Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Fort Point Channel Working Group Watersheet Activation Listening Sessions

Help Us Make the Fort Point Channel
“The Next Great Place In Boston”



Great public spaces make a great city, but they don’t happen by accident.
They require careful thought, hard work, attention to detail and perseverance.
They also require your participation!

Please join the Fort Point Channel Working Group at two Virtual Listening Sessions
and share your thoughts on ways to activate the watersheet and make the
244-284 A Street Project and Fort Point Channel’s Seawall Basin an inclusive, equitable, active and inviting destination for all the residents of our city.


A copy of this invitation is available in 109 languages on Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s blog Sea, Sand & Sky at http://blog.savetheharbor.org/

To request live interpretation at the Listening Session please email info@savetheharbor.org


About the Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Plan

In May of 2000 the City of Boston asked Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, The Boston Harbor Association, The Boston Children’s Museum and the Fort Point Channel Abutters to convene a working group to draft a plan to activate the Fort Point Channel’s watersheet, and make the Fort Point Channel the next great place in the city, an active, inviting and welcoming place for all Bostonians, the region’s resident and visitors alike.

Find a copy of the award-winning plan in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese here


Since then the “Hub of the Channel” from the old Northern Avenue Bridge to the Congress Street Bridge has become just that, with a mix of uses including offices, residences, hotels, retail and restaurants. It is also home to the iconic Tea Party Ship and Museum, The Boston Children’s Museum, Martin Richards Park, as well as a terrific harbor walk, water taxi stops and new docks where people can actually touch the harbor.

In May of 2022 the Boston Planning and Development Agency, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Waterways Program and Related Beal have asked us to reconvene the Fort Point Channel Working Group and host two inclusive workshops to find ways to activate the watersheet in the Seawall Basin, where several proposed projects, including Related Beal’s 244-284 A Street Project, are in the planning process.

Please join the Fort Point Channel Working Group at two Virtual Listening Sessions and share your thoughts on ways to activate the watersheet and make the 244-284 A Street Project and the Fort Point Channel’s Seawall Basin an inclusive, equitable, active and inviting destination for all the our city’s residents.

 



A copy of this invitation is available in 109 languages on Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s blog Sea, Sand & Sky at http://blog.savetheharbor.org/

To request live interpretation at the Listening Session please email info@savetheharbor.org


Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Sammy the Seal Steals the Show!

 

Nearly 1,000 people joined Save the Harbor/Save the Bay on Boston Harbor on Saturday for three free Marine Mammal Safaris to celebrate clean water and Earth Day Weekend

On Saturday, April 23, 2022, nearly 1,000 kids and families from across the city and around the region celebrated Earth Day weekend and the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act on Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's annual free Marine Mammal Safaris, including 90 people from South Boston.

Save The Harbor's Director of Strategy & Communications Bruce Berman spotted
South Boston's resident Sammy the Seal
chasing bait and enjoying the sunshine just off South Boston

One highlight of the trip was an appearance by one of South Boston's resident harbor seals, affectionately called Sammy, who spends the winter between the Fish Pier and Castle Island.

"Nothing brings more life to our beaches and oceans than free events and programs like these marine mammal safaris," said Metropolitan Beaches Commissioner Rep. David Biele of South Boston, who was particularly proud of South Boston resident Sammy the Seal. "They are especially important for kids and families. Thanks to Save the Harbor/Save the Bay for making it happen and I look forward to more events along our beaches and our coast this year."


Save the Harbor's Executive Director Chris Mancini (left) and their Harbor Historian David Coffin (right)
narrated the trips, which were live streamed on YouTube.

The three free trips were narrated by Save the Harbor's Executive Director Chris Mancini and their Harbor Historian David Coffin, and live streamed on YouTube. They departed on Massachusetts Bay Lines 100-foot twin hulled catamaran the MV Freedom from the Rowes Wharf Ferry Terminal adjacent to the Boston Harbor Hotel, and searched for harbor seals and harbor porpoise from Castle Island and Logan Airport to the USS Constitution in Charlestown.

