Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Sea Change on the Horizon at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay President Patty Foley to retire at year's end.

Longtime Save the Harbor/Save the Bay President and Chief Executive Officer Patty Foley will be stepping down from her role at the end of 2018. Foley has led the organization since 2000.

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay is best known for its stewardship of Boston Harbor, leading the successful transformation from a national disgrace to a source of recreational and economic opportunity and civic pride for all Bostonians and the region’s residents, with the cleanest urban beaches in the nation.

During her tenure as President, Patty Foley has taken the organization to a new level of success and effectiveness. Over the past 18 years, Foley has increased membership from 500 to more than 5,000, grown the organization’s budget from $150,000 to over $1 million per year and dramatically expanded Save the Harbor’s free youth environmental education programs that have connected nearly 250,000 underserved youth and teens to Boston Harbor since their inception in 2002.

“Patty Foley is one of Boston’s great treasures. Her unique leadership skills and political instincts have ensured that we protect and preserve one of our most valuable urban natural resources and put them to work as assets for the region’s residents and communities,“ said Joseph Newman, Vice President of Government Affairs for Massachusetts at National Grid, who will continue to serve as Save the Harbor Board Chair. “The Board and I look forward to celebrating Patty’s legacy of accomplishments over the coming months and continuing the work we are already doing to plan for the next chapter of the Boston Harbor Success Story.”

Since 1986, Save the Harbor has worked with residents, scientists, government at all levels, and the region’s civic, corporate and community leaders to strengthen the region’s waterfront neighborhoods and beachfront communities and improve the quality of life for the nearly 2 million people who live within a short ride or drive to Boston Harbor.

The success of Save the Harbor Save the Bay’s environmental advocacy efforts spring from the organization’s clear vision: to restore and protect, connect and share Boston Harbor, the waterfront, the region's public beaches and the harbor islands with Bostonians from every neighborhood and the region’s residents alike, especially underserved kids and families.

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, a committed supporter of Save the Harbor, Save the Bay stated, "I thank Patty Foley for her decades of work to improve and protect our harbor, while making it more accessible for our residents to enjoy," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "I wish Patty the best, and look forward to continuing the City of Boston's strong partnership with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay as we build on our vision to create a waterfront and harbor open for all."

“Patty has taught all of us that good policy requires good politics, and that the best way to “Save the Harbor” is to “Share the Harbor” with everyone,” said Bruce Berman, Foley’s husband, who will continue on as STH’s Director of Strategy & Communications. “Under her leadership, we have given Boston Harbor back to the people, creating a new generation of stewards who understand the importance of these spectacular urban natural resources to all of us and our community.”

Save the Harbor’s free Youth Environmental Education Programs are the cornerstones of the organization's work to connect the region’s young people and their families to Boston Harbor, our region’s public beaches and the Boston Harbor Islands.  During Foley’s time at Save the Harbor, their free programs have connected nearly 250,000 youth, teens and their families to the resources they organization has worked tirelessly to restore and protect.

Foley is particularly proud of the work she has done to strengthen the City of Boston and improve the quality of life for residents of every neighborhood, for which she was honored as City Champion at the 2017 Henry L. Shattuck Awards.

“I love Boston and our spectacular harbor,” said Foley. “I have truly enjoyed this opportunity to work with so many terrific people, including policy makers, civic and community leaders, and the region’s businesses and foundations to achieve our shared mission and goals. You can be certain that I will continue to do all I can to ensure that Save the Harbor is well prepared to continue to be an important civic asset for the residents of every neighborhood in the City of Boston and the region’s residents as well.”

Longtime supporter, friend and former colleague, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation, Paul Grogan said, “The Boston Foundation is proud to have been there at the beginning when Save the Harbor started its work in 1986, and I have known Patty Foley personally since 1991, when we first worked together at LISC. Patty has a unique understanding of the importance of the Harbor to the urban landscape, and she leaves Save the Harbor well positioned to continue as a leading voice for public investment in clean water and as an advocate for healthy, active communities.”

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay has retained Chuck Gordon of The New Kensington Group, Joannie Jaxtimer of Joanne Jaxtimer Consulting and Robin Jones of JStrategies, who work together as CJR Strategic Transition Partners to advise them on the transition and conduct the search for the new President and CEO. The organization will honor Patty Foley for her service to the organization, the City and the region’s residents at a reception in late March of 2019.

You can find a description of the position on Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's website at

Save the Harbor Save the Bay is a non-profit public interest Boston Harbor advocacy organization. We are made up of thousands of citizens, as well as scientists, and civic, corporate, cultural and community leaders whose shared mission is to restore and protect Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Bay, and the marine environment and share them with the public for everyone to enjoy.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Save the Harbor and Boston Properties team up at Victory Park for the fall

After several cloudy and rainy days, the sun finally cleared for our service day with Boston Properties on October 2rd! Volunteers from Boston Properties’ 200 Clarendon building join Save the Harbor/Save the Bay staff and interns at DCR’s Victory Road Park in Dorchester to spend the afternoon preparing the park for the fall season.

