Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Nikki Perlot - Scrumptious Sustainable Seafood


I’m Nikki Perlot and this fall will be my final semester before earning a Master of Science degree in UMass Boston’s Marine Science and Technology program. I am so excited to work at Save the Harbor Save the Bay this summer on their Seven Fishes project, which will help promote the consumption of locally caught sustainable seafood in the Boston Area. Since receiving my Bachelor of Science from UConn’s Coastal Studies program in 2010, I have worked on commercial fishing boats collecting scientific data such as volume estimates and length and weight measurements on kept and discarded species. I have also worked for a seafood traceability company verifying the origins of locally caught seafood by comparing them to government landing records.

My passion for the oceans began at age 8, when I decided that I wanted to be a dolphin trainer when I grew up. I volunteered at the Mystic Aquarium starting at age 16 and over the years have volunteered with the seal rehabilitation program and with the aquarium’s penguin colony. My career has since evolved into a passion for protecting our oceans by connecting people with our environment. Recently, I have been studying green infrastructure and how it can help reduce pollution and flooding while providing recreational and health benefits of green spaces in urban areas. 

Wilfred the Loggerhead Sea Turtle 

It’s such a privilege to be a part of Save the Harbor Save the Bay and their mission to inspire people to utilize, love, and protect our local coasts and oceans. I hope to see you out on the water soon!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Cleanest Urban Beaches in the Country: The 2018 Water Quality Report Card

Each year on Memorial Day weekend Save the Harbor/Save the Bay release our annual water quality report card for the Metropolitan Beaches from Nahant to Nantasket, including beaches in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.

In 2017, weekly water quality testing at Boston’s regional beaches began on Memorial Day Weekend. Supplemental daily testing of Constitution Beach, King’s Beach, Malibu Beach, Tenean Beach, and Wollaston Beach began on June 19, 2017. Testing concluded on Labor Day weekend, September 4th, 2017.

You can download a copy of the complete report here

In 2017, overall water quality safety rating for Boston Harbor's regional beaches was 94%, the percent of time beaches were assessed by Save the Harbor/Save the Bay to be safe for swimming. This was a slight decline from last year’s score of 96%, but unusually dry weather in the 2016 sampling season likely led to relatively high scores for that year, as rainfall and the associated polluted runoff from streets and storm drains often has an adverse affect on water quality. The total rainfall during the 2017 sampling season was more than double the previous year, and the distribution, frequency and intensity of summer storms were somewhat atypical.

This year’s report card contains mostly predictable results but comes with a few surprises. Once again, Tenean Beach in Dorchester was the lowest-scoring beach in the region while some other area beaches saw declines in water quality in 2017 over 2016.

There was interesting news from King’s Beach in Lynn and Swampscott, which has consistently lagged behind other area beaches in water quality since 2012, when we began this project. King’s scored 92% this year, compared to last year’s 83%. While this year’s results may well be an anomaly, working with EEA and Save the Harbor’s Beaches Science Advisory Committee both Lynn