Thursday, May 26, 2016

Not Quite Clean Enough: Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s 2016 Beach Water Quality Report Card

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay released its annual water quality report card on the Boston Harbor region’s public beaches from Nahant to Nantasket on Friday, May 27, 2016 just in time for Memorial Day.

This year’s report includes a comparative analysis of five years of water quality data for 15 beaches in nine communities that include Nahant, Lynn, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.

In 2015, overall water quality on all of the Boston Harbor Region’s public beaches was down from a high of 96% in 2014 to 92% in 2015, primarily as a result of frequent summer storms. Though total rainfall was actually up slightly from 2014, in 2015 there were more than 30 summer days with some rain, which adversely affected water quality on beaches in Lynn, Revere, East Boston, Dorchester and Quincy.

“Though the overall numbers are down a bit this year, the report card still contains good news for many of our beaches, including those in South Boston which are still the cleanest urban beaches in the country,” said Save the Harbor’s spokesman Bruce Berman. “However the persistent pollution problems at King’s Beach on the Lynn/Swampscott line and at Tenean Beach in Dorchester and other area beaches continue to jeopardize the public’s health and prevent residents from enjoying the benefits of our $5 billion investment in clean water. While we are pleased that Boston Water and Sewer has identified several significant sources of bacterial contamination in Dorchester, we look forward to working with local state and local government to finish the job we began together 30 years ago.”

City Point, M Street, and Pleasure Bay in South Boston and Nantasket Beach and Winthrop Beach topped the list this year, with perfect scores of 100%. Of the 15 beaches in the report, which was based on data collected during the 2015 swimming season, 7 earned primary beach safety scores of 95% or more while 6 scored 85% or higher.

King’s Beach in Lynn and Swampscott scored just 75% and Tenean Beach in Dorchester scored just 71%, failing to meet the state swimming standard more than once every 5 days during the 2015 swimming season.

“Scores like this are simply unacceptable to the people who rely on these beaches for recreation, especially given the publics $5 billion investment in clean water. We hope this report will provide decision makers the information they need to begin the next round of investments in improved water quality on beaches that consistently lag behind,” said Patricia A. Foley, President of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay

Funds to improve water quality in beachfront communities and waterfront neighborhoods from Nahant to Nantasket were authorized in the 2014 Environmental Bond Bill but have not yet been appropriated.

“The Baker-Polito Administration remains committed to ensuring the state’s beaches remain not only accessible for all to use, but also safe for public enjoyment,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Water Quality Report Card serves as a good barometer of the excellent results the state and its partners are achieving to ensure the Commonwealth’s beaches remain among the cleanest and most beautiful in the nation, and we remain committed to work with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and other stakeholders to protect and improve these spectacular natural resources for generations to come."

“Investments in clean water and urban beaches are good for the region,” said Foley. “They strengthen our economy and improve the quality of life for all our residents, many of whom can’t afford to get away to Cape Cod or Cape Ann.”

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, Kelly Coughlin and David Wu of the MWRA, DCR’s Dennis Fitzgerald and Save the Harbor policy interns Eileen Dalessandro, and Brittany Angelo for their help with this report.

For more information on Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Beaches Report Card, contact Bruce Berman on his cell at 617-293-6243 or email

You can download the 2016 report card and the data on which it is based at

You can make a contribution to support our work here.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Intro to Sydney Eberth

Good morning bloggers!

Excited about trail work in Denali National Park.
My name is Sydney Eberth and I recently joined the Save the Harbor/Save the Bay team as an Environmental Policy Intern. I graduated from the University of Vermont last May with a degree in Environmental Science. Upon graduation, I jetted off to Alaska to spend the entire summer working with the Student Conservation Association. During my time with the SCA I was able to participate in a number of projects including trail construction, trail maintenance, invasive species
management, as well as a number of re-vegetation and demolition projects. I was also very lucky to work in multiple different locations throughout Alaska, one of them being Denali National Park and Preserve.

Research diving in Thailand.
Since returning home from Alaska last September, I have had the privilege of volunteering with the Marine Mammal department at the New England Aquarium. When I am there, my day consists of preparing food for the animals, cleaning exhibits and toys, enriching (or “play time” with) the seals with toys we created, and also interacting with aquarium guests. When I am not at the aquarium spending time with seals and sea lions, I am with dogs at the dog daycare I work for. Needless to say I love animals!

I would like to ultimately be working with marine mammals whether directly as part of a rescue team or behind the scenes, fighting for them as a policy maker. I took this internship at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay to learn about working with a non-profit organization and also more about policy work. I am looking forward to the time that I spend with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and know that it will be an amazing, educational experience.

Sydney Eberth

Friday, May 6, 2016

Back to the Summer Home

Working back with Save the Harbor Save the Bay with the April Vacation events brought back so many memories from the summer. On Tuesday, being with the kids at the Children's Museum and looking at their faces light up when they saw Larry the Lobster. They could not believe they were able to a real, living lobster. That is not an everyday thing for kids to see and they seemed so fascinated by him.

