Monday, December 8, 2014

Quincy Resident Wins “Simply Marble-ous” Treasure Hunt

Congratulations to North Quincy resident Sean Harvey, who won a roundtrip ticket from JetBlue to any domestic destination they serve from Bostons Logan Airport in Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and JetBlue’s 3rd annual “Simply Marble-ous” Treasure Hunt.

Sean found his marble on Spectacle Island with his fiancĂ© Maria Melas during Save the Harbor’s final free fall cruise of 2014. Sean is a Graphic Designer who moved to North Quincy five years ago. He will be using his JetBlue ticket to visit his wife’s sister in Santa Monica! 

“Maria and I live just a short walk from Wollaston Beach in Quincy because we both love the beach, the harbor and the harbor islands. Thanks to Save the Harbor and JetBlue, our trip to Spectacle Island was an experience we will always remember.”

Sean is the second winner in this year’s Simply Marble-ous Treasure Hunt for more than 500 marbles hidden on Boston area beaches from Nahant to Nantasket. The first winner was Tiffany Wallace-Buckley, who found her marble on Carson Beach in South Boston with her seven-year-old daughter during the South Boston Neighborhood House Family Fun Night.

The "Simply Marble-ous" Treasure Hunt began in 2012 on the beaches of South Boston with a beach clean up sponsored by JetBlue in partnership Save the Harbor. In just a few short hours, more than 100 people did 5 weeks worth of work cleaning up the beaches. At the end of the day, the participants released their marbles into the water for Boston beach-goers to find.

“The Simply Marble-ous Treasure Hunt is a favorite among JetBlue’s more than 2,500 crewmembers in Boston, many of whom volunteer locally for a variety of worthy causes including Save The Harbor/Save The Bay” said Ronda Ivy McLeod, Manager of Regional Marketing, Northeast at JetBlue. “The treasure hunt exemplifies our fun value, while also highlighting our commitment to the city of Boston.”

Bruce Berman, Director of Communications at Save the Harbor/ Save the Bay said, “At Save the Harbor we’re always looking for ways to get people to take a fresh look at the Boston Harbor. JetBlue’s support helps to make that possible. One of the reasons this event is such a success is because JetBlue is such a great partner. Fun is one of their core values, which you can see that in the way they treat their community partners, employees and customers.” 

While this year’s contest is over, Save the Harbor has already begun to plan for next year’s Simply Marble-ous Treasure Hunt, which begins on Memorial Day weekend, so stay tuned!

About Save the Harbor/Save the Bay
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay is a non-profit, public interest, environmental advocacy organization, whose mission is to restore and protect Boston Harbor, Mass Bay, and the marine environment and share them with the public for everyone to enjoy.  For more information about Save the Harbor, please visit

For more information about the "Simply Marble-ous Treasure Hunt" and other great beach events, visit their blog "Sea, Sand & Sky" at

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A "Giving Tuesday" Message from Save the Harbor/Save the Bay

December 2, 2014
Dear Friends of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay

Today is "Giving Tuesday" and we know you care about Boston Harbor and your community, so here are more than 100,000 great reasons for you to support Save the Harbor/Save the Bay today.

•    Thanks to the hard work of Save the Harbor’s Beaches Science Advisory Committee there was cleaner water and fewer wrong red flags on the Boston Harbor region’s public beaches this year. Learn how your beach scored at

•    Working in partnership with the Metropolitan Beaches Commission, Save the Harbor secured funds for new staff, equipment and capital projects on public beaches in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.  You can download a copy of the report at

•    In 2014, our Better Beaches Program helped fund 40 free beach events including swims, soccer tournaments and beach festivals that brought more than 500,000 people to waterfront neighborhoods and beachfront communities from Nahant to Nantasket. You can learn more on our blog “Sea, Sand & Sky” at

I am particularly pleased to tell you that our free Youth and Beach Programs have connected 107,123 underserved kids and families to Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands since 2002, making Save the Harbor/Save the Bay the Boston Harbor Connection for a generation of young people and their families. You can find out more in our newsletter "Splash" which you can download at

The truth is, none this would be possible without your support, which all of us truly appreciate. As this year draws to a close, I hope you will consider making as generous a gift as you can to help us continue our work in 2015.

