Sunday, March 25, 2018

Glad to be back

The school year has definitely drained a lot of my energy since the summer. I went from catching fish, and swimming with my All Access team, to studying all night, taking notes, and getting headaches from how loud the lunch room was. It is great to be with my friends on a day to day basis now, but I do miss the Save the Harbor days. Luckily, there are events I can get invited to work at, and still show the love I have for the job, and I got to do so at the pop up museum by TD garden. It is very crazy how we were able to transform a storage room like area, surrounded by gray walls, and pipes, to a Marine life gallery, and also be able to display some Boston pride!
Kara and Chris (left to right) photo IMG_3143_zpsbgmtehyw.jpg
transforming the room 
At the pop up museum we did a variety of things. To start it all off, Jennifer and I got breakfast at a very nice cafe right next door to the gallery. When we met with Amy and Melissa, we began to catch up and talk about how we were able to make the best out of the cold days in Boston. Jennifer and I began to fish print, and we made a lot of different types of fish prints, from solid colors, to vibrant arrays of green and yellow, and distinct patters with zigzags, stripes, and even polka  dots. After that we looked at some photos of the beach bash, maybe the greatest day at Save the Harbor ever. IT was so fun! We did a huge splash, and it was just a great social event. We also got pizza at the pop up museum. After eating the pizza I played with some sand for a little bit, doing some sand art, and to top it all of we painted on a huge sign that said Boston Harbor. The letters were arranged to be different things that are exclusive to Boston, like the Bruins logo, or the Zakim bridge. It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning, and even better it made me happy because it gave me a glimpse of what I am returning to this summer! 

Can't Wait!
Fish Prints photo IMG_2489_zps3bgifrxf.jpg
just a few of our fishprints
Qalid Hassan :D

Friday, March 23, 2018

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Harpoon Shamrock Splash JetBlue Flights!

On Sunday, March 11, 2018, more than 250 Splashers plunged into the cool, clean waters of Boston Harbor to raise funds to support free summer events on the region's public beaches. 6 specific Splashers were the very lucky winners of roundtrip JetBlue flights.

Bridget Ryan and Carol Haney were the biggest fundraisers, and won JetBlue flights because of their amazing efforts. Ryan, from South Boston, raised $1,190 and Haney, from Revere, raised $1,185.

Bridget Ryan from South Boston raised $1,190 and was one of the top two fundraisers at the 2018 Harpoon Shamrock
Splash. Photo by Mike Murowchick.
(Left to right) Carol Haney (one of the biggest fundraisers) and Bruce Berman (Save the Harbor/Save the Bay). Haney, from Revere, raised $1,185. Photo by Katy Rogers. 

The winners of the costume contest who received JetBlue flights were Miriam Rathbun representing Cambridge, dressed as the Little Mermaid, and Joe Skahan from Lynn, dressed as Shark Man.

Miriam Rathbun, an MIT student from Pittsburgh, PA, took first place at the Harpoon Shamrock Splash’s costume contest dressed as Ariel, The Little Mermaid. She won a round trip JetBlue flight. Photo by Katy Rogers.
Joe Skahan from Lynn took first place at the Harpoon Shamrock Splash’s costume contest dressed as Shark Man. He won a round trip JetBlue flight. Photo by Katy Rogers.

Finally, congratulations to the winners of our raffle, Margaret LaForest from Quincy, and Save the Harbor's very own Ian James from Medford. Each will receive roundtrip JetBlue flights.

Once again, a huge thank you to everyone who splashed with us and helped us raise over $50,000. Congratulations to our JetBlue flight winners, and make sure to stay posted via our blog and our website to learn more about upcoming events.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay Makes a Very Big Splash on the Beach

On March 11, 2018, over 150 brave beach lovers plunged into Boston Harbor at BCYF Curley Community Center in South Boston as part of the 7th annual Harpoon Shamrock Splash to benefit Save the Harbor/Save the Bay.
  On Sunday, more than 150 costumed splashers plunged into the cold waters of Boston Harbor. Photo by Mike Murowchick.

This year, the “pledge and plunge” fundraiser raised more than $50,000 to support Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Better Beaches Program Partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, which provides a spectacular summer of free concerts and beach festivals, sand-sculpting competitions, and youth programs on the region’s public beaches in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull. You can find the exact tally on the event website at

“This year we caught a break, and missed the really wicked weather,” said Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s spokesman Bruce Berman, who has splashed each year since the event began. “Thanks to everyone who helped us raise funds to support another great season on the beach in 2018.”
Splashers line up on the beach ready to take the plunge at the 2018 Harpoon Shamrock Splash. Photo by Katy Rogers.

Commissioner of BCYF, Will Morales, was on hand to wish splashers good luck, although he did not dip into the water. “Mayor Walsh and I truly value our partnership with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and the work they do to serve Boston’s youth and families from every neighborhood.”

DCR Commissioner Leo Roy added, “Department of Conservation and Recreation staff work hard every single day to ensure that agency managed natural resources, such as beaches in Boston, Hull, Nahant, Revere, and Winthrop, are clean, accessible, and enjoyed in a safe environment. The Baker-Polito Administration continues to foster strong partnerships that leverage excellent outdoor recreational opportunities for people of all abilities to benefit from.”