Mancini was delighted with the turnout, which was the largest ever after a two-year hiatus. He reminded people that the Boston Harbor cleanup wasn't for the seals and porpoise, though of course they appreciate it. "We cleaned up Boston Harbor for all the region's residents," said Mancini. "It was nice to see seals so close to the city, but it was really terrific to see so many people back on our spectacular Harbor. It's shaping up to be a great year on Boston Harbor."

Save the Harbor's Deputy Director Kristen Barry shared that sentiment as well, reminding participants to follow @savetheharbor on social media, and to join the group this summer for free "Share the Harbor" and "All Access Boston Harbor" cruises each week to the Boston Harbor Islands, and free events on the region's public beaches from Nahant to Nanatasket.

Barry said that Save the Harbor's Marine Mammal Safaris are possible thanks to the generosity of Massachusetts Bay Lines, The Cronin Group, the Coca-Cola Foundation, the National Grid Foundation, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

She also thanked the Champions of their Youth Environmental Education Programs, Bay State Cruise Company, Liberty Mutual Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Eastern Salt Company, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and JetBlue.

Save the Harbor's Youth Programs are also supported by Leaders Alexandria, the Boston Bruins Foundation, Boston Properties - Atlantic Wharf, the Boston Foundation, Camp Harbor View Foundation, Cell Signaling Technology, City of Boston Department of Youth Engagement and Employment, the Comcast Foundation, Constellation Generation, Hood Park, HYM Investment Group, Income Research and Management Charitable Trust, John Hancock Financial Services, Leader Bank Pavilion/Live Nation, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, National Development, P & G Gillette, Pembroke Real Estate, Lawrence J. and Anne Rubenstein Charitable Foundation, William E. Schrafft & Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust, Clinton H. & Wilma T. Shattuck Charitable Trust, the Vertex Foundation.

The group also thanked Sponsors and Friends, BoatUS Foundation, the Boston Consulting Group, Copeland Family Foundation, East Boston Savings Bank Foundation, Lovett Woodsum Foundation, Mass Humanities, Mass Marine Trades Education Trust, New England Biolabs Foundation, Pabis Foundation, RMR Real Estate Services, Rockland Trust, Ms. Wallace M. Leonard Foundation, and the YMCA of Greater Boston.

To join Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's mailing list and receive invitations to upcoming free events and programs on Boston Harbor, the waterfront, our region's public beaches and in the harbor islands, email info@savetheharbor.org.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

2022 Better Beaches Program Grants Request for Proposals

 


Save the Harbor Seeks Applications for 2022 Better Beaches Grant Program


Group will distribute $250,000 to community organizations for free beach events from Nahant to Nantasket


Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) are now seeking Better Beaches Program grant proposals from organizations in Nahant, Lynn, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy, and Hull to support free beach events and activities on the region’s public beaches this year.

In 2021, Save the Harbor’s Better Beaches Program invested nearly $300,000 in the program, supporting 67 organizations in nine waterfront communities from Nahant to Nantasket. In turn, those organizations ran 188 events, including festivals, movie nights, concerts, beach parties, fitness classes, sailing and kayaking sessions, speaker series and summer programs.

If you or your organization has a great idea for a free beach event or program, just follow this link.


Among the 188 events funded by the Better Beaches Program in 2021 was the Beach:Ability Festival at Constitution Beach in East Boston

“Nothing brings more life to our beaches than free events and programs like these,” said Metropolitan Beaches Commission Co-Chair Rep. Adrian Madaro of East Boston, who was instrumental in securing funds for the program. “They are particularly important for kids and families this year, as we put the pandemic behind us and return to the beach. Thanks to Save the Harbor/Save the Bay for making it happen.”

The Better Beaches program puts resources in the hands of local beach lovers, supporting and empowering them to execute events for their communities. The impact is clear — in 2021, these events connected more than 1 million people to the water at 13 different beaches and waterfront parks.

This summer, Save the Harbor has chosen to center community voices by reserving $25,000 of Better Beaches funds to be distributed by participatory budgeting.

From December 2021 to February 2022, individuals from local schools and community centers submitted their ideas for free events and programs to activate the region’s beaches in the warmer months.
Cast your vote by April 11
here

Better Beaches funds will be intentionally awarded to organizations, programs, individuals, and creatives who empower, amplify and invest in community members of color, members of the Queer community, and people with disabilities. “Save the Harbor has recommitted ourselves to equity and anti-racism in our programs and on our beaches. We are excited to see the creative ways organizations and individuals will be activating our beaches this summer!” said Save the Harbor’s Executive Director Chris Mancini.

