Thursday, June 23, 2011
25 Years - $25,000 in Beaches Grants, 25 Free Island Trips and the Cleanest Urban Beaches in America!
As part of the celebration, this morning Save the Harbor will award $25,000 in small grants to support free events on the region's public beaches in nine waterfront neighborhoods and beachfront communities this summer, including Nahant, Lynn, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.
The group will also announce 25 free island trips for area youth groups this summer, which they expect will connect more than 5,000 young people from 125 organizations around the city and across the region to Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands National Park.
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay will announce this year's grant recipients at the McDonough Sailing Center at Castle Island in South Boston. The presentations will immediately follow the formal opening of the South Boston CSO Tunnel that will make the beaches of South Boston and North Dorchester Bay the cleanest urban beaches in America. The group will also honor the many individuals who have helped transform Boston Harbor from an embarrassment to a source of opportunity and pride for the city and the region.
“The region’s 19 miles of sandy public beaches have the power to connect a million people with the Harbor we have worked so hard to restore and protect,” said Patricia A. Foley, President of Save the Harbor / Save the Bay. “We are proud to support our partners in the city's waterfront neighborhoods and beachfront communities as they work to bring the regions kids and families to their beaches and the harbor.”
Save the Harbor's "Better Beaches" program was launched in 2008 partnership with The Boston Foundation, whose early support helped make it a success. In the past three years, local community partners in Nahant, Lynn, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy, and Hull have leveraged $91,500 in small grants from Save the Harbor with $278,500 in cash and in-kind donations from local government and small businesses for a grand total of $370,000 to support 100 free beach events and activities for everyone to enjoy.
“I am impressed by the way that Save the Harbor / Save the Bay has leveraged the investments that the Boston Foundation has made over the years and has created a sustainable program that strengthens our waterfront neighborhoods and beachfront communities,” said Paul Grogan, Boston Foundation President and CEO. "It is an important asset to our city and the region as we look for new ways to put Boston Harbor to work for our community."
Funds to support this year's grants came from the 1st Annual Spring Splash (AKA CUPID SPLASH!) cold-water plunge and pledge fundraiser held on public beaches from Nahant to Nantasket in April, with additional support from Save the Harbor's "Better Beaches Program" funding partners at The Boston Foundation, Comcast Massachusetts, the Department of Conservation & Recreation, Harpoon Brewery, JetBlue Airways, National Grid and the Harold Whitworth Pierce Charitable Trust.
"More than 2000 JetBlue crewmembers call Boston home, and we are focused on giving back to the communities we serve through the support of great programs like Save the Harbor, Save the Bay," said Ronda Ivy-McLeod, Northeast regional marketing manager for JetBlue Airways. "We are lucky to have such a great harbor - and proud to support such a great cause."
Thanks also to our 25th Anniversary partners at The Boston Foundation, The State Street Foundation, John Hancock, P&G Gillette, and Distragas of Massachusetts / GDF Suez for their generosity and support.
In addition to the Better Beaches Program, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay also runs two free youth programs that combine recreation with hands on environmental education to bring the Harbor alive for the region’s youth. Since these programs began in 2002, Save the Harbor / Save the Bay has connected more than 50,000 youth and teens from more than 125 youth and community groups to Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands National Park.
As part of the group's 25th Anniversary celebration, this year Save the Harbor will host 25 free boat trips to connect the region's youth to the Boston Harbor Islands.
“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past 25 years, and especially proud of the difference our free youth programs have made to the kids of our city and the region,” said Bruce Berman, Director of Strategy for Save the Harbor / Save the Bay. "They are the corner-stone of our work to create the next generation of Boston Harbor stewards, by connecting communities to the Harbor we have worked so hard to restore and protect."
Founded in 1986, Save the Harbor / Save the Bay is the region’s leading voice for clean water and the restoration and protection of Boston Harbor, the waterfront, our region's public beaches, the Boston Harbor Islands and the marine environment.
To find out more about Save the Harbor / Save the Bay's Beach and Youth Programs, visit their website at http://www.savetheharbor.org