Sunday, June 30, 2013

Welcome from Frisbeach!

Hello! My name is Davis Sullivan and I am a Senior Marine Educator at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's Youth Program. This will be my first summer working for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay.

I was born and raised in Massachusetts and spent many of my summers on the various beaches along the South Shore. My main focus is on Physical Education and Fitness. I graduated in 2010 from New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire where I received my Bachelor's Degree in Sports and Recreational Management and also minored in coaching.

As a life-long, passionate athlete I decided to teach what I truly love, soccer. After graduating, I  began my coaching career as the Assistant Boys JV Soccer Coach at Milton Academy in Milton,MA. This fall will be my third year coaching at Milton. I am also a Physical Education teacher at St.Francis of Assisi in Braintree Massachusetts to students in Grades PreK-8. Throughout the school year,  I have engaged  the students in various physical activities that  have included soccer, football, floor hockey, and ultimate frisbee just to name a few.

I am very excited to be working with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay this summer. I am looking forward to playing all sorts of different activities with the kids this summer. My main focus will be a program called "Frisbeach," which is a program that will allow the kids an opportunity to explore multiple fun ways to use a frisbee.

See you on the beach this summer!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Rain, Rain Go Away!

At Save the Harbor we love sunny days, rainy days, foggy days, even windy days, but - enough is enough!
It has been raining for more than a week here on Boston Harbor - and we simply want it to stop.

One reason we prefer dry weather, is
that even a small summer rain can close a beach.

Still, rain didn't stop our team of Senior Marine Educators from visiting sites from Charlestown to Quincy, including Community Boatng, Courageous Sailing Center, Black's Creek in Quincy and Camp Harbor View.

We were lucky to have a celebrity join us again this year. Larry the Lobster did a cameo appearance at our program site at Camp Harbor View - and we hope to see his friends and relatives in our traps this summer.

Larry the Lobster joined us briefly at Cam Harbor View
It usually rains one out of three days here on Boston Harbor during a typical summer. The rainy weather is expected to continue for a few more days. By my calculations, the next month should be dry and sunny. Hope to see you on the Harbor soon

All the best,


Straight Bloggin' It

Hello everyone out there in the blog-o-sphere! My name is Sarah Bailey and this will be my first summer working as a Senior Marine Educator for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and I am just bubbling with excitement! (I promise I will make a conscious effort to not end all of my sentences with exclamation points) My interest in the ocean was sparked by spending my summers on the shore of Buzzards Bay fishing, lobstering, letting no rock go unturned, and netting tiny minnows and eels. My original professional aspirations were to become a full time mermaid but I had to reluctantly accept that was highly unlikely (I may or may not still be holding out hope), so I settled for the next best thing and decided to become a Marine Biologist and Educator.

See you on the beach, an island, a dock - or in the cool clean water of Boston Harbor soon!

Upon receiving my B.S. from University of Miami with majors in Marine Science and Biology I took a break from research and moved out to Catalina Island in California in order to become an Outdoor Marine Educator. I have spent the last two years leading students on kayaks, snorkels, tide-pooling adventures, and squid dissections which have been both rewarding and life altering. Last summer I spent my time working as a Marine Ecology Mentor for High School students in Eleuthera, Bahamas focusing on over-fishing, invasive species, and anthropogenic affects on the local ecosystems. We also had the opportunity to work with local researchers and were able to long-line for sharks and tag green sea turtles in the shallow sounds.
My interests include SCUBA diving, spear fishing, and cooking; my dislikes include mushrooms and bad reality television. My goal for this summer is ignite the spark in at least one kid so that upon leaving our activity, whether its tide-pooling, lobstering, fishing or any other incredible experience that is offered this summer, that she or he is inspired to continue to learn about the ocean and work toward continuing the effort to conserve it by sharing their knowledge with friends.   

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hello, Aloha and Ola!

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah Chang and I am thrilled to be joining the Save the Harbor/Save the Bay staff this summer as a Senior Marine Educator. 

Born and raised in Northern Virginia, people sometimes wonder how I became so attached to the ocean. It all started when I was young and spent a couple summers in Hawaii (my mother’s family lives in Honolulu). It was there that I began snorkeling and discovered that there was a whole new world below the surface of the water. During those trips, I would spend as much time as possible in the water exploring the coral reefs and getting to know my new fish friends. I continued to follow my passion for environmental and marine conservation by studying Natural Resources at Cornell University.

After graduating in 2010, I joined the Peace Corps and spent 2 amazing years living and working in Cape Verde, West Africa. My primary job was to organize environmental education activities for the local community, with a special focus on creating opportunities for at-risk youth. In partnership with a sea turtle conservation group, I helped organize beach cleans, community movie nights, summer camps and numerous hands-on activities for schools and youth associations. One of my favorite projects was taking groups on overnight camping trips to observe nesting turtles and hatchlings. Seeing the wonder in a kid’s eyes upon witnessing a turtle emerge from the water to build her nest is one of the most rewarding and exciting things I have ever experienced.

