Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2015 Harpoon Helps Cupid Splash

Because You Love Your Beach!
Register Today - Splash on March 21st

Calling all beach-lovers:
Looking for a way to show your love for Boston Harbor?
Register for the 2015 Harpoon Helps Cupid Splash, which takes place on Saturday, March 21st at the BCYF Curley Community Center at M Street Beach in South Boston.

This year’s cold-water plunge and pledge fundraiser marks the fifth annual Harpoon Helps Cupid Splash to benefit Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's Better Beaches Program and we are hoping to make it a record-breaking event this year!
Download a copy of our 2014 Better Beaches Program Report
Once again, Harpoon Brewery will be providing refreshing beer on the beach after the big splash, and Tasty Burger will be serving up delicious burgers. Registration is open and fundraising has begun—so get signed up now to support your local beach and start working your way towards some great prizes!

“We’re really lucky to have great beaches, and great partners like Harpoon Brewery and JetBlue, who share our commitment to our community and our love for these beaches” said Bruce Berman, Save the Harbor’s Director of Strategy, Communications, and Programs.

This year there are SIX ways to win a round trip ticket on JetBlue! The top 2 overall fundraisers each win a ticket (must raise a minimum of $1,000), the best costume for male and female each win a ticket, everyone who makes a contribution (registration, donation or pledge) is entered in a raffle to win a ticket, everyone who raises at least $1,000 will be entered into the Elite Raffle to win a ticket, and those who raise $100 or more have a chance to win t-shirts, Red Sox tickets, a hotel stay, and Harpoon hoodies. Check out the Cupid Splash website for more details!  

"We are excited to support our friends at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay.  We have been brewing on Boston’s waterfront for more than 25 years, and we believe in their mission,” said Charlie Storey, Senior VP of the Harpoon Brewery, whose philanthropic program, Harpoon Helps, is co-producing this year's Splash in South Boston. "The Cupid Splash is a great way to spend one of the first Saturdays of Spring; a quick dip into the icy water to get the blood flowing, followed by a cold Harpoon with your friends - all to support a great cause!"

Last year about 200 splashers raised over $30,000 to support free events and programs on the public beaches from Nahant to Nantasket. This year we are hoping to make an even bigger splash to provide the funds for increased public programming on our beaches, organized by friends groups and other great local organizations.

Check out this great video to see photos from last year's Cupid Splash and learn more about the event! 

To register online for the Cupid Splash, visit Registration is easy and provides each participant with an individualized page to set a fundraising goal and track progress, as well as a link to send to friends and family to encourage them to donate!  There is even an option to register as a “chicken” and raise money without actually plunging into the harbor.  

Funds raised go to support free events and programs on the public beaches in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy, and Hull.
For more details about the 2015 Cupid Splash, visit or email Susan Woods at

We hope to see you on the harbor to support this great cause on March 21st for an adrenaline rush, a refreshing Harpoon beer, and a burger with your friends! 

If you have any great pictures from past Harpoon Helps Cupid Splash events please share them with us! Post them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using #savetheharbor, #harpoonhelps, and #cupidsplash! 
And be sure to follow us on:
Facebook --
Twitter -- @savetheharbor 
Intagram -- @savetheharbor 

Hi! I'm Max.

Head profile picture
I began my internship with Save The Harbor / Save The Bay earlier this new year. Being the Web Design and Content Developer intern, I develop, edit, and customize the organization's websites. As of last Spring (2014), I am a Boston University graduate with a Bachelors in History. Surprising? Seldom do history majors venture into the realm of web design but I am not one to stay within the mold. While I may not have an academic
background in programming, I have always enjoyed making websites and develop social media tools in between college studies. Although the skills I learned from history may not be helpful at times when designing, they do give me an unique quality compared to some web designers. A background in humanities gives me different perspectives on subjects and design layouts while analysis skills allow me to read in between the lines of analytics.

Headed to Georges Island via ferry in 2009
Headed to the Georges Island in 2009
So that is one of the reasons why I am here with Save The Harbor / Save The Bay: to develop my skills and this great organization's online presence. I could say that is my only reason but then I would be misguiding you. The other major reason why I took the internship is that I love Boston, more specifically the historically significance and character of it. I certainly was not going to pass down an opportunity to learn more about the incredible harbor islands that unfortunately seem to be forgotten by Bostonians at times. One of my favorite trips during the summer is going to one of the islands, especially Georges Island. To have a opportunity to promote the islands via a field (web design) that I really enjoy working in is a dream come true!

