Thursday, March 16, 2017

2017 Better Beaches Program Request for Proposals

Dear Friend,

We are writing to you today to invite you to apply for a grant from Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Better Beaches Program to support free events and activities on the Boston Harbor Region’s public beaches in 2017.

Last year's Better Beaches Program Award recipients

Last year, with the support of the Metropolitan Beaches Commission and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), we awarded more than $200,000 in grants to 43 organizations in nine waterfront neighborhoods and beachfront communities to support 107 free beach events and programs, which brought more than 500,000 people back to their beaches in 2016.

Though the most recent round of budget cuts will likely prevent DCR from investing in the program this year as they did in 2015 and 2016, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay remains committed to supporting another full season of free Better Beaches events and programs on the region’s public beaches in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.

(You can find out more about the impact these budget cuts will have on our beaches this summer at, and help Save the Harbor #savethesummer by adding your name to a letter to Baker/Polito Administration officials asking them to restore the cuts this year and restore the budget in FY2018. And, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @savetheharbor, and share your support by using #SaveTheHarbor #SaveTheSummer.)

Despite the cuts, there is some very good news.

On Sunday, March 5th hundreds of beach-lovers braved record cold and raised a record $55,755 at the Harpoon Shamrock Splash to fund our Better Beaches Program this summer.

As a result of their hard work and the support of our foundation funding partners, corporate sponsors, and more than 800 “Splashers” and small donors, we will be funding another season of free beach events and programs that are as diverse as the beachfront communities and waterfront neighborhoods that host them.

250 brave souls splashed to raise money for the 2017 Better Beaches Program

This year’s Better Beaches Program Grants will range from $500 - $5,000 to support free events and programs that include concert series, sand- sculpting competitions, campfires, Art on the Shore, Storytelling by the Sea, neighborhood beach parties, family reading and movie nights on the beach, youth programs and much more.

You can learn more about events and programs we supported last year by downloading our 2016 Better Beaches Program Report at Also, we thought you might find this video that we produced in 2015 helpful!

All of these great events have one thing in common: They bring people together to strengthen their communities and enjoy our region's most stunning natural resources, the 19 miles of public swimming beaches that connect us to each other and to Boston Harbor, Mass Bay and Broad Sound.

It is easy to apply for a grant. Just fill out the attached application and return it to us by email to by April 18, 2017. Our Better Beaches Grants Committee will review the proposals, and notify you of our decisions in May.

We will present the checks at our annual BETTER BEACHES AWARD RECEPTION on Saturday, June 3, 2017 on Boston’s Fish Pier at 10:00 am, which all grant recipients are expected to attend.

Please note that if you receive a grant, you must complete a DCR Better Beaches Program Special Use Permit Application before you receive your check on June 3. You will also be required to display a Better Beaches Program banner at your event., which we will provide, acknowledging Save the Harbor’s support. You must also send us a thank-you letter acknowledging your grant and a simple closeout report after your event, along with copies of event materials, photographs and news clips. 

'Art in the Sand' with 2016 Better Beaches Award recipient Andres Amador 

Save the Harbor would like to thank the Metropolitan Beaches Commission, the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the more than 800 people who made pledges in support of the 2017 Harpoon Shamrock Splash.

Thanks as well to Save the Harbor's Better Beaches program and policy partners and event sponsors: Harpoon Brewery, JetBlue, The Boston Foundation, Harold Whitworth Pierce Charitable Trust, Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation, P&G Gillette, National Grid, Comcast, Google, B. Good, Keezer Sportswear, Mix 104.1 & AMP 103.3, Boston Centers for Youth & Families, and the YMCA of Greater Boston for their support.

Please feel free to distribute this Request for Proposals widely, and to contact Bruce Berman by email at or on his cell at 617-293-6243 with any questions about the Better Beaches Program or your request.

You can download a copy of the RFP and application here:

We look forward to hearing from you about your ideas for 2017.

All the best,

Patty Foley & Bruce Berman
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay

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