2018’s Harpoon Shamrock Splash was the best ever, with splashers enjoying delicious brunch burritos from Baja Taco Truck and fresh, hot chowder from Daily Catch while Mix 104.1 played hit music on the beach. Harpoon beers invigorated participants after their plunge.
(Left to right) Miriam Rathbun (dressed as Ariel, The Little Mermaid) and Joe Skahan (dressed as Shark Man).  Rathbun and Skahan took first place at the Harpoon Shamrock Splash’s costume contest. Both contestants won a round trip JetBlue flight. Photo by Katy Rogers. 

“All of us at Harpoon look forward to taking a quick dip into the icy water after our Harpoon St. Patrick’s Day festival to support a great cause and warm up with a refreshing Harpoon, brunch burrito, and clam chowder on the beach with our friends from Save the Harbor/Save the Bay,” said Harpoon Brewery President Charlie Storey. “Sure it was cold in the water, but the warm feeling you get from giving back to your community stays with you for a long time.”
Team Harpoon Brewery at the Splash. Photo by Katy Rogers.

Participants won JetBlue flights and great Harpoon swag for reaching fundraising goals. Bridget Ryan from South Boston who raised $1,190 and Carol Haney from Revere who raised $1,185 were the top two fundraisers. They each won round trip JetBlue flights for their efforts. The two costume contest winners, Miriam Rathbun, an MIT student from Pittsburgh, PA as Ariel, The Little Mermaid, and Joe Skahan from Lynn as Shark Man won JetBlue flights as well. Every splasher and contributor also had the opportunity to win prizes in two post-splash JetBlue flight raffles.
Bridget Ryan from South Boston raised $1,190 and was one of the top two fundraisers at the 2018 Harpoon Shamrock Splash. Photo by Mike Murowchick.
(Left to right) Carol Haney (one of the biggest fundraisers) and Bruce Berman (Save the Harbor/Save the Bay). Haney, from Revere, raised $1,185. Photo by Katy Rogers. 

"At JetBlue, we are committed to our community and fun is one of our core values,” said Donnie Todd, Corporate Responsibility Liaison for JetBlue, who led a team of 30 participants. "More than 3,000 JetBlue crewmembers call Boston home, we cherish our harbor and proudly support Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and the work they do on the region's public beaches."
Team JetBlue at the Harpoon Shamrock Splash. Photo by Katy Rogers.

Members of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s leadership team were also key fundraisers, but were ineligible to win JetBlue flights. Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Chair of the Board, Joe Newman from Arlington, raised $3,101. Bruce Berman, Director of Strategy and Communications from Brighton, raised $2,826. STH/STB’s Vice President of Programs and Operations, Chris Mancini from Somerville, raised $2,272.

The top five teams also raised significant funds at this year’s Harpoon Shamrock Splash. Save the Harbor/Save the Bay topped the list with $25,614. JetBlue raised $6,193 followed by Piers Park Sub-Aqua Warriors with $4,862. Team Harpoon! raised $4,390 and Grandma and Grandkids raised $1,295.

Participants could direct their fundraising to their favorite local beach and notable donations were raised for the top five beaches. South Boston led with $7,180 followed by Lynn & Nahant with $4,101. Winthrop was third with $3,021. Participants raised $2,200 for Constitution Beach and $1,656 for Revere Beach. In addition, Dorchester received $995, Wollaston with $880, and Nantasket with $815.
(Left to Right): Charlie Storey (Harpoon Brewery), Bruce Berman (Save the Harbor/Save the Bay), Kennedy Elsey (Mix 104.1), and Donnie Todd (JetBlue). Photo by Katy Rogers.

Save the Harbor would like to thank event sponsors at Harpoon Brewery, JetBlue, Mix 104.1, Baja Taco, The Daily Catch, L.L. Bean, Unreal Candy, PowerCrunch and the Blue Sky Collaborative, and their Better Beaches Program Funding Partners at The Boston Foundation, The Harold Whitworth Pierce Charitable Trust, the Richard Saltonstall Foundation, National Grid and Comcast.

We would also like to thank the Massachusetts Legislature, the Baker-Polito Administration and the Metropolitan Beaches Commission for their support for our beaches, and our program partners at the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Boston Centers for Youth and Families and the Greater Boston YMCA for their support.

About Save the Harbor/Save the Bay 
As the region's leading voice for clean water and continued public investment in Boston Harbor, the region's public beaches, and the Boston Harbor Islands, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's mission is to restore and protect Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Bay and the marine environment and share them with the public for everyone to enjoy.