Volunteers including spent the day cleaning up Victory Road Park along the harbor in Dorchester. 

“Victory Road Park is fun place to be, right on the harbor in Dorchester,” said Chris Mancini, Vice President for Operations and Programs at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. “This is our second trip out this year, and our second year of a 3-year project focused on stewardship of this particular park. We cannot overstate how important this work is, not only for the sake of this park itself but for the impact it has on nearby Tenean Beach.”

The day started off taking inventory of the work that needed to be done. After cleaning storm debris and flooding washup earlier this year, the park weathered the summer season quite well. Plants had grown up along the new edge of the park, which is important going into the fall as the root systems help prevent erosion. A tour of the park revealed two main tasks: removal of dog waste, and cutting back and pulling out invasive species that had grown up along the parking lot.

Volunteers collected dog waste and plant debris throughout the day.

As anyone who has visited Victory Road Park with their canine companions knows, it's a beautiful place to spend the day. Unfortunately not every dog owner who visits the park abides by the rules for cleaning up after their canine companions. Even a few such instances can build up over time and the impact stretches beyond the park itself. The park is at the head of the Neponset River upstream from Tenean Beach. When rain and storms hit, these unremoved piles become untreated waste that washes off the park and that can wash up at Tenean Beach. Boston Properties is committed to this park in part to mitigate potential public health crises for swimmers and other beachgoers that could be created by this waste.

In addition, sumac and other plants had grown so much in the last few months that they threatened to take over the parking lot at Victory Road Park. Volunteers quickly grabbed weed whackers (and safety goggles!) and began assisting DCR staff in cutting back vines and branches, and revealing larger plans to be cut and pulled.

Several volunteers used weed whackers to trip growth that was threatening to encroach on the parking lot.

In all, the group removed one ton of dog waste and plant cuttings, just one portion of the work needed to ready this park for the fall, and to keep Tenean Beach safe all year long.

One ton of waste and debris was removed from Victory Road Park by the end of the day.

“We are incredible grateful to all the volunteers who came out today,” said Bruce Berman, Director of Strategy and Communications at Save the Harbor, “and we appreciate everything that Boston Properties does to support a clean beaches and parks for all our region’s residents.”

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Fun And Lunch At The Pop Up

Hello everyone my name is Mark Rose Site Director at Save The Harbor Save / Save The Bay's Boston Harbor Pop-Up

We welcome the community , families and friends to come stop by and learn some new fun facts about the Harbor and enjoy some of the exciting activity's we have for you guys we are located at 226 Causeway Street.

Today me and Jah'Ni got a chance to be a part of the Changing Course Project which is making cool looking fish out of plastic bottles and acrylic paint
 Also Jah'Ni and I would love to share the amazingly delicious lunch we had today which 
was yummy smoked mackerel with some tasty ceviche with a wonderful aroma made by Save The Harbor's very own Bruce Berman

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Share the Harbor "Sunset" Cruise to Boston Light

On a chilly October night, hundreds of brave seafarers arrived at the World Trade Center dock to board Bay State Cruise Company's flagship Provincetown II for a free cruise to Boston Light.

Unlike many of Save The Harbor/Save the Bay’s free "Share the Harbor: cruises, the boat was not bound for one of the Boston Harbor Islands, but would spend a leisurely two hours journeying to and from Little Brewster Island to enjoy stories and songs of the sea, and particularly the history and lore of Boston Light. With special guests David Coffin, Lighthouse Keeper Sally Snowman, and author and historian Eric Jay Dolin on board (along with a few pirates), the boat left the dock as the sun set through the rain clouds.

As we passed Spectacle Island, our harbor historian David Coffin captivated those aboard with stories of the burning garbage dump turned National Park, as well as how the city of Boston transformed the way that it disposed of its sewage sending it through a pipeline to Deer Island. This sparked fascinated listeners to ask more about the harbor cleanup,  which transformed Boston Harbor from the “dirty water” of song lyric to the home of the cleanest urban beaches in the nation. A few of our passengers even sang a few sea shanties with Coffin, to the delight of all.

On our approach of Little Brewster, we heard from lighthouse keeper Sally Snowman. She spoke of the history of the Boston Light dating back to 1716, as well as the day to day duties that she is responsible for to keep the lighthouse functioning. It was through her stories that the people looking out at the light were able to envision the sound of the crashing waves, the spectacular sunsets, and her life on the island in general. She even pointed out the whale that had washed up on the beach in front of her home, a sign of the clean water that has welcomed more cetaceans back into the inner harbor recently.

