Explorer trains in Stratford to prep for 30-mile swim through freezing temperatures

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International explorer and Discovery Channel host Justin Fornal is determined to conquer a 30-mile ice water swim with help from the Beardsley zoo.

"So, I’m going to attempt to do the first swim from Canada Greenland across the Nares Strait," Fornal explained while training in Stratford Sunday morning.

Fornal said he'll prepare with small swims, incrementally building up to the long-distance swim this summer.

Fornal swam for miles under watchful eyes of kayakers to find what he calls, a happy medium, between flexibility and warmth.

"A lot of the stuff in terms of cold water is meant for scuba, which is very minimal movement. So, essentially, you've got a big heavy wetsuit on, you got a big hood on, but with swimming, there's a lot more physical movement going into it," Fornal said.

The experienced long-distance swimmer wore arctic scuba gloves and boots to keep his extremities warm

"When you're in the cold water, it's going to suck all the blood to protect your core. So things like your hands, and your feet are going to really hurt," Fornal said.

Fornal hopes his quest will shine light on global warming, particularly its effect in the arctic.

When it comes to conservation, Jim Knox of the Beardsley Zoo says knowledge is power.

"The more they know about the wildlife around us, like these seaducts right off the coast here, and the seals swimming around here, the more they know, the better equipped they are to protect our planet and protect what they love,” Knox said.

Beardsley Zoo employees protect the endangered piping plovers yearround. The sea bird's habitat was destroyed during wetland development along Connecticut's coast.

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