The first was Save the Harbor’s 4th annual Beach Water Quality Report Card on the Boston Harbor Region’s public beaches from Nahant to Nantasket that are managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
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According to the report, “In 2014, water quality on the Boston Harbor Region’s public beaches was very good compared to previous years, with all 15 of the public beaches we studied from Nahant to Nantasket scoring between 87.5% and 100% for an average overall beach safety score of 96%, due in part to unusually low rainfall during the 2014 swimming season.”
The second was Save the Harbor’s 2015 Urban Beach Study, which compared water quality on the South Boston beaches with water quality on iconic urban beaches in New York, Virginia, Florida, California and Hawaii.
The study concludes that “Based on the data for the iconic beaches we examined, from 2012 – 2014 the South Boston Beaches were consistently cleaner than the other iconic American beaches we examined, scoring a perfect 100% in 2014, with a three year overall beach safety average of 99.42%, making them the cleanest urban beaches in America.”
“Having clean beaches in the heart of the city is a great asset, not only to local residents, but to all the ratepayers in our service area,” said Fred Laskey, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.
“The Baker-Polito Administration is strongly committed to keeping state assets and waterways clean and beautiful,” said Matthew Beaton, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs. “ I am proud that the Beach Quality Report Card shows that the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s beaches are among the cleanest in the nation, and I applaud the continued efforts of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, MWRA, and others for working collaboratively to ensure that the public can continue to enjoy the Boston Harbor Region’s beaches.”
According to Bruce Berman, Director of Strategy, Communications and Programs for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, “just a few years ago Boston Harbor was a national disgrace, as our waste washed up on the beach and shore from Cape Ann to Cape Cod.”
“Today, thanks to Save the Harbor’s sustained advocacy and important public investments by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, most of the Boston Harbor Region’s beaches are safe for swimming nearly every day, and the beaches of South Boston are the cleanest urban beaches in the nation. Though there is still more work to do, the region’s residents and ratepayers should be very proud of what we have accomplished.”
The Beach Water Quality Report Card is based on an in-depth analysis of thousands of samples taken by the DCR and the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA) in 2014. The samples were collected at 34 testing sites on public beaches in 9 communities including Nahant, Lynn, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy, and Hull. It is based on methodology developed by Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Beaches Science Advisory Committee (BSAC), Co-Chaired by Dr. Judy Pederson of MIT’s Sea Grant Program and Dr. Jim Shine of the Harvard School of Public Health.
Here is a snapshot of the results.
Because rainfall amounts vary significantly from year to year, this table which compares overall beach safety from 2011 through 2014 for the metropolitan region’s public beaches.
In 2015, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay will continue to advocate for additional public investment to help local communities address persistent pollution problems that continue to close Kings Beach in Lynn and Swampscott and Tenean Beach in Dorchester. Save the Harbor will also continue to work with the Metropolitan Beaches Commission, the DCR, MWRA, EPA, DEP, DPH and the Beaches Science Advisory Committee to develop more accurate models to improve flag accuracy. You can download a copy of the report card online at http://www.savetheharbor.org/Content/beachesreportcard/
Urban Beach Study
On June 23, 2011 Save The Harbor/Save the Bay stood with local, state and federal officials and cut the ribbon on the South Boston CSO Tunnel Project. You can find out more about the project at http://www.mwra.com/
At that time, Save the Harbor’s Director of Strategy, Communications and Programs Bruce Berman made this bold claim: “This project will make the beaches of South Boston the cleanest urban beaches in the country!” You can read the quote in context at http://tinyurl.com/clean-at-last
In 2015, Save the Harbor/ Save the Bay’s policy staff and interns decided to test that claim by comparing water quality on South Boston’s Beaches with 5 iconic American urban beaches: Coney Island Beach in New York, Virginia Beach in Virginia, South Beach in Miami, Florida, Santa Monica Beach in California and Waikiki Beach in Hawaii.
Here is a snapshot of the results:
You can download a copy of the urban beach study online at http://www.savetheharbor.org/Content/urbanbeachstudy/
For more information on Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s 2015 Water Quality Report Card or Save the Harbor’s Urban Beach Study, please contact Bruce Berman on his cell at 617-293-6243 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay would like to thank Dr. Jim Shine and Dr. Judy Pederson, Co-Chairs of our Beaches Science Advisory Committee, for their advice and support.
Save the Harbor would also like to thank Kelly Coughlin and David Wu of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Dennis Fitzgerald of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Vanessa Curran and Michael Celona of the Massachusetts Department of Public Heath for their help with this year’s beach water quality report card, which was directed by Bruce Berman for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and prepared by policy interns Ben Wetherill, Jingwei Zhang, and Yudan Jiang.
The urban beach study was directed by Bruce Berman for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and was produced by Save the Harbor’s 2015 policy intern Vincent Pei with contributions from policy interns Jingwei Zhang, Mehar Kaur and Max Pohlman.
About Save the Harbor / Save the Bay
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay is a non-profit public interest harbor advocacy organization. We are made up of thousands of citizens, as well as scientists, and civic, corporate, cultural and community leaders whose mission is to restore and protect Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Bay, and the marine environment and share them with the public for everyone to enjoy.
Find out more at www.savetheharbor.org or on our blog
“Sea, Sand & Sky” at www.blog.savetheharbor.org
“Sea, Sand & Sky” at www.blog.savetheharbor.org
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