Funds to support the program come from the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Baker/Polito Administration, and from the Harpoon Shamrock Splash, which was held on March 6, 2022 at Constitution Beach in East Boston. As a result, Save the Harbor will be able to invest nearly $250,000 to support free beach events and programs. These programs will activate beaches in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.

“The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is committed to ensuring that all Massachusetts residents who visit our properties have the opportunity to partake in recreational activities - something we know is paramount to everyone’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being,” said Acting DCR Commissioner Stephanie Cooper.We are especially proud to again partner with Save the Harbor/Save on our Better Beaches Program and are looking forward to another great season of free beach programs from Nahant to Nantasket.”

“The Better Beaches Program events are as diverse as the communities that host them,” said Metropolitan Beaches Commission Co-Chair, Senator Brendan Crighton of Lynn, “But one thing they all have in common is that they bring communities together to enjoy our region’s public beaches. Thank you to Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and DCR for working together to strengthen our beachfront communities and waterfront neighborhoods.”

Save the Harbor’s success would not be possible without our program partners and event sponsors, including Arctic Chill and Harpoon Brewery, JetBlue, FMC Ice Sports, P&G Gillette, National Grid, Coast Cannabis, the Daily Catch, Comcast, Mix 104.1, The Blue Sky Collaborative, Boston & Maine Webcams, BostonHarbor.com, The Boston Foundation, and The Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. 

In addition, Save the Harbor recognizes the Metropolitan Beaches Commission Co-Chairs Senator Brendan Crighton of Lynn, and Representative Adrian Madaro of East Boston and the legislative and community members of the Commission as well as Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ron Mariano for their support for our beaches and our communities. We also thank the Baker-Polito Administration, the Massachusetts Legislature, Save the Harbor's partners at the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Boston Centers for Youth & Families, the YMCA of Greater Boston, and the hundreds of people who took part in the Shamrock Splash for their support.

Better Beaches Program grants range from $1,500-$5,000 with a typical grant of $2,500, and in some cases Save the Harbor may consider larger grants. Information about the events and programs that were supported last year can be found in Save the Harbor’s 2021 Impact Report, which is available at  https://www.savetheharbor.org/publications

To apply for a grant, visit https://www.savetheharbor.org/better-beaches. If you have any questions about the Better Beaches Program, please contact Maya Smith at smith@savetheharbor.org.

Applications are due by April 22, 2022, after which Save the Harbor’s Better Beaches Grants Committee will review the proposals. They will present the checks at their annual Better Beaches Award Reception, which all grant recipients are expected to attend, on June 11, 2022 at 10:00 AM at Boston’s Fish Pier. 

####

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Shamrock Splash at Constitution Beach

 


On Sunday, March 6th at noon more than 150 “Shamrock Splashers” hit the cold, clean water at Constitution Beach in East Boston and raised more than $50,000 to support Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Better Beaches Program partnership with the Department of Conservation & Recreation.

 

 

Newly elected State Senator Lydia Edwards of East Boston and State Representative Jessica Giannino of Revere joined event host and Metropolitan Beaches Commission Co-Chair Representative Adrian Madaro of East Boston in welcoming the crowd to Constitution Beach and thanking Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, which has invested nearly $2 million dollars in free beach events and programs since the first Splash in 2008.


Participants won prizes for biggest fundraiser and best costumes, including flights on JetBlue and great swag from Harpoon Brewery, and enjoye
d quesadillas, chowder, Arctic Chill Hard Seltzer and Harpoon after their splash.

 

 

From left to right: Congratulations to Raffle Winner Kristen Barry of Cambridge, Event Master of Ceremonies Kennedy Elsey of Mix104, Event Sponsor Donnie Todd of JetBlue, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Executive Director Chris Mancini, Top Fundraiser Jane Kepros of West Roxbury, Event Sponsor Charlie Storey of Harpoon Brewery, Raffle Winner Derek Green of Dorchester, and Top Fundraiser David Nardella with his Penguin Plunge teammates Jeff Reagan and John Murphy all from Charlestown.