You can make a contribution online today at

Your gift of $50, $100, $500, $1,000 or more will help us continue our work for clean water, expand our free beach programs and continue to improve access for low-income youth and teens and underserved families to our spectacular harbor, our public beaches and the harbor islands.

Your contribution is particularly important today as we work to show Governor-elect Charlie Baker and his new administration that clean water, our region’s public beaches and the Boston Harbor Islands are important to all of us and the more than 1 million people who live within a short ride or drive to Boston Harbor.

So thanks for your help and “Happy Holidays” to you and yours from all of us at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay.

I promise that your gift will make help make Boston Harbor a better place to live, work and play.

Patty Foley
President, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay

P.S. It is safe and easy to make a contribution today at
 and it would mean a great deal to us this year.

Thanks again,

Monday, November 10, 2014

Interning at Save The Harbor/ Save the Bay !

Hi! I am Mehar Kaur, the Environmental/Policy intern at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay (STH/STB). I am an international student from India and have only recently moved to Boston to pursue a master’s in environmental heath engineering at Tufts University, Medford.

I learnt about STH/STB through my roomate with whom I went on STH/STB's Spectacle Island Cruise. As a nature enthusiast and a previous intern at the Center for Environmental Education, New Delhi, India, I provided literature on the use of biomimicry to gain access to clean drinking water. At Tufts, I reviewed literature for interventions to help overcome diarrheal-linked malnutrition in children.

To better integrate with Boston city and to continue my interest in environmental health and education, I have become part of STH/STB. As an intern, I am modeling tidal data to more accurately represent the level of Enterococcus in the Boston beaches. Currently beach flagging depends on previous days Enterococcus data, which is not an accurate representation of the water quality. By understanding the relationship between variables including rain, wind and tidal height and the level of Enterococcus, I aim to present a real-time model of water quality testing and subsequent beach flagging.

At STH/STB I am able to further my interest in volunteer work by helping organize various free programs for underprivileged communities in Boston. This is a personally fulfilling experience as I am able to help diverse groups have an educationally enriched experience. In return I get to connect with the city by learning about the diverse communities that make up Boston.     

Here at STH/STB, I have the opportunity to meet with various professionals and learn about their field of work and their contribution to our environment. Last week I attended a presentation by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols on his book, Blue Mind. This presentation resonated with me on various levels and has steered me towards a more holistic view of science. As a future scientist, if my work does not connect with individuals, various societies and/or with policy makers, it is of very little value. At the presentation Dr. Wallace related to all of us at a personal level by helping us understand our emotional connection to water and why increasing scientific data should be focused on explaining our innate relationship with water. Such findings will subsequently allow individuals and societies to better understand themselves.

After the presentation, I was eager to read the book and learn about all the different emotional, social and economic ways in which we connect with water. I will further elaborate on Dr. Wallace’s presentation and his book, Blue Mind in my next blog. Until then, in Dr. Wallace’s words, I Wish You Water!

- Mehar Kaur

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

All About that Bass

Black Sea Bass
The Black Sea Bass (Centropristis striata), also known as a Rockbass and Tallywag, is not a bass at all!  In fact, the black sea bass is a member of the grouper family, and in no way is related to the striped bass or freshwater bass.  It is a popular commercial and recreational species found along the East Coast from Massachusetts to the west coast of Florida. There are two separate stocks of black sea bass in the Atlantic, divided at approximately Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  In 2000, the black sea bass population north of Cape Hatteras was declared overfished, but has since rebounded thanks to improved reproduction and growth rates as well as strict fishing regulations.  In addition, black sea bass have also made a huge return to Boston Harbor thanks to the cleaner water conditions!