Now, I’m back in the good ol’ US of A and ready to get back to work! I am looking forward to an action packed summer and am eager to share my passion for ocean conservation with anyone who will listen!

But, enough about me; let’s get this summer started! See you all on the beach!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

East Boston YMCA Summer Kick Off at Constitution Beach

It was a beautiful day to be on Constitution Beach.
On Monday, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay headed out to Constitution Beach in East Boston for the East Boston YMCA Summer Kick Off. Boston students had a free day for Bunker Hill Day and many kids took advantage of their day off to soak up the sun, play in the waves, dance around and learn about the beach. It was a beautiful day to be outside. 

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay not only sponsored the event but had a strong presence, bringing their touch tank full of clams, mussels and oysters. The kids loved it! Some of them had eaten clams before, but a lot of kids hadn't, and many of them had never seen the inside of a mussel before. SHSB staff members Will and Carolyn were experts at showing the kids how to break open the mussel shells. Some of the kids loved the shells while others were more interested in the insides. They couldn't believe inside those shells were actual animals!

Along with SHSB's touch tank, there were other games for the kids and a DJ who did a great job getting the kids moving. There was freeze dancing with prizes and lots of line dancing--even the SHSB staff joined in! We did the Cotton Eyed Joe, the Cha Cha slides, the Wobble and the Cupid Shuffle. We had lots of fun and it was great to see the kids outside, enjoying the sun and the beach. We hope to see them there throughout the summer!

--Rachel Frenkil
Communication and Events Summer Intern

3rd Annual Youth Partners Breakfast on the Provincetown II

Save the Harbor's Youth Program Partners at our
annual breakfast on the Provincetown II
On Tuesday morning, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay hosted its 3rd annual Youth Partners Breakfast. The event took place on the Provincetown II, docked next to the World Trade Center. People mingled and ate breakfast before Save the Harbor's Bruce Berman introduced himself and talked about our goals for the summer.
This summer we will run our free All Access Boston Harbor trips to the Boston Harbor Islands on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during July and August.  We will also offer our free Boston Harbor Explorers program at 8 program sites on and around the harbor, including the Courageous Sailing Center in Charlestown, Piers Park Sailing Center in East Boston, Community Boating on the Charles River, the Mcdonough Sailing Center in South Boston, at Black's Creek in Quincy and at Camp Harbor View on Long Island.

This year we will also be hosting kids programs at Better Beaches events from Nahant to Nantasket, so even more young people can get involved.

Save the Harbor's Board Member and Youth Committee Chair Harold Sparrow of the Greater Boston YMCA stressed the value of free programming and the importance of getting the kids out on the water and exploring the islands. This summer, SHSB hopes to get more families out on the water as well, with free All Access trips for kids and their families, which also take place on the Provincetown II.  "Book early and book often" said Berman, citing the organization's goal to take advantage of our increased capacity to include more kids.

Another reason for the annual breakfast is to hear from the Youth Partners about what they want and need for the summer. The Youth Partners were enthusiastic about the expanded opportunities to explore the harbor during the summer and in the spring and fall as well.

Also in attendance were Save the Harbor President Patty Foley, and board members David Lee and Harold Sparrow, of the Greater Boston YMCA. A special thanks to Julie Doherty and Mike Glassfeld from Bay State Cruise Company for their partnership that allows so many of the region's youth and teens to "share the harbor" with us each summer.

Last year, Save the Harbor's free youth environmental education programs and free family programs connected 13,545 youth and teens from all Boston's neighborhood and from every beachfront community from Nahant to Nantasket to the harbor and the islands we have worked so hard to restore ad protect. We hope to reach even more kids this summer.

--Rachel Frenkil
Communication and Events Summer Intern

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

East Boston YMCA Summer Kick Off

Touch Tank provided by Save the Harbor / Save the Bay

This year's East Boston YMCA Summer Kick Off was a great event filled with smiles everywhere you looked. The kick off took place at Constitution Beach with a great view of Boston, Logan Airport and Boston Harbor. The kids were able to enjoy many games on the beach, swim and experience a touch tank full of bivalves brought by Save the Harbor /  Save the Bay. I couldn't wait to show the kids what we had brought because everything we had was harmless and some of the best seafood's in my opinion. The touch tank marine life consisted of mussels, little neck clams, cherry stones, Quahog clams and oysters. The kids were very eager to touch all of the marine life that we had and learn what they are. There were a few kids who already knew what some of the bivalves were since their parent had given them seafood before. It was great to see that the bivalves were not completely foreign to the kids.