Finally, author and Save the Harbor Humanities Scholar Eric Jay Dolin took the microphone to talk a bit about pirates in the Boston Harbor as well as the New England area during piracy’s golden age in the late 1600s and into the early 1700s. He told tales of interactions between the notorious pirates of the time and colonial leaders and filled in the history of Boston Light, including the possible curse that lay over its early lighthouse keepers! For those passengers wanting to know more, he brought along his new book Black Flags, Blue Waters that he released this September.  

At nightfall, our fun filled cruise came to an end with Boston’s skyline lighting up the water around us. People flooded to the bow to take in the beautiful sights and hear some last minute facts about the seaport as we made our way back to the dock. For those who braved the rain and cold, it was definitely a night to remember. 

Save the Harbor would like to thank all our foundation funding partners, corporate sponsors, and the more than 1,000 individual donors who help make our work possible. We would also like to thank our partners at Bay State Cruise Company, The National Park Service, The Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Boston Harbor Now.

Save the Harbor’s “Share the Harbor” cruises are funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Discover Moakley!

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay was proud to be invited as a co-host of this past weekend's DISCOVER Moakley event in South Boston, along with Boston Parks and Recreation, Greenovate Boston, Boston Harbor Now, The Trust for Public Land, and the Department for Conservation and Recreation.

With Moakley Park's location along Boston Harbor near Carson Beach, visitors from around the region were welcomed as part of Climate Preparedness week to learn about the comprehensive long-term plan for the Park, which balances recreational needs and community gathering spaces with protection against climate-change impacts such as flooding from increased rainfall and sea level rise.

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay was there on land and sea, activating the beach area with aerialists, acrobats and jugglers thanks to our partners at the Boston Circus Guild.

Kids and families also joined us to try their hands at surf casting, and learned stories and songs of the sea from storyteller Norah Dooley as the pirate Mary Read!  It was a beautiful fall day at the beach, and one of the highlights was the kayaking lessons offered by our good friends from the Piers Park Sailing Center.

But that's not all! Members of our youth summer staff also ventured inland to bring a little bit of the beach to the city itself, sharing the Japanese art of fish printing - Gyotaku - with kids who learned about the interesting life cycle of a flounder, while creating a unique piece of art as a memory of their day on Boston Harbor.

Thank you to the City of Boston and our great partners for a wonderful event providing free outdoor activities for kids, families and community, and for highlighting this outstanding waterfront resource in South Boston.

Friday, September 28, 2018

"Share the Harbor" Cruises See Unprecedented Demand

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's new "Share the Harbor" initiative of free public cruises to the Boston Harbor islands has seen unprecedented interest from the public. The September 29th cruise to Spectacle Island had nearly 1000 people sign up within three days of opening registration.

"This year we piloted a new program with the help of Mass Humanities to host more than a dozen free cruises and each one has been more popular than the last," said Bruce Berman, Director of Strategy and Communication for Save the Harbor.

After setting up a waitlist for the 29th cruise, reservations continued to climb, reaching nearly three times the capacity of the boat before the registration form was closed.

"We've been hosting a couple of free cruises to the Boston Harbor Islands each year for more than a decade and we've never seen this many people sign up for a single cruise," said Berman. "But we've always known there was this level of demand for opportunities to visit the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park, and we're glad to be able to help meet much of it. We'll be hosting another Spectacle Island cruise on October 20th."

In the meantime, those who aren't able to make it on the boat on the 29th can still enjoy Boston Harbor just a short way away in South Boston. Save the Harbor, along with our partners at the City of Boston, Boston Parks and Recreation Department, Greenovate Boston, Boston Harbor Now, The Trust for Public Land, the Boston Circus Guild, Piers Park Sailing Center, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation at Discover Moakley from 10AM-3PM at Moakley Park and the Edward J. McCormack Bathhouse at Carson Beach in South Boston!

"It is going to be a terrific event," said Chris Mancini, Vice President for Programs and Operations at Save the Harbor, "with fun in the park and on the beach featuring free kayaking instruction, art on the shore, fishing, clamming, and our terrific troupe of performing pirates, as well as aerialists, acrobats, hula hoopers and jugglers from the Boston Circus Guild."

The next free "Share the Harbor" trip to Spectacle Island is scheduled for October 20th. This trip is being planned in partnership with the National Park Service, The Department of Conservation and Recreation and Boston Harbor. There is still plenty of room on that trip, but it is sure to fill up fast. Make your reservation for our October 20th trip to Spectacle Island today using this form

Visitors will have the opportunity to join Save the Harbor and Park staff for fishing and crabbing on the pier, kite flying on the North Drumlin, and tours of the island including hunting for seaglass on Treasure Beach. Visitors can also explore the island on their own, relax to live jazz music, or join in the fun of a heart healthy hikes, scavenger hunt, tour of the island, and junior ranger swearing in ceremony.