Black sea bass grow slowly and on average become 2 feet in length and can weigh upwards of 10 pounds.  Large black sea bass are black in color; smaller ones are more of a dusky brown. The belly is slightly paler than the sides. The fins are dark with dark spots, and the dorsal fin is marked with a series of white spots and bands.  Black sea bass often eat whatever prey is available, but they especially like crabs, shrimp, worms, small fish, and clams.

Black sea bass are "protogynous hermaphrodites"—which means that most black sea bass start out as females, and as they mature and grow they become males. Researchers aren’t sure why this happens, but one hypothesis suggests the scarcity of males in a spawning group may be the stimulus for a female to switch sex. Black sea bass spawn in coastal areas from January through July. During spawning season, male black sea bass turn bright blue and develop a pronounced blue hump on their heads. Depending on their size, females can produce between 30,000 and 500,000 eggs in a spawning season.

In the Mid-Atlantic, the way black sea bass are caught changes seasonally with the species' seasonal migrations—when they're inshore, commercial fishermen catch them primarily with fish pots (both baited and un-baited) and hand lines. Recreational fishermen can also fish for black sea bass when they're inshore. Once they swim offshore in the winter, they're caught in trawl fishing. (Although effective at catching fish, trawling often results in bi-catch of other less desirable fish species.) Once caught, black sea bass can be fileted and cooked in several different ways,  It's even possible to use the bones and carcass as the base for a stock or soup broth.

Check out the video below to learn how to filet the bass and
the links below for some yummy recipes!

Similar to the flounder, black sea bass can also be used to make beautiful fish prints!  Because the bass is "round" instead of flat like the flounder, these prints may take a few tries before producing the perfect print!

Don't be afraid to experiment with color!


And remember, the bass can still be filleted and cooked to eat as long as the inky skin is removed.

For more information on the black sea bass, the status of the species,


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Save the Harbor Connects 107,123 Youth and Teens to Boston Harbor

On Saturday, October 25th, Save the Harbor/ Save the Bay hosted its final free fall cruise of 2014 to Spectacle Island in the Boston Harbor Islands National Park. Nearly 400 children and their families from across the City of Boston and around the region took advantage of the beautiful fall day to explore the island, enjoy a picnic lunch, hike on the trails and search for treasure on the beach.

Hundreds of young people and families from across the city and around the region joined Save the Harbor/ Save the Bay for their final free fall cruise of 2014 to Spectacle Island in the Boston Harbor Islands National Park. 

Save the Harbor took the opportunity to celebrate an important milestone, announcing that their free youth environmental education programs connected more than 100,000 underserved youth and their families to Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands since they launched their free programs in 2002.

Save the Harbor spokesman Bruce Berman; Giles Parker, Superintendent of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park; Patricia Foley, President of Save the Harbor/ Save the Bay; Carol Churchill, Manager of Communications for Distrigas of Massachusetts LLC; Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn; Jennifer Cruickshank, Public Affairs and Communications Director at The Coca-Cola Company and Julie Doherty Pagano, General Manager at Bay State Cruise Company on the dock before the cruise. 

At a dockside press conference before the cruise, Save the Harbor / Save the Bay’s President Patricia Foley thanked “Bay State Cruise Company, the Massachusetts Port Authority, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the National Park Service, as well as the region’s foundations, corporations, and small businesses and the hundreds of individual donors whose support has made Save the Harbor/Save the Bay the Boston Harbor Connection for more than 100,000 young people and their families.”

Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn was on hand at the World Trade Center to congratulate Save the Harbor. “At Massport our mission is to move people and goods connecting Massachusetts and New England to the world. We are proud to support Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s work to connect youth and families from our communities to Boston Harbor and beyond.”