Throughout the day we had fun participating in the dance events with kids. The DJ of the event did a great job and really kept the kids enthused with different dance games and songs that had choreography in the music such as the "Cha Cha Slide" and "Cupid Shuffle." Being able to have fun with the kids and make their experience on the beach as fun as possible is something I love to do. Smashing opening a mussel so that that kids can see the inside is definitely something that gets them engaged just as much as dancing in a game of freeze dance.

A Game of Freeze Dance

It was a great experience for me to be at the event and I would like to thank East Boston YMCA for letting us be a part of such a great event.

-Will Clark

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Save the Harbor 2013 Better Beaches Awards

DCR Commissioner Jack Murray, State Senator John Keenan, Daphne Griffin, Boston 's Chief of Human Services, Save the Harbor Board Chair Joe Newman of National Grid and Save the Harbor President Patricia Foley with this year’s Better Beaches Awards winners. 

On Saturday, June 15, 2013 Save the Harbor / Save the Bay awarded $30,000 in Better Beaches grants to 15 groups to support dozens of free public events in nine beachfront communities from Nahant to Nantasket this summer.

This year’s “Better Beaches” events include sand sculpting competitions, beachfront concerts, environmental education programs, family fun nights, reading nights art festivals and beach programs in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.

“The Boston Harbor region's public beaches are important assets to the region's residents and visitors alike,” 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 share their beaches and the harbor with the region’s kids and families.”

Save the Harbor / Save the Bay launched the Better Beaches grants program in 2008 to help local communities and formal and informal beaches Friends Groups jump-start free events and activities on public beaches from Nahant to Nantasket with the support of The Boston Foundation.

Today the funds to sustain this program come from the annual “Harpoon Helps Cupid Splash” pledge fundraiser, and Save the Harbor’s Better Beaches Program funding partners at Harpoon Brewery, JetBlue Airways, National Grid, Comcast Massachusetts, the Harold Whitworth Pierce Charitable Trust, Tasty Burger and Russo Marine.

“This year the “Harpoon Helps Cupid Splash” raised more than $30,000 from nearly 500 splashers and supporters to fund this year’s Better Beaches program grants, as participants competed for JetBlue Airways tickets and great gifts from Harpoon Brewery. Thanks to all of you, and to our partners at the BCYF Curley Community Center and the Department of Conservation & Recreation for their support as well” said Foley.

This summer Save the Harbor will once again host two Better Beaches events at the BCYF Curley Community Center at M Street Beach in South Boston. These include the Youth Beach Bash and Splash, which will bring 500 kids to the beach to celebrate clean water, and the Swim for Boston Harbor, a one mile, chip-timed competitive swim on one of the cleanest urban beaches in America.

Over the past five years, Save the Harbor’s community partners in Nahant, Lynn, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull have leveraged $143,500 in small grants received from Save the Harbor with $503,500 in cash and in-kind donations from local government and small businesses for a total investment of $647,000 in more than 150 free events and programs for the region’s residents and visitors alike.

In addition to the grants, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay also gave each group 22 one-inch diameter blue and white marbles to scatter on their respective beaches as part of the “Simply Marble-ous” Treasure Hunt sponsored by JetBlue Airways. Anyone who finds one of these marbles between July 4th and the end of the summer will be entered into a drawing to win round trip airline tickets from JetBlue Airways. “Like” Save the Harbor on Facebook or follow them on Twitter to learn more about this "Simply Marble-ous" summer treasure hunt.
This year’s “Better Beaches” grant recipients include:

  • Revere:  The Revere Beach Partnership, which was awarded $6,000 to support the National Sand Sculpting Competition on Revere Beach.
  • Lynn & Nahant: The Friends of Lynn & Nahant Beach was awarded $2,500 to support the Red Rock Summer Concert Series and The Friends of Heritage Park was awarded $1,000 to support the World Folk Festival.
  • Winthrop: The Friends of Winthrop Beach was awarded $1,000 to support family activities on the beach and the Friends of Belle Isle Marsh was awarded $1,000 to support educational activities on the beach.
  • East Boston: The East Boston YMCA was awarded $3,500 to support the Summer Food Service Program and Campfire, and Harbor Arts, Inc. was awarded $1,000 to support the HarborArts Festival.  
  • South Boston: The BCYF Curley Community Center was awarded $3,500 to support Summer Youth Programs, South Boston Neighborhood House was awarded $3,500 to support Family Fun Night on the Beach, and The City Point Neighborhood Association was awarded $1,000 to support Beat the Summer Sizzle at Pleasure Bay.
  • Dorchester: The Friends of Savin Hill Shores, which was awarded $2,000 to support the Beach Festival Family Movie Night.   
  • Quincy: The Friends of Wollaston Beach was awarded $1,000 to support Kids Fest and the Quincy Beaches and the Quincy Beaches and Coastal Commission was awarded $1,000 to support the Pumpkin Fest. 
  • Hull: The Friends of the Paragon Carousel was awarded $1,000 to support Museum Projects and their Reading Program, and the Hull Nantasket Chamber of Commerce was awarded $1,000 to support the Endless Summer Waterfront Festival.
About Save the Harbor / Save the Bay
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 Better Beaches Programs, visit their website at /, or their Boston Harbor blog "Sea, Sand & Sky" at

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Return Of Summer - and Our Summer Staff

Annie Adams (lower left) and a few of Save the Harbor's staff take
time out to watch the USS Constitution  on Boston Harbor.