Save the Harbor's "Share the Harbor" sunset cruise to Boston Light, has similarly hit high registration numbers in a short time. More than 1000 people have registered for the cruise in a week, and interested attendees are being placed on a waitlist at this time. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Share A Coke With Save The Harbor/Save The Bay

Dear Future Boston,

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay is teaming up with Coca-Cola Northern New England to call on young change makers committed to bettering the city of Boston. Last Wednesday and Friday Save The Harbor/Save The Bay staff were able to participate on the ground at University of Massachusetts Boston in an exciting collaboration with Coca-Cola Northern New England’s Dear Future Boston Challenge.

Boston's challenge question displayed at UMASS Boston pop-up hub.
Coca-Cola is challenging 18-24 year olds in 15 different cities across the United States to submit innovative ideas to improve their community. The Dear Future Boston Challenge is calling on young adults to share ideas on how to encourage and improve recycling in the Boston area, help protect coastline and marine life and give recyclable packaging a second life. Applicants must submit their ideas in 100-300 words and can include a video or pictures. But that’s not even the best part! One chosen idea will receive a $30,000 grant awarded by Save The Harbor/Save The Bay, and the change maker will receive mentoring from Save The Harbor/Save The Bay, Coca-Cola Northern New England, Coca-Cola scholars, and other community leaders to bring that idea into reality.

A student discussing ideas with STHSTB and Coca-Cola staff.
As the community partner on this project, Save The Harbor/Save The Bay got the fun opportunity to talk to young change makers in Boston face-to-face, brainstorm ideas, encourage conversation about recycling, and promote participation in the challenge by setting up shop on UMASS Boston’s campus. Our role on campus was to help students talk through their ideas and how they could be executed. The hub provided by Coca-Cola was made out of recycled materials, and offered free coke products and places to sit down for discussing ideas.  Those who wanted to submit their ideas right away could use the provided laptops, while those who wanted to submit their idea later could take a recycling survey and send themselves challenge information with a provided iPad. 

Two students write and submit their $30,000 ideas.
Our staff on the ground were inspired by the enthusiasm of the students to stop and talk about this challenge question. We heard so many creative solutions spanning from changes in recycling pick-ups, recycling education programs, compostable utensils, and many more. Although there will only be one chosen winner, the Dear Future Boston Challenge has left no doubt that Boston is in bright and capable hands.

Submissions will be accepted by October 15, 2018 and more info can be found at
All smiles for a great partnership, stay tuned for the winning idea!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Save the Harbor and BCBS of Massachusetts Clean Up Carson Beach!

On Friday, September 21st, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay staff teamed up with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), as part of BCBSMA’s 8th annual Service Day for a clean-up at the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)'s Carson Beach in South Boston.

Stretching for nearly three miles from Pleasure Bay to the McCormack Bathhouse, Carson Beach is one of the cleanest urban beaches in the country. Save the Harbor and BCBS of Massachusetts have held clean up events here for more than a decade.

“Service Day is an important part of our year at Blue Cross Blue Shield,” said Ryan O’Donnell, Vice President of Operations at BCBSMA. “It’s part of our overall mission to ensure healthy communities in the places where we work and live, including making sure that all of our members have access to great recreation spaces and high quality beaches. I used to live about a mile away, and I always appreciated how clean the beaches were. I spent many happy days with my wife and kids here, and we’re excited to play a small part in making sure all of our members have the same opportunities.”

Nearly 40 employees from BCBS of Massachusetts started bright and early to fan out the length of the beach and get to work on various projects. About half of the volunteers went to Pleasure Bay at the north end of Carson Beach. Starting there and working southward, one group painted the shade structures over benches that line Carson Beach and Columbia Road. They were accompanied by a landscaping crew working to remove large plants that grow along the boardwalk and, if left untamed, can grow through and damage the boardwalk.

“It was was a very productive day on the beach, thanks to our partners at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts,” said Chris Mancini Vice President for Programs and Operations at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. “In just one day we covered miles of beach, completing maintenance projects that otherwise might take weeks of staff time.”

Another group started the day at the McCormack and worked their way north raking and removing high tide wash up as well as litter and debris from the beach. In addition to the beach work, a small group spent the morning at the South Boston Neighborhood House's preschool, "the Ollie" helping with a deep clean of two classrooms, including sanitizing as many toys as possible in advance of cold and flu season!

“Carson Beach is really a gem not only for Bostonians but for the region as a whole,” said Chris Mancini, Vice President of Operations and Programs at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay who led the group. “We’re incredibly grateful to our partners at Blue Cross Blue Shield for their commitment to stewarding this beach and recognize the role it plays in helping our region's residents live happy, healthy lives.”