Among those that took part in the trip were groups from the West End House in Allston/Brighton, Maverick Landing in East Boston, the Cummings School in Winthrop, the Highland Coalition from Lynn, the Red Sox Scholars and many other groups and families from across the city and around the region.

40 sixth and seventh graders from the Cummings School in Winthrop were among the nearly 400 people who joined Save the Harbor for a spectacular fall day on Spectacle Island.

Save the Harbor’s free programs have connected 107,123 underserved young people and their families to Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands since they began in 2002, making Save the Harbor/Save the Bay the Boston Harbor Connection for the region’s residents, creating a new generation of Boston Harbor Stewards and building a new constituency to support Save the Harbor’s work. "Our hearts truly warm watching all those kids walk onto the Provincetown II every summer," said Julie Doherty Pagano, General Manager at Bay State Cruise Company, "We are proud to partner with Save the Harbor and are truly touched by what they do."

Carol Churchill, Manager of Communications for Distrigas of Massachusetts LLC, a longtime supporter of Save the Harbor’s free youth environmental education programs, was also on hand for the brief dockside ceremony, saying “Distrigas is honored to partner with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and provide opportunities for Boston area youth to enjoy Boston Harbor. Because the harbor is so essential to our business, we remain committed to ‘giving back’ in ways that expand access to the harbor and the islands and deepen public appreciation for these cherished resources.”

It was 65 and sunny on Spectacle Island- perfect weather to splash in the surf!

Save the Harbor’s free youth environmental education programs use field science, archaeology, and art on the shore to encourage youth and teens to actively explore Boston Harbor to increase their understanding of the marine environment and encourage them to engage in healthy outdoor activities.

Susan Fagan, Vice President of Market Unit Sales Operations, Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, Inc. is proud of Coca-Cola’s partnership with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. “At Coca-Cola, we believe our success depends on the sustainability of the communities in which we operate. We are proud to support Save the Harbor’s youth environmental programs, which provide hands-on education and healthy outdoor activities that connect local youth to the wonders of Boston’s harbor, the harbor islands and the region’s public beaches. Through these programs, young people learn to how to protect our natural environment, while gaining important leadership skills and having fun.”

“Our free youth environmental education programs are the cornerstones of our efforts to share Boston Harbor, the Boston Harbor Islands and the region’s public beaches with all Bostonians and the region’s residents, especially underserved youth and teens,” said Bruce Berman, Director of Strategy, Communications and Programs at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. “As we wrap up our 2014 season on Boston Harbor we want to thank the region’s foundations, corporations and the hundreds of individual donors for their support.”

Sightseers enjoyed the beautiful view of Boston and Boston Harbor from the North Drumlin of Spectacle Island

Save the Harbor's free youth environmental education and family programs are made possible with Leadership Grants from Bay State Cruise Company, Distrigas/GDF SUEZ, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Ludcke Foundation, and the Yawkey Foundation II.

Save the Harbor is grateful for Partnership Grants from Forrest Berkley & Marcie Tyre Berkley, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, The Chiofaro Company, The Fallon Company, Hampshire House Corporation – Cheers for Children, John Hancock Financial Services, Inc., Massachusetts Bay Lines, Massachusetts Port Authority, National Grid Foundation, P&G Gillette, William E & Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust, and the Clinton H. & Wilma T. Shattuck Charitable Trust.

Save the Harbor also appreciates funding support from Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation, Baystate Federal Savings Charitable Foundation, Blue Hills Bank Foundation, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, BOMA, Boston Bruins Foundation, Breckinridge Capital Advisors, Carnival Foundation, Circle Furniture, The Daily Catch Seaport, Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, Paul & Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation, Matthew J. & Gilda F. Strazzula Foundation, Goulston & Storrs, HYM Investment Group Inc., Lovett-Woodsum Family Foundation, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, National Park Service, Rowan Murphy & Andus Baker, P&G Gillette, Reebok Foundation, Skanska USA Commercial Development Inc., South Boston Community Development Foundation, Thomas & Lucinda Foley, Red Sox Foundation, Lawrence J. & Anne Rubenstein Foundation, Senior Housing Property Trust, TD Charitable Foundation and the YMCA of Greater Boston.

