Zachary Cohen smiling near a pool

Our Story

The ZAC Foundation was established in 2008 by Karen and Brian Cohn after the loss of their 6-year-old son, Zachary Archer Cohn, in a pool drain entrapment in their backyard swimming pool. In honor of Zachary, The Cohns established The ZAC Foundation to help prepare parents and children for a lifetime of water safety, including the potential dangers associated with pool or spa drains and basic water safety and swimming skills.

The ZAC Foundation (TZF) is dedicated to improving water safety by funding advocacy, education and effective programming to safeguard children and their families. The Foundation has provided water safety programming through its award-winning ZAC Camps to more than 20,000 children ages 5-9 in at-risk communities nationwide.

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1-4, and the second leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1-14, according to the CDC. Additionally, Black children have four times the risk of drowning compared to white children, and 64% of Black kids ages 4-18 have little to no swimming ability. This is due in large part to institutional racism and an inherited fear of drowning.

TZF is committed to addressing and eliminating these inequities in water safety and drowning prevention by providing water safety education and swim lessons to children in at-risk communities nationwide.

Through its national advocacy, partnerships, and ZAC Camp programming, the Foundation has recognized that addressing the drowning crisis requires a “whole community” approach informed by, and reflective of, the realities specific to individual communities. To this end, TZF is working with community partners on regional drowning prevention action plans with the goal of reducing drowning rates and, more broadly, informing the development of the national drowning prevention action plan that will be a game-changer while saving lives.

Zachary Cohen smiling near a pool
Zachary Cohen wearing a lifevest on a boat

OUR MISSION

The ZAC Foundation was established to prepare children and families for a lifetime of water safety. The organization funds education and effective programming surrounding water safety and also works to strengthen pool safety legislation. Zachary’s memory is the inspiration for the foundation’s mission and activities.

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Not One More Drowning

The Zac Foundation is proud to be a member of Families United to Prevent Drowning, a collective of moms, dads, sisters, and brothers who are committed to preventing tragedies in the water. Together we say, not one more.

Pool Safety 101

The ZAC Foundation was established to prepare children and families for a lifetime of water safety. The organization works to strengthen pool safety legislation and fund advocacy, education, and effective programming surrounding water safety. Zachary’s memory is the inspiration for the Foundation’s mission and activities.

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people drown each year

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