Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Marine Mammal Safaris!

Hi everyone! My name is Cindy and I am the policy assistant for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. Working here has provided me with numerous opportunities to learn and connect with Boston Harbor. For example, this past weekend, Iwas fortunate enough to board the Freedom vessel (thanks to Masssachusetts Bay Lines!) along with other families and youth groups to look for marine mammals. This event was FREE for everyone! :)

We had a fun-filled 3 hour boat ride where we saw great views of Boston. We left from Rowes Wharf in Boston and traveled all the way to Hull and back. our Baywatcher, Bruce Berman did a fantastic job narrating the entire trip, telling us great facts and stories about the Harbor. He even sang to us at the end of the trip! The kids were enthusiastic to look for seals, porpoises, and birds as they had their bincoulars ready to look for signs of marine mammals. We were able to spot a few seals off of Little Calf Island from the distance but unfortunately, we were did not see as many as we would have liked. Despite this fact, we had an enjoyable time with beautiful weather.

Here are some pictures from the trip! Enjoy!
(If you want to see lots of pictures of seals and porpoises from past years, visit our Boston Harbor "Seals of Approval" Marine Mammal Safari Gallery on flickr)

I want to thank everyone for coming out! I hope you join us out on the Harbor this summer with our All Access Boston Harbor and Boston Harbor Explorers!

Marine Mammal Safaris 2010

Hi Everyone,

I just uploaded some really great pictures from our Marine Mammal Safaris this past Saturday. As you can see, we were fortunate to have some really awesome weather, especially since we had to postpone the trips by a weekend due to really intense rain the weekend before (my cheeks and nose even turned a little pink!). We took over 500 people on 2 free trips to look for harbor seals and porpoises again, and, as usual, everyone had blast.

We spotted some seals off in the distance behind Little Calf Island, but the water was too shallow to get the boat close enough to see them really well. We saw a ton of cormorants flying low over the water, looking for fish to eat for breakfast and lunch. The kids loved watching the planes take off and land at Logan Airport, and Bruce taught everyone about the importance of the sewage treatment plant on nearby Deer Island. We saw some great views of the Harbor Islands and learned more about their history. We made our way all the way down to Hull, where we waved to Policy and Programs Coordinator PJ's old house, before turning around and heading back towards the inner harbor. We did a final loop to look for the mom and baby porpoise who had been spotted a few days before, but I think they were a little too shy to come out and say hi since our Mass Bay Lines boat was pretty big and the kids were really loud with excitement. We stopped to wave at our friends at Piers Park Sailing Center, Constitution Marina, the USS Constitution and Courageous Sailing Center before redocking at Rowes Wharf behind the Boston Harbor Hotel.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Day 2010 on Boston Harbor

Earth Day 2010 -
Fishing 101 with Save the Harbor/ Save the Bay

at the Boston Children's Museum

When I was hired as a Communications Assistant back in September, I didn't expect that I'd be doing field work with Save the Harbor. I figured I'd be sitting behind my desk, sending out my press releases and updating the Facebook world on Boston Harbor happenings. But man, I am so glad that I got to experience one of these awesome outdoor youth programs.

Boston Harbor's water quality used to be so bad that we couldn't do a Fishing 101 event for a long time, but the water in the Fort Point Channel has improved so much in the last few years thanks to Save the Harbor's hard work that we were finally able to bring it back last year. So we partnered with the Boston Children's Museum again this year and ran a special Fishing 101 event yesterday in honor of Earth Day. We really lucked out with a sunny sky and warm weather, so more than a hundred kids and families were able to try fishing in the Fort Point Channel and learn all about lobsters, crabs, mussels, clams and oysters from our Touch Tank.

Since the water in Boston Harbor is still pretty chilly, it was unfortunately a little too early for fish to be jumping at the bait. So even though no one caught any fish, we did manage to catch 10 crabs in our 3 crab traps! We even caught a little baby one, which the kids were all excited about because it wasn't pinching anyone, unlike some of the bigger ones we caught. We purchased two lobsters (not Boston Harbor lobsters, we won't find any of those until summer, so we had to make do with Canadian lobsters) from Hook Lobster across the street from the Boston Children's Museum and let all the crabs join them in the Touch Tank along with some of the mussels, clams and oysters we also got from Hook Lobster. Some kids were a little hesitant to touch the lobsters and crabs, but others were climbing all over each other to get closer. Some were even trying to grab the lobsters out of my hands! I'm no marine creature expert, so when I was getting pinched by the crabs, there was no way I was going to let kids get pinched by them either.

After encouraging all these kids and families to explore the fun and educational value of the underwater world, we released our little sea friends back into the Fort Point Channel, thanked the Boston Children's Museum for their hospitality, packed up our equipment and headed back to the office to keep planning lots of exciting programs for this summer season. We will be running the Boston Harbor Explorers - Fishing 101 program 3 (count it, 3!) times a week this summer, starting in July, so make sure to check our website for more updates as the summer gets closer, or email Lindsay Welch at for more information.