We would also like to thank the hundreds of individual donors who help make these programs possible and our partners at the Boston Centers for Youth and Families and the Department of Conservation and Recreation for their support.

About Save the Harbor’s Youth Environmental Education Programs

Each year Save the Harbor/Save the Bay offers a suite of free youth environmental education programs that begin with Marine Mammal Safaris during spring vacation and end in late fall with Treasures of Spectacle Island Excursions.

In 2014, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s free Youth Environmental Education program staff of 34 teachers, college students and teenage assistants connected 18,123 youth, teens and their families to Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands, an increase of nearly 15% over 2013.

Save the Harbor's programs use both traditional tools and new technology to encourage youth and teens to actively explore Boston Harbor, increase their understanding of the marine environment and engage in healthy outdoor activities. Our Boston Harbor Educators use dip nets, fishing rods, lobster traps, field guides, underwater digital video cameras, water quality testing equipment as well as kites, Frisbees, ball sports, archaeology and art on the shore to engage youth and teens age 7-17 on the docks, beach and shore.
This summer, Save the Harbor’s All Access Boston Harbor program connected 8,011 young people from 110 youth and community organizations from 40 communities including all of Boston’s neighborhoods, the region’s beachfront communities from Nahant to Nantasket and other cities and towns across the region to Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands. These include youth and teens ages 7-17 from 84 youth groups including the Greater Boston YMCA’s, Boys and Girls Clubs, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, our Better Beaches Program partner organizations, eight youth program site partners, and many smaller groups as well.

Save the Harbor’s Boston Harbor Explorers program served 7,409 youth and teens at eight program sites including Courageous Sailing in Charlestown, Piers Park and Constitution Beach in East Boston, The McDonough Sailing Center in South Boston, the Boston Children’s Museum, Community Boating on the Charles River, Black’s Creek in Quincy, and at Camp Harbor View on Long Island.

The group also offered Youth Environmental Education Programs at 14 Better Beaches Program events in Lynn, Revere, East Boston, South Boston, and Quincy, and at waterfront events in Boston’s North End and on the Boston Fish Pier, reaching an additional 2,703 children and their families.

For more information, or to make a contribution to support Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, visit their website at and their blog “Sea, Sand & Sky” at

Follow @savetheharbor on Twitter and join savetheharbor on Facebook

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Journey with Save the Harbor

It has been a long journey with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. On my first day back in January, I knew nothing about beach water quality, about flagging accuracy. And now I am confident to say that, under Bruce's direction and guidance, our water quality team knows every bit about it, and is actively making continuous effort to make us heard in policy making process. It is very lucky for me to have the opportunity to be present at meetings discussing outfalls monitoring prospect, beach water quality standards, and alternatives to meet EPA beach guidance for grants, hearing government agencies sharing their perspectives. It is both challenging and fun. Sometimes we need to take other people's standpoint and think from their perspective, then we can stop complaining, be patient, and that's when we actually start to help.

As I am from China, I started a project to study the difference between the two countries in the subject of beach testing and notification for the sake of public health. Since I live inland China and rarely go to coastal beaches, I almost had no knowledge of Chinese beaches. The project provided a great chance for me to get to know my country better. Interestingly, I find physical safety (reef, tides, wind, water depth, etc.) receives better attention in China, and marine bathing beaches still use fecal coliform as microbial indicator while many US states made a switch from fecal coliform to enterococcus in beach testing decades ago as EPA believes enterococcus is a more effective indicator for human illness in marine waters. To study the contamination source of marine beaches, I researched waste water treatment situation and sewer systems in both countries. I was surprised to know lots of waste water treatment plants in small cities/towns could not afford maintenance costs in China, or don't have enough sewage to treat while untreated sewage keep pouring into rivers. The owner and workers of the plant even grew vegetables to make money so that they could keep the plant running while having enough to support them. It is generous but sad. And the awkward situation happened because the construction of waste water plant was way ahead of the installation of collection system. After all, it was poor planning.

