Grossness aside, this is certainly one of the most innovative viral media campaigns I've seen to raise awareness about environmental issues ... in this case the polluted waters off the eastern seaboard.

This week swimmer Chris Swain will plunge into the Boston Harbor and begin a 1000-mile swim from Boston to D.C. through trash swirls, dead fish and raw sewage.

Swain is one of the 'Changents' -- an online social network for a new breed of changemakers and rebels with a cause. The website is quite sophisticated and anyone can post themselves up along with their cause. You can search for changents by category (i.e.: environment) and location and then support them in one of five ways -- by becoming a fan, a buzz builder, an angel ($$), a first respondent, or an advocate.

The site is sponsored by Timberland Earthkeepers, who also created Swain's own social media site called, a Twitter- and Flickr-integrated live feed where visitors can publish how they are going to "get dirty" in support of Swain's campaign to stop ocean dumping.