The famous "pirate" Mary Read came to the museum to tell spirit stories to the kids and learn about the ghost of the Harbor Islands. When it came to Mary Read asking questions about her stories, surely the kids were listening because they were able to answer the questions so quickly and were excited to receive some of her pirate treasures.

Be back soon again

-Ary Worrell

Back At It Again

Hi, my name is Isabella and I can’t wait to tell you about how my days were back with Save the Harbor save the bay. It feels so good to be back with Save the Harbor!

I missed interacting with kids and teaching them about the animals that come from the harbor. To be honest it took a while to remember everything about the crabs and other animals we had with us but, not too worry as soon as I picked up a crab i remembered everything i had ever learn with SHSB. It feels great to interact with kids who are interested and care for these animals just like we do everyday. 

Whether it's cleaning up the beach to making sure our water to clean and or traveling to our morning meetings. I can't wait to come back in about 2-3 months to explore even more than before!

Annual Marine Mammal Safari

At Marine Mammal Safaris 
  Good evening everyone,

I am back with more stories to tell. I had fun on the annual Marine Mammal Safaris, it was a little long but our crew made it for seven hours. The families and children were excited to see the seals, stripe fish and gulls around Boston harbor. It was fun interacting with the kids on the boat because the kids had a huge smile to play around on the boat and see the creatures in the sea. I was so surprised that there were seals in the Boston harbor, I never knew that they would be around Boston.  I always wanted to see one close but not the one at the Aquarium-- I wanted to see close to the boat. I wanted to know how long they would swim for and how many minutes they would last underwater.  It was so amazing seeing one because in the summer they won't come out, the water is too warm  for them to swim here at Boston Harbor.
Seals on Boston Harbor

Carlos Garcia

At The Children's Museum

The crew of "Save The Harbor Save The Bay".
  Good Morning everyone,

 It feels good to be back at Save the Harbor Save the Bay. On April vacation we had to choose to come to an event on April 19th, 21st, & 23rd. I only came to two events sadly but i made to the 19th and 23rd. On April 19th, we went to the Children's Museum. I was so excited to be back with the people I've worked with for two years. The people that I was working with at the Children's Museum were Abdi, Isabella, Arianna, and Jayda. We had fun interacting with the kids at the Children's Museum because they wanted to know where the lobster came from and how they got here to Boston Harbor.  I was kinda nervous because the kids came up to me and thought I was a stranger, their parents teach the kids not to talk to strangers so I told them I work with Save the Harbor Save the Bay and I was just letting them know if they would love to see a lobster that we caught. The kids were surprised because they never saw a lobster with huge claws and even I was surprised. It was nice catching up with ya'll ladies and gentlemen, and I hope to see you soon in the summer. 


Carlos Garcia 

Seals and Lobster

On the week of April Vacation, I got a chance to work for SHSB. As always it's always fun coming back. So much memories from the previous summer. We worked at Children's Museum and got to meet "Larry the Lobster". The kids get amazed touching it and holding the lobster. The look on their faces is priceless. They get so fascinated and eager to learn about the lobster. One of their common questions is ''Is the lobster alive". It's always fun working at Children's Museum, and with the kids who visit the Museum.
Showing off Larry The Lobster
Till Next time,


Seals, Lobsters and Pirates

Hey guys,

This week I had the pleasure of working at the Children's Museum's Earth Day. We heard pirate stories and even solved some riddles. Larry the lobster joined us, and all of the kids loved him. My favorite part of the day by far was the mural. I had a drawing competition with a friend and of course my octopus won.
The mural was full of fun aquatic life and some interesting characters such as Dori and Sonic were drawn. Later in the week we went on the Marine Mammals Safari, where we saw seals more than 10 times. They were hard to spot but all of the kids had their eyes peeled. I met one family who was there photographing each sighting, but when seals weren't there they were excited about every animal they saw. They photographed birds and even buildings. It was great to see a family from right in Boston enjoy seeing the nature around them. They were truly inspiring because they showed me that just because things aren't going as planned that doesn't mean it's not still great.

Until next time,


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

April Vacation Week

My experience coming back together with Save the Harbor Save the Bay was very great, getting to meet the newer staff and being able to bond again with the crew. Even though it's been 2 years it felt like I never left, they welcomed me. The activities at the Children Museum were exciting because i got to meet Larry the lobster & a crew of pirates. It was fun hearing stories & showing the lobster to all the kids inside the museum. I enjoyed being able to see & touch the touch tank they had placed for the children, saw many sea animals like cray fish, sea star, snails, crabs, water roach.

The next day across from the museum in the grass field at Atlantic Wharf I got to interact with some of the kids & talk about the harbor animals & the new Larry the lobster they had.

The final day on the boat I had a blast that I was able to see a seal & a couple of black birds flying & basking around. The boat ride around the harbor was smooth, I got to take a couple pictures & meet new people & families, this whole experience showing me how important is team work & interacting with the children making their smiles on their faces.

                                   -Edward Calderon l