 

 



Kennedy Elsey congratulates Costume Contest winners Jenn Brundage of Allston and Christian Matyi  of the South End who splashed as the “Grapes of Raft” and Felicia Harwood of Worcester, who splashed as a stylish troll.

 

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Executive Director Chris Mancini thanked their program partners and event sponsors, including Arctic Chill and Harpoon Brewery, JetBlue, FMC Ice Sports, P&G Gillette, National Grid, Coast Cannabis, the Daily Catch, Comcast, Mix 104.1, The Blue Sky Collaborative, Boston & Maine Webcams, BostonHarbor.com, The Boston Foundation, and The Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation.

 

Mancini thanked Metropolitan Beaches Commission Co-Chairs Senator Brendan Crighton of Lynn, and Representative Adrian Madaro of East Boston and the legislative and community members of the Commission as well as Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ron Mariano for their support for our beaches and our communities. He also thanked the Baker-Polito Administration, the Massachusetts Legislature, Save the Harbor's partners at the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Boston Centers for Youth & Families, the YMCA of Greater Boston, and the hundreds of people who took part in the Shamrock Splash for their support.

 

Here's a screenshot of the leader board which you can find at www.shamrocksplash.org.

 


Please note that Joe, Chris and Bruce aren't eligible to win prizes - but had fun getting cold for a great cause anyway.


Proceeds from this year’s Shamrock Splash will be invested in free events and programs
on the metropolitan region’s public beaches in Nahant, Lynn, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy, and Hull. You can find out more on their website at www.savetheharbor.org

 

You can also watch a short video of this year’s Shamrock Splash on Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtectGBbNDQ and a recording of the event live stream on BostonHarbor.com’s YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/VN_2ayhv17Y


Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Participatory Budgeting

For the summer of 2022, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay is introducing participatory budgeting for the first time. We're using this process to bring community voices into our annual Better Beaches program. To let the community decide how money is spent on free beach events, $25,000 of Better Beaches funds will be put toward ideas from community members! Ideas are being collected until February 28, 2022. All community members who use the Metropolitan region’s public beaches are eligible to submit an idea through our website's form at this link: https://bit.ly/savetheharborpb 

 After the idea collection phase, Save the Harbor will narrow the number of submitted ideas through its steering committee. The committee, composed of young people, staff members, and partner organizations that engaged in designing the process, will prioritize ideas that increase access to the beaches for young people of color and young low-income residents. Ideas must be for free programs on the Metropolitan Region’s public beaches in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy, and Hull. 

After the ideas have been narrowed down to ten possible projects, organizations and individuals will be able to submit full project proposals that align with one of the ideas. The steering committee will review the project proposals and match each idea to the best proposal. Those projects will be placed on an online ballot, open to all Massachusetts residents over the age of 12. The projects with the most votes will be funded until the total of $25,000 has been allocated.


Save the Harbor conducted idea collections with senior students at Boston's public schools, including this class at O'Bryant High.

This democratic, participatory process is part of Save the Harbor’s annual Better Beaches program. Since 2008, Save the Harbor has partnered with the Department of Conservation and Recreation to award $200,000 annually in small grants to local organizations and artists who activate the region’s public beaches through free public events on beaches in the Metropolitan Region. Over $1,000,000 in grants have been awarded since the Better Beaches program started. For more information about the process, please contact Maya Smith at smith@savetheharbor.org or 617-451-2860 x1006.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Meet Elizabeth! Save the Harbor's Senior Staff Assistant

Hi everyone,

My name is Elizabeth McLaughlin and I'm the new Senior Staff Assistant at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay! I've been here for about a month now, and it's been going swimmingly.

