This past Tuesday, Save the Harbor was given the great pleasure to meet Boston's mayor, Mayor Thomas Menino. He thanked us for all of the work we have contributed to the Harbor, but he also gave us a task. He wanted our very own insight on how we would make the Harbor an even better place to visit. This is my response:
Dear Mayor Menino,
My name is Kassandra Rivera, and I am a graduate of Southfield School’s Class of 2011. I will be attending Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Although I went to a high school located in Brookline and I will be attending a university in Worcester, I was born and raised in the Jamaica Plain area of Boston. Because I was raised in such an urban environment, I was never fully aware of the Harbor’s history and impact on Bostonians today. I joined the Save the Harbor team during the middle of the summer, and it wasn’t until then that I realized how important the Harbor was to our economy and environment.
Even though I have only been working at Save the Harbor for the past 3 weeks, I have learned an incredible amount about the environment. I believe that our fishing and crabbing programs build knowledge and instill confidence in all of the youth that we interact with. Even I was a bit scared to handle a crab or a lobster on my own before I joined this organization. The All Access Boston Harbor program gives people the chance to visit some of the Harbor's islands for free. I have never been to Spectacle Island or Georges Island until I worked with Save the Harbor. Long Island even has a day camp for urban kids to enjoy what Boston Harbor has to offer. However, I believe we can increase our tourism within these islands.
Our All Access groups should be able to fish on Spectacle Island. I also think that another island, such as Thompson Island should be available to visit via All Access because many of the children have already visited Spectacle Island and Georges Island. A lot of the groups ask me if they can camp out on Spectacle Island, so I think Boston should make the available to the public. Thinking in the long run, I believe that a small amusement park with a marine theme should be built on one of the islands. There are not any amusement parks in the Boston area, and I believe that our economy would definitely benefit. Lastly, we should make a smaller version of the New England Aquarium on one of our islands.
The most important thing that we must all remember is that the Harbor is home to many, many organisms. Regardless of how we use it in the future, its beauty and cleanliness should never be overlooked. Both visitors and residents of Boston should always keep it clean. With at least one of these developments, I believe that Save the Harbor and even the city of Boston can increase awareness on our Harbor while also having fun.