Finally, one last thing that is not related to this internship but really shows who I am. I mentioned before that I am not one to stay within the mold, and so let me tell you about one of my favorite things to do in Boston. I play quidditch. Quidditch is a sport developed from the Harry Potter book series. The best way to describe it without seeing it played is to say that it is a combination of rugby, basketball, dodge ball, and flag football. I played for Boston University for three years, was selected to play for Team USA in an international tournament this past summer (2014), and I currently play for QC Boston: The Massacre, which is a community team based out of Boston. Talk about something that does not fit the mold! But that is who I am, someone who loves trying out new things and challenging myself to get good at the things I enjoy doing. And who knows, maybe we will see some quidditch being played on the islands this summer!

 So that's a wrap! I am truly looking forward to this upcoming Spring as I work with Save The Harbor / Save The Bay develop their online presence and hope that come Summer, the islands will have a lot more visitors than in the past.

- Max Havlin

Greetings From Heather Bell


My internship with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay only began about a week ago. My main focus will be on the environmental policy side of things. My goal is to become involved with the Metropolitan Beaches Commission and the Waves of Change report that identifies the concerns of the beachfront communities and how those concerns can be effectively addressed in the future. 

I have been thoroughly impressed with the success Save the Harbor/Save the Bay has had with strengthening the connection between the Boston communities and the harbor in order to promote environmental integrity and fuel the region’s economy. Recently, I graduated from Vermont Law School with a Masters of Environmental Law and Policy. I earned my Bachelors in Environmental Studies from St. Lawrence University. 

Outside of academia, I have worked for several non-profits with a focus on wildlife conservation. My all time favorite experience so far working in the non-profit sector was being involved in bat surveys when White Nose Syndrome was decimating the northeastern bat populations. Working with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay on the environmental policy side of things I may not be out in the woods conducting wildlife surveys but I am very excited for the opportunity to promote Save the harbor/Save the Bay’s mission to restore and protect the beaches, the harbor, and the bay for everyone in the Boston area to enjoy.

Another reason I joined the team at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay was because I think it was due time that I had an adventure and mixed things up a little bit. I needed to step out of the small New England towns I was used to and get a little uncomfortable in a big city. Boston has so much to offer and I am looking forward to exploring it all! 
-Heather Bell

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Happy 2015 from Zoe

Happy 2015! I am delighted to start the year off as a new policy intern at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. I have been interested in environmental advocacy since high school, and recently decided to shift my career to this area. In doing some research to refine my focus in the new field, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay caught my attention because of their remarkable work to improve Boston Harbor’s water quality. I applied for their internship because I wanted to see their data-driven projects in action and learn more about how they have shaped policy and practice so successfully.

This role is also a great opportunity to learn more about a question that intrigues me: how to convey scientific information to policymakers and to the public in ways that lead them to make safe, proactive decisions on environmental issues. As someone with a background in activism and behavior change (from studying psychology and working as a caseworker), I am fascinated by finding the best communication techniques to persuade people to make positive change. This is a particularly urgent question given today’s environmental crises. Now more than ever, our safety and our planet depend on our ability to influence each other to protect the natural world.

Both of the above—a data-based approach and a strategic communication style—will help me with my first project as an intern, researching government climate resilience initiatives in major population centers on the Massachusetts coast. Based on scientific projections of sea level rise and changing weather patterns due to climate change, these communities will face increasing challenges with flooding and severe storms. Local emergency preparation is vital. To our knowledge, there has been little or no investigation into whether these cities and towns are funding such efforts adequately, so my first step will be to look into municipal climate resilience budgeting. As demonstrated by storms like Hurricane Sandy, areas with limited resources often bear the most serious impacts of severe weather. To prevent tragedies like these, we need to make sure all communities have the resources they need to protect themselves.

I feel very lucky to have a chance to research an environmental justice question with such wide implications. I am equally excited that I am doing so by joining Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, and learning firsthand about its programs to keep Boston Harbor clean, beautiful, and accessible to all.

-Zoe Vanderschmidt

Monday, January 12, 2015

Blue Mind by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols

Water makes up majority of our planet and of our individual bodies. However, we seldom look deeper to understand our innate social and psychological connection with water. The book, Blue Mind by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols addresses the social, economic and psychological benefits of interacting with water. Blue Mind is just the book we need to encourage people, businesses, economies, and the world as a whole to holistically appreciate a part of our environment that is in such abundance.
Individuals in the field of art and literature have transferred the ‘awe of the ocean’ onto inland people. Movies and real estate alike have cashed on the grandeur of the oceans. However, the field of science has still not tapped into the interdisciplinary nature of water and human beings. In his book, Dr. Wallace combines disparate fields of public health, neuroscience, and economics to help us better understand the multifaceted way in which we connect with water. Such a comprehensive understanding subsequently leads to a better understanding of ourselves and our blue minds.