I graduated from Boston University last spring, where I studied journalism and political science. I've lived in Massachusetts my whole life, and Boston has been home for 4.5 years now. Some of my favorite things to do are to go for walks on Castle Island and along the Esplanade, and to check out local farmers markets in the summer. I'm excited to say the Boston Harbor, which was once an exciting field trip destination when I was growing up in Western Massachusetts, is now my office!
I'm extremely passionate about the environmental movement, so of course I'm thrilled to contribute to our efforts to conserve and protect our region's beautiful waterfront spaces and marine environment. What drew me in most thoughand what makes me proudest of working for Save the Harboris the organization's work to make these public spaces accessible and inclusive. I believe one of the most important goals of the movement besides identifying how to protect the environment, should be focusing on who we are protecting natural spaces for: everyone! I'm particularly enthusiastic to be starting during the first year of Participatory Budgeting for our Better Beaches program, which will give the local community and creatives the power to decide what free events they'd like to see on the region's beaches this summer. 
I've started at an especially fun time: Shamrock Splash Season! I'm looking forward to diving into the work (and the freezing cold ocean!) to raise money for a good cause and hope to see you there on March 6th as well.
-Elizabeth

Monday, February 14, 2022

Commission Hearing Focuses on Language Barriers on the Beach

DCR will deploy multi-lingual signs “across our system, including of course, on all the Metropolitan beaches” beginning in 2022.

 On Wednesday, February 9, at 10:00 AM, the Metropolitan Beaches Commission and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay convened a Virtual Public Hearing to address language barriers on the Metropolitan Region’s public beaches in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.

At the hearing the Commission took testimony from people who do not predominantly communicate in English about the obstacles they face when they try to use and enjoy the region’s public beaches.

At King’s Beach and the rest of the Metropolitan Region’s public beaches, water quality, beach rules, and regulations need to be accessible to people that do not speak English as their primary language to promote equity.

“Overcoming language barriers is a key issue,” said Chris Mancini, Executive Director of Save the Harbor/ Save the Bay. “If we don’t have diversity in programs and signage on our beaches, folks will be forced to be spectators when they should be involved, active participants.”

 

More than 50 people took part in the hearing, which was Co-Chaired by Senator Brendan Crighton of Lynn and Representative Adrian Madaro of East Boston. It was translated into six languages and included representatives from Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.

 

Representative Adrian Madaro of East Boston, who Co-Chairs the Commission, set the tone in his opening remarks saying, “in East Boston, language justice and language access are not merely aspirations; they are absolute necessities to ensure the safety, wellbeing, and success of all of our neighbors.”

 

Participants heard presentations on current and best practices for multilingual signage and websites. “Of the 250 signs we looked at across our Massachusetts coast, just four of them were in languages other than English,” said Bruce Berman, Director of Strategy and Communications of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. “That’s simply not good enough.”

 

QR codes on beach signage is one easy way to connect people to the multilingual resources they need,” said Save the Harbor/Save the Bay Policy Intern Caroline Adamson during her presentation, pointing out that QR codes are already in use on signs in Revere and elsewhere.

Among those who testified at the hearing were Stephanie Cooper, Acting Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation and Julia Mejia, City Councilor-at-Large, City of Boston.

According to Acting DCR Commissioner Cooper, “we are focused on having our areas accessible and safe. We also need to have signage and information that provides people with the rules and regulations. What are the amenities? What do I need to know to enjoy the beach and be safe?” Cooper underscored the importance of the use of QR codes, observing that, “Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s presentation highlighted some of where we are headed and some of the progress we still need to make. The great thing about a QR code is that you can provide a lot of information in all the languages that you want. Our plan is to use QR codes this year.”

“I hope that in the years to come our public spaces resemble, more accurately, our community,” said Julia Mejia, Boston City Councilor-at-Large. “When I look at a lot of the signs, oftentimes at our public beaches, everything is still very much in English. I think that we need to do a better job of making sure that, if we are serious about creating spaces where people are seen and reflected, then translation and information justice is a part of that conversation.”


Commission Co-Chair Senator Brendan Crighton of Lynn agreed, and was “inspired by the powerful testimony” he heard at the hearing. “We look forward to using this community input to make our beaches more equitable and inclusive for all people regardless of the language they speak.”

The Metropolitan Beaches Commission welcomes public participation and will gladly accept written testimony from all interested parties. Please email your comments to rodriguez@savethe harbor.org.

For more information about the hearing contact Save the Harbor's Executive Director Chris Mancini by email to mancini@savetheharbor.org or on his cell at (617) 909-6667, or their Director of Strategy & Communications Bruce Berman by email to bruce@bostonharbor.com or on his cell at 617-293-6243.

