ST. LEONARD, Md. (AP) — Former Maryland state Sen. Bernie Fowler held his 25th annual wade-in on the banks of the Patuxent River in St. Leonard.

Fowler has waded into the river each year until he can no longer see his white sneakers. Fowler says the sneaker index is an unscientific measure of the clarity of the Patuxent’s water that helps raise awareness of the health of the river.

The first wade-in was held in 1988 and each year elected officials and residents have joined Fowler, holding hands and walking into the river. This year, the index was 35 inches.

Rep. Steny Hoyer says he presented Fowler on Sunday with a U.S. flag that has flown over the Capitol to commend him for emphasizing the importance of the working together to restore the Chesapeake tributary.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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