For more information about Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and the work they do, please visit their website at, their blog "Sea, Sand & Sky" at, or follow savetheharbor on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

You can download a copy of the most recent Better Beaches program report at

Friday, March 2, 2018

Massachusetts Takes on Another Nor'Easter-- Climate Adaption in Seaport

On only the second day of March, media outlets were flooded with coverage of a massive nor'easter predicted to bring serious damage. While all of Massachusetts is dealing with rain, snow, and high speed winds, coastal communities are facing the full force of the storm. Due high tides at noon increasing flooding expectations, coastal towns and cities are reviewing evacuation plans and preparing for the worst.
The Fish Pier, home to Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, sits directly next to Boston Harbor.
This is not 2018's first nor'easter. After seeing the results the "bomb-cyclone" in January, when high tides filled the Seaport streets with sea water, MassPort is taking important steps to prepare the Boston Fish Pier (home to Save the Harbor/Save the Bay) from potential devastating effects of the next storm.

A crew of MassPort employees were hard at work yesterday installing portable barriers, called AquaFence, around the Fish Pier’s generator and buildings in order to protect it from flood waters. These barriers are a major component of MassPort's preparation for water levels that may rise high enough to cover the Fish Pier and Seaport streets.

MassPort installing AquaFence around the Fish Pier's generator- a great way to prevent flood damage
AquaFence is a barrier that can be rapidly installed before impending storms and are easily removed after. They are sold worldwide, and can be seen installed around many different buildings, such as Atlantic Wharf in Boston. They are made out of marine grade laminate, stainless steel, aluminum and reinforced PVC canvas, so they have the strength to withstand the force of massive flooding. 

AquaFence is great for buildings because they can be installed around curves and they are strong barriers
against the force of flooding.
MassPort is taking strong steps towards adapting to these sudden weather "snaps", or drastic changes in weather. Climate change is causing weather patterns to get increasingly unpredictable- think back to the sudden extreme freezing temperatures in November 2017 (the coldest it had been at that time of the season in over 100 years) or two weeks ago when temperatures sky-rocketed to a cozy 70 degrees, and then quickly plummeted soon after. These severe storms are another byproduct of climate change, and in order to deal with these changing environments, coastal communities need to think strategically about climate resiliency: the ability to adapt to and absorb the external stressors of severe weather.

A size comparison. AquaFence is around a 4 foot barrier. (Individual is 5'3)
We're grateful to and proud of MassPort for taking these steps to be resilient in the face of today's nor'easter, and want to thank the dedicated employees who spent their Friday installing AquaFence to preempt any damage from storm flooding. It's through resilience and adaptation that we can preserve and protect coastal communities from the serious effects of severe weather.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Outfall Monitoring Science Advisory Panel Delivers Positive News for Boston Harbor

On Wednesday, February 28th, staff and interns from Save the Harbor/Save the Bay attended a gathering of the Outfall Monitoring Science Advisory Panel (OMSAP) to hear updates on the ongoing monitoring efforts of the Deer Island Treatment Plant outfall pipe. Through the power of monitoring, the panel has been working to understand the effects of discharging clean wastewater from Deer Island out into Massachusetts Bay since the early 90s.

Betsy Reilly kicked off the meeting by giving the history of MWRA's ambient monitoring program at the outfall site and an overview of results from 2017. Based on the 26 years of collected data, there is no evidence that discharge from the outfall pipe is causing any adverse affects in Massachusetts Bay.

Following Reilly, Scott Libby (Battelle) gave an overview of the Alexandrium monitoring effort. There was a threshold exceedance of these red tide-causing plankton in 2017, but despite their high abundance in the bay, the algal bloom is far enough off shore as to not put the public at risk.

Additionally, there was a threshold exceedance phaeocystis, another algae, in 2016. There was no connection between the exceedance and the outfall pipe, and the MWRA and the EPA agreed to remove this threshold. Although there were two algae bloom threshold exceedances in 2016, neither one had serious implications for the health of the bay.

David Wu from the MWRA discussed fecal coliform bacteria and Enterococcus, two bacteria discharged from the outfall pipes with minimal impact on the bay. Dave Taylor showed that there are healthy levels of dissolved oxygen and nitrogen in the bay, and that there have always been elevated ammonium (nitrogen) levels at the outfall, but that even if there was a 50% increase in nitrogen at the site, there would be no negative impacts.

Biodiversity at the outfall site is in great shape, according to Ken Keay.

Flounder have been used as an indicator of water quality because of proclivity to digest sediment from the bay. Flounder used to have a large amount of ulcers on their blindside from poor water quality, but we have seen a substantial reduction in ulcers since the installation of the outfall pipe.

The presentations by members of the panel made one thing abundantly clear: Boston Harbor is in great shape, and we are seeing no negative impacts in Massachusetts Bay from the outfall pipe. With the renewal of the pipe's discharge permit forthcoming, the panel is beginning to look for a new suite of indicators to monitor.

Data on the bay and the outfall pipe are conducted by ambient monitoring, and is reported hourly here.

Monitoring data from 2016 is compiled in this Outfall Monitoring Overview.

After the OMSAP meeting, the Public Interest Advisory Committee (PIAC) briefly convened to discuss possible suggestions for a new monitoring plan and potential stakeholders who might be interested in getting involved with the committee or proposing additions to the monitoring plan.

To learn more about the outfall pipe and the MWRA's work surrounding it, you can visit their website.