Recordings of this hearing are available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian-Creole, Arabic, Vietnamese, and Mandarin here

About the Metropolitan Beaches Commission

 

The Metropolitan Beaches Commission is a permanent Commission charged with making findings and recommendations to the Legislature and the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) on ways to improve the metropolitan region's public beaches. It was established by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2006 and is led and managed by Save the Harbor/Save the Bay.  You can find more information about the MBC on Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's website, and download copies of our previous reports at https://www.savetheharbor.org/mbc-archives.

 

Late last spring, the Commission decided to focus attention on ways to increase diversity, equity and inclusion on the Metropolitan Region’s public beaches, to improve access for people of color, people with disabilities, and people who may not speak English as their primary language. Last May, we heard from a diverse group of civic leaders and community members about ways in which we could increase diversity on the beaches and in our beach programming. In November, the Commission focused on ways to increase and improve access for people with disabilities on the Metropolitan Region’s public beaches. The most recent hearing focused on ways to overcome language barriers that prevent people from safely enjoying their beaches.

 

 “We hope these three hearings will enable us to do for equity, diversity and inclusion what we did for management and maintenance of the Metropolitan Beaches during the last rounds of public hearings.” said Commission Co-Chair Senator Brendan Crighton of Lynn. “Working together we will provide DCR, the Commonwealth and our communities a blueprint for improving public access to take these beaches from good to great.”

 

“Our state beaches are public treasures that belong to all of us,” said Commission Co-Chair Representative Adrian Madaro of East Boston. “We need to advance environmental justice and center diversity, equity, and inclusion so that people of all backgrounds can enjoy them for years to come, no matter what language they may speak.”

 

Following this hearing on language barriers, the Commission will host a Virtual Summit, at which they will present their preliminary findings to a broad and diverse audience of beach users to get their thoughts and input. Following the Summit, the Commission will share a report of their findings and recommendations with the Legislature, the Administration, DCR and the public. It will serve as a roadmap for improving access and increasing diversity, equity and inclusion on our public beaches going forward.

 

 “The legislative and community members of the Commission hope that this hearing will help us improve the beach experience for people who do not speak English as their primary language,” said Chris Mancini, Executive Director of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. “We are looking forward to working together with DCR, other state agencies, and our beachfront communities to develop strategies to improve access to these spectacular urban natural resources for people of all languages and backgrounds.”

 

For more information about the MBC or the hearing, please contact Save the Harbor's Executive Director Chris Mancini by email to mancini@savetheharbor.org or on his cell at (617) 909-6667, or their Director of Strategy & Communications Bruce Berman by email to bruce@bostonharbor.com or on his cell at 617-293-6243.

 

You can access this release in your language by using the Google Translate button on the top left of your browser.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Language Barriers on the Beach


 

Metropolitan Beaches Commission Hearing on Language Barriers on February 9, 2022.

On Wednesday, February 9, at 10:00 AM, the Metropolitan Beaches Commission and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay will convene a Virtual Public Hearing to address language barriers on the Metropolitan Region’s public beaches in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.

 

“The legislative and community members of the Commission hope that this hearing will help us improve the beach experience for people who do not speak English as their primary language,” said Chris Mancini, Executive Director of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. “We look forward to hearing from and working together with local elected officials, DCR, DPH, DEP, DMF, MWRA, other state agencies and our beachfront communities to develop strategies to improve access to these spectacular urban natural resources for people of all languages and backgrounds.”

 

The public is welcome to attend to share their thoughts on what is working and what can be done better. You can register for the hearing by following this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwudu6oqzMuHdVZoGCTFxuWFXy1J_2khGPD

 

At King’s Beach and on all of the Metropolitan Region’s urban beaches, water quality, beach rules, and fishing regulations need to be accessible to people that do not speak English as their primary language.

For more information about the MBC or the hearing, please contact Save the Harbor's Executive Director Chris Mancini by email to mancini@savetheharbor.org or on his cell at (617) 909-6667, or their Director of Strategy & Communications Bruce Berman by email to bruce@bostonharbor.com or on his cell at 617-293-6243.

 


You can access this release in your language on this blog using the Google Translate button on the top left of your browser. As a reminder, there will be live translations in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian-Creole, Arabic, Vietnamese, and Mandarin.

