change makes heat
waves like this week’s more common and more severe, the need for pools has never
been greater,” Mayor Adams said. “We’re making a splash with our billion-dollar
investment over five years, which will open up more, better pools in all five
boroughs for working-class New Yorkers to freely use. That’s how we make New

York City a more livable place for everyone lucky enough to call the greatest city in
the world home.”

The initiative received praise from various city officials and community leaders,
highlighting its potential to improve public health and community well-being.
Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi noted the dual purpose of the
infrastructure upgrades, emphasizing their role in enhancing safety and recreation
for residents.

“This week’s heat surge reminds us that we need to use every tool to beat the heat
— sometimes that’s as simple as suiting up and jumping in,”  Deputy Mayor for
Operations Meera Joshi said. “We take real pleasure in delivering infrastructure that
does double duty, delivering both safety and joy. We’ll see you poolside!”

According to NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue, the investment will include
critical repairs to aging infrastructure and the implementation of advanced filtration
and ventilation systems across multiple pool sites. This, she said, will ensure these
facilities remain operational and accessible for generations to come.

“At our free public pools across the city, New Yorkers of all backgrounds can relax,
get exercise, and cool off on hot summer days,”   Donoghue said. “But public pools
are more than a luxury — they’re a vital public resource that promotes public health
and makes our communities safer from extreme heat. With these ambitious projects
amounting to more than $1 billion, we’re proud to be part of an administration that
is investing in our public pool network to ensure all New Yorkers can access the
safe, well-maintained public spaces they deserve.”

The initiative is part of a broader strategy outlined in NYC Parks’ forthcoming Vital
Parks for All plan, which aims to strengthen the city’s health and environment
through its park system. The plan focuses on equitable investments in public spaces,
including parks, pools, and recreation centers.

In addition to the pool renovations, the city is tackling a nationwide lifeguard
shortage, with recent agreements aimed at recruiting and retaining lifeguards to
staff its expanded pool network this summer and beyond.

Local organizations and advocates have lauded the initiative’s potential to
transform community access to swimming and water-based activities. Sharon
Greenberger, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York, emphasized the
importance of ensuring water safety and accessibility for all city residents.

“I commend Mayor Adams for this important investment and making swim access
and equity a top priority for the city,” Greenberger said. “The YMCA looks forward
to continuing our work to support water safety and ensuring every child in New
York City can safely enjoy the city’s pools and beaches.”

As the city prepares to implement Let’s Swim NYC, officials anticipate that these
enhancements will not only provide relief during hot summer months but also
foster a sense of community and promote physical fitness among New Yorkers.

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