My name is Bridget Ryan and I am excited to be back at Save the Harbor for my second summer as the Lead Teacher for the Summer Youth Programs! It feels like only yesterday we were pulling back into dock the Provincetown II after our last trip to Peddock's Island.
When our summer programs ended last August, I couldn't wait to get back into my classroom and teach my kids about Boston Harbor. When I'm not on the harbor, I'm the 8th grade Civics teacher at the John D. O'Bryant in Roxbury. Even though I am not a science teacher, I was able to have my students find current events every other week about the harbor and local beaches, from Nahant to Nantasket. My students became very aware of how clean the harbor is and the work Save the Harbor has done in the harbor clean up and the surrounding area beaches! A couple students were stunned at the information they discovered and often asked, "wait, Ms. Ryan, you mean I can swim in the water at Carson Beach??" And my answer was always, "absolutely!"
During the past year, I was able to see the amazing work Save the Harbor does when we aren't catching lobsters at McDonough or crabs at Piers Park. From the Metropolitan Beaches Commission Reports to the Cupid Splash and Destination Boston Harbor, Save the Harbor has had a busy year!
In March, I raised money and prepared myself for a splash into the harbor at M St. beach for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s annual Cupid Splash! The water may have been freezing but the event was an absolute success! By the end of this summer, between the Better Beaches Program and our community partners, we will have invested more than $1 million dollars to support more than 200 free events on beaches from Nahant to Nantasket!
In June, the Boston Globe ran a front-page article about the Metropolitan Beaches Commission Report; a report produced by Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. The article was able to articulate the tremendous work that has been done to improve the cleanliness of the beaches and their infrastructure from Lynn to Hull. The article also explains how these gains are at risk if the state doesn’t reverse the big staffing cuts in the beaches division. What a great way for an environmental advocacy non-profit to get their word across to the general public!
As much as I loved working for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay this past year, I could not WAIT for the summer programs to begin! We have a wonderful staff this summer made up of eight Senior Harbor Educators (SHE), six Lead Harbor Educators (LHE), and 20 Junior Program Assistants (JPA).
Tom, Iris, and I are returning for our second summer while we welcome, Sam Schrieber – our resident artist, Lindsay Phenix – our coach, Kelly Randall – our marine science expert, Sejal Soni – our expert on geological matter around the harbor, and Amy Gaylord – to run our All Access Boston Harbor Programs!
This summer we have hired six college students to work around the harbor with the SHEs and JPAs. Ahmed Hasson and Vinh Tran come back to Save the Harbor as past JPAs, having just finished their freshman year in college. We welcome back Candido Barros, who has worked for Save the Harbor three years prior to last year. The new additions to the LHE family our Maxwell Kennedy Reed and Lucas Crowley and we are thrilled they are with us this summer! Thi Tran is making her sixth summer appearance at Save the Harbor and is excited to be back working with David Coffin and All Access Boston Harbor!
Last week, the senior staff met for orientation. We discussed policies and expectations and also gave them a little preview of their summer. We visited Blacks Creek and Camp Harbor View along with Courageous Sailing and Piers Park. This week we meet with the entire summer staff to introduce the high school students to our program! Today, we set sail for George’s Island and some students will learn how to filet a fish for the first time!
This summer is going to be incredible and I cannot wait to see everyone hard at work on the harbor!