 

About the Metropolitan Beaches Commission

The Metropolitan Beaches Commission is a permanent Commission charged with making findings and recommendations to the Legislature and the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) on ways to improve the metropolitan region's public beaches. It was established by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2006 and is led and managed by Save the Harbor/Save the Bay.  You can find more information about the MBC on Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's website, and download copies of our previous reports at https://www.savetheharbor.org/mbc-archives.

 

Late last spring, the Commission decided to focus attention on ways to increase diversity, equity and inclusion on the Metropolitan Region’s public beaches, to improve access for people of color, people with disabilities, and people who may not speak English as their primary language. Last May, we heard from a diverse group of civic leaders and community members about ways in which we could increase diversity on the beaches and in our beach programming. In November, we focused on ways to increase and improve access for people with disabilities on the Metropolitan Region’s public beaches.  February’s hearing focuses on way to overcome language barriers that prevent people from safely enjoying their beaches.

 

 “We hope these three hearings will enable us to do for equity, diversity and inclusion what we did for management and maintenance of the Metropolitan Beaches during the last rounds of public hearings.” said Commission Co-Chair Senator Brendan Crighton of Lynn. “Working together we will provide DCR, the Commonwealth and our communities a blueprint for improving public access to take these beaches from good to great.”

 

“Our state beaches are public treasures that belong to all of us,” said Commission Co-Chair Representative Adrian Madaro of East Boston. “We need to advance environmental justice and center diversity, equity, and inclusion so that people of all backgrounds can enjoy them for years to come, no matter what language they may speak.”

 

Following this hearing on language barriers, the Commission will host a Virtual Summit, at which they will present their preliminary findings to a broad and diverse audience of beach users to get their thoughts and input. Following the Summit, the Commission will share a report of their findings and recommendations with the Legislature, the Administration, DCR and the public. It will serve as a roadmap for improving access and increasing diversity, equity and inclusion on our public beaches going forward. 

 

“The legislative and community members of the Commission hope that this hearing will help us improve the beach experience for people who do not speak English as their primary language,” said Chris Mancini, Executive Director of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. “We are looking forward to working together with DCR, other state agencies, and our beachfront communities to develop strategies to improve access to these spectacular urban natural resources for people of all languages and backgrounds.”

 

For more information about the MBC or the hearing, please contact Save the Harbor's Executive Director Chris Mancini by email to mancini@savetheharbor.org or on his cell at (617) 909-6667, or their Director of Strategy & Communications Bruce Berman by email to bruce@bostonharbor.com or on his cell at 617-293-6243.

 

You can access this release in your language on this blog using the Google Translate button on the top left of your browser. As a reminder, there will be live translations in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian-Creole, Arabic, Vietnamese, and Mandarin.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Our Better Beaches Program was Better than Ever!

In 2021, Save the Harbor leveraged nearly $300,000 in 2021 DCR funding, 2020 retained funds,  and money raised through the Harpoon Shamrock Splash to award Better Beaches grants to 67 organizations, individuals and creatives. The 2021 Better Beaches grantees put on 188 free programs and events on our region’s public beaches in Nahant, Lynn, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy, and Hull.

In preparation for the 2021 beach season, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay convened a public meeting of the Metropolitan Beaches Commission about race and equity on the Commonwealth’s public beaches and used our findings to build a more equitable grant process. 

Based on the community’s feedback and Save the Harbor’s values, $40,000 of the 2021 Better Beaches funds were set aside to address barriers in access and equity that community members of color, folks with disabilities, and queer people experience on our region’s public beaches. 

We directly addressed the community’s request for more diverse music and food, additional mobility mats and beach wheelchairs, and free life jackets on our region’s beaches by allocating additional funds to new and existing partners with plans to meet these needs. We also continued the two Anti-Racism program initiatives founded in 2020, Harbor Healing and Beats On The Beach, and engaged more new partners than ever before, with 31 of the 67 grantees being new partnerships.



In 2022, we aim to make the process even more equitable by introducing elements of participatory budgeting. We will be asking for community input at every step of the process, following the mantra "Your Beaches, Your Voice, Your Choice!". We can't wait to ear from you throughout the process and see you on the beach next summer!