The warm weather is nearly here, the Red Sox are back in action and the Bruins are in the finals, but summer isn't official for me until Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's youth environmental programs start at the end of the month.
When I checked in at the office on the Fish Pier,  the staff was hard at work, gathering fishing poles, guide books, crab and lobster traps, and other equipment in order to provide great programs for Bostons youth and families.
We have just a few weeks to go before the full staff of 30 is sent out to our program sites to teach thousands of youth and teens about the environmental and human history of Boston Harbor.
Still, we had time to take a quick break to see the Constitution sail by honoring Boston's brave first responders.
This summer, we will be back at the Boston Children's Museum, Community Boating, Courageous Sailing Center, Piers Park Sailing Center, The McDonough Sailing Center, Blacks Creek and Camp Harbor View, and I can't wait to be a part of it again this year. I hope we will see you at one of our program sites or on the beach or in the islands because there is a lot of fun to be had. - and many opportunities to go fishing, catch crabs, and even meet a lobster or two!

I am pleased to announce that I will be joining the Save the Harbor/Save the Bay staff again this year, but this time I will be in a different role - though I will still be involved in youth and beach programs. I  look forward to learning a new set of skills in marketing and communication, and to help to spread the word about the great work we do here at Save the Harbor / Save the Bay.

I hope you enjoy everything Save the Harbor has to offer this summer and that you plan to join us at one of our events on the beach, the docks, the shores and the islands of Boston Harbor.

Best Regards,
Annie Adams 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Aha! It's Algae, Not Sewage Causing the "Dirty Sea".

In early June, boaters and beach goers from Nahant to Nantasket reported streams of brown matter floating in the water.

In this photo taken by our BayWatcher Bruce Berman, you can clearly see the streams off the bow of his vessel "The Veranda" off Graves Light.

In some places the material had accumulated around docks or along the shore and was so thick that it looked like "brown crud" according to many observers. 

Many people assumed that a broken pipe or combined sewage overflow (CSO) was to blame, but this was not the case. According to our BayWatcher Bruce Berman and the scientists at the MWRA, the "brown crud" floating in the Harbor is a diatomacious algae bloom.

Here's what it looked like in Boston's Inner Harbor

According to Dr. Andrea Rex of the MWRA, the diatom is a kind of phytoplankton found in temperate latitudes during late spring and summer. 

In a recent email, Dr. David Borkman of Batelle wrote "This diatom can exist as a single cell, but more commonly forms chains of up to a dozen cylindrical cells. This diatom thrives at higher temperatures, as population growth rate increases during the rapid warming period of late spring/early summer. While algal blooms are often green in color, they can appear yellow-brown or even red, depending on the species of algae."
A microscopic image of the diatom, Guinardia delicatula

Dr. Borkman explained that the brown froth comes from a diatom bloom where the diatoms produce mucus that clumps together to form the "floc" people witnessed in the Harbor. Borkman explained, "Often times diatoms exude excess carbon during unbalanced growth in which there is plenty of nutrient and light for photosynthesis, but not enough silicon to divide and make new cells. The 'excess' carbon is dumped out of the cells as long-chained carbon molecules--mucilage like material--that can result in "Mare sporco" or "dirty sea" in which the mucilage accumulates and fouls beaches." 

The occurrence of the algae bloom was likely the result of multi-day rains followed by calm, warm weather. Borkman explains, "My working theory would be the classic freshwater input--calm weather bloom scenario. In this, the weekend rains resulted in delivery of freshwater to the harbor, followed by a few days of calm, sunny weather. The phytoplankton present (Guinardia delicatula in this case) bloom in the stratified nutrient enriched surface layer, then accumulate in tidal fronts to water discoloring abundance levels." 

"Algae blooms are fairly common, though this one seems larger than many I have seen. Some can be a nuisance - others, like red tide - which we seem to have largely avoided this year, can be quite harmful. This diatom bloom will provide lots of food for zooplankton, which in turn will feed fish and others creatures higher up the food chain" said Bruce Berman. "I expect that with the warmer weather and predicted rain, this bloom will end fairly soon."

If you are concerned about something you see in the sea around Boston Harbor, send us an email to and we will see what can see!