Although the book is rooted in scientific findings it is a surprisingly simple read. The simplicity with which scientific data is explained allows readers to understand the neuroscience behind our innate connection with water. Unlike most scientific literature, which disregards emotions, Blue Mind focuses on using scientific data to provide support for the emotional relationship we have when we are in or near water.

The book is not only an informative text about water but fulfills its purpose of resonating with the reader on an individual level. The social benefit of presenting individuals and groups of individuals with fun, privacy and solitude, creativity, nostalgia, romance, happiness, and love, allows water to tap into the psychological and cognitive sensibilities of humans.

While at the Blue Mind presentation, as I heard Dr. Wallace speak about love and nostalgia, I thought about when my parents taught me how to swim. To get to my father I had to swim to him, but every time I got close, he would move further away. Although water was gushing through my ears, nose and mouth, there was nothing frustrating about the challenge of swimming that extra distance. Being in water allowed me to open my blue mind, an area of ‘calm and centeredness.’ On land we would have disagreements but in water all three of us were in sync.  The book is of particular interest to me as it allows me to understand how that “touchy feely” stuff led me to eventually become a state-level swimmer.

At STH/STB we understand the “touchy-feely” stuff when in water. Through our free Youth Environmental Education Programs we connect youth and teens to Boston Harbor and the islands. To learn more, visit our website at

Like the book, Blue Mind, STH/STB connects with people by educating them about the physical and social benefits of water. In doing so, we at STH/STB create an environment that is the driving force of bringing the emotional connection we have with water ‘out of the bathrooms and the boat houses and into the boardrooms and the Whitehouse.’ In doing so, city planners and various public health professionals can better incorporate water into our daily lives. Consciously integrating with water will help us move away from our red and gray minds and access our blue minds, thereby becoming calmer and more centered individuals, societies and economies.

- Mehar Kaur

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Belated Greetings from Jingwei Zhang, Policy Intern at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay

As much as I was surprised to find that Boston beaches are not as crowded as those in China where I am originally from, I was also both baffled and excited to learn that Save the Harbor/Save the Bay was doing great work to connect the harbor and the beaches with kids and families in the region. Such a non-profit public-interest organization model is barely seen in China, although organizations resembling it are on the rise in recent years. With a belief that environmental protection goes hand-in-hand with community strengthening, and with interests in sustainable place making and non-profit operations, I joined Save the Harbor/Save the Bay as a policy intern last September and since then have been enjoying every aspect of my work here while learning a lot along the way. 

From my graduate studies in City Planning at Boston University, I learned about the history of Boston Harbor cleanup that turned it from “the dirtiest harbor in America” almost 20 years ago into “a great American jewel” today in EPA’s term. That story made possible the City’s focus of planning and development in the South Boston Waterfront, which I was privileged to contribute in part as a business development intern at the Boston Redevelopment Authority supporting retail sector development strategies in that area. What I did not know until I started my policy internship here was that Save the Harbor/Save the Bay played a leading advocacy role in the tale of Boston Harbor transformation, and it continued to protect and restore Boston Harbor through science, policy and programs.

My very first project here was exactly on beach water quality and the accuracy of the flagging system which provides notification to the public on whether the water was clean and safe to swim in. I was fortunate to work with an incredibly talented policy team including Ben and Yudan (and also Mehar and Vicent who came on board later), who shared a lot of resources with me. With their guidance, I was able to quickly dive in the analyses. In collaboration, we have completed the executive summary of the 2014 Beaches Report Card on Water Quality to be released in early summer this year. We have also been working on analyzing the implications of EPA’s 2014 Beach Guidelines and examining various predictive modeling opportunities for beach safety flagging. Our work has shown significant results that will contribute in policy recommendations to MassDEP, DPH and DCR to improve the notification system and ensure public access to beaches when they are clean.

In addition to water quality policy analysis, I am also able to get involved in several planning projects where I was able to apply my knowledge and skills developed through attaining my Master’s degree. This is why I appreciate this internship so much, that the work and the learning strike a good balance so I feel valued and growth at the same time.  It also expanded my view in determining my future career path.  In my next career move, I would welcome opportunities in the energy and environmental policy field especially around planning and development sectors, so it can use a combination of my undergraduate education in Environmental Science, Master of City Planning, and various experiences across both disciplines in non-profit settings. I want to build up further experiences and gain enough knowledge and skills, and bring these back to China to develop a non-profit environmental organization there. The first step I took in 2015 in achieving all these goals was that I became accredited as a LEED Green Associate. With this good start, I am looking forward to another exciting and challenging year at Save the Harbor, and anywhere else.