Working at STH as an intern has not only broadened my beach knowledge, but also brought me into the marine science and monitoring world, which I feel could remain one of my interests for a long time if not for ever. Thanks for Bruce and Patty's generous support, I enjoyed working with everyone here. Smart Jingwei, cheerful Amy, cute Kelly, knowledgeable Ian, helpful Lindsay, professional Sue, talented Charlie, insightful Ben and dedicated Rachel, I will miss all of you.

Never say goodbye, cause I will see you soon!

Yudan Jiang

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Fantastic Flounder

Flounder are a common flatfish species known to live on the ocean floor.  Although they are often sought after by commercial and recreational fishermen for their delicious filets, there are several other uses  for our friend the flounder. Lucky for us, two different species can be found in and around Boston Harbor.  
The Summer Flounder (Paralicthys dentatus), also known as a Fluke, is distributed throughout the Atlantic Ocean ranging from Nova Scotia to the east coast of Florida.  Summer Flounder can live up to 14 years and can grow to lengths of  2-3ft.  Although adult flounder are flat as adults, they start life off looking like a "normal fish".  It isn't until they go through a metamorphosis that they become flat and their eyes shift.  In the case of the Summer Flounder, its transformation puts both eyes on the left side of its body.  Summer Flounder are opportunistic feeders and will eat anything that comes their way.  Their flat bodies and color changing camouflage techniques allow the flounder to ambush its prey.  This often includes small fish and crustaceans.  Although coloration can vary form brown to grey, Summer Flounder are white underneath and have spots on their backs.  This can be a key way in distinguishing a summer flounder from other species because at least five of these dark spots are arranged in an "X" pattern.

The second specie of flounder found in the harbor is the Winter Flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus), commonly referred to as a Sole.  Unlike their cousin the summer flounder, the winter flounder's eyes are located on the right side of their bodies.  They can be found along the east coast, and more commonly north of the Delaware Bay.  Winter flounder can live for 18 years and grow to about 2ft in length. They can range in coloration from muddy brown, olive green, and black.  Their under bellies are white, and the dorsal and anal fins are tinged pink, red or yellow.

Catching one of these flat fish isn't as hard as you may think. Whether on the beach, a pier, or a boat flounder can be caught with simple hook and line techniques (just be sure to include a weight to bring the line all the way to the bottom!). Although, it is important to note state regulations, open and closed seasons, and size regulations when fishing for any species of fish. 

Once caught, flounder can be quickly filleted and made into many tasty meals! Check out the "how to" video below and the link for some easy and great recipes such as stuffed flounder and fried flounder!

All Recipes: Flounder

Before filleting your catch, flounder can also be used to make beautiful works of art.  Inspired by the traditional Japanese style of gyotaku, flounder painted with inks can then been pressed with rice paper to transfer over the delicate details of the fish body that are enhanced and picked up by the ink.

Fish prints done by kids who visited our tent at the 2014 Boston Seafood Festival
Art projects like this have become so popular that reusable rubber fish replicas have been produced to allow fish prints to be made wherever, whenever!

 photo IMG_0024_zps9de1785e.jpg
Artists hard at work!
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay summer staff attempt their first fish print!

 photo IMG_0049_zpsc5c91540.jpg
Drying the finished products at the
2014 Boston Seafood Festival

For step by step instructions check out this link!

After printing, the flounder can still be filleted and cooked to eat as long as the inky skin is removed.  Once all that is left is the "fish frame" or carcass, it can be used as bait for future fishing trips or in lobster pots.  Thus making the act of flounder fishing and printing a sustainable one!

For more information on flounder, the status of the species,
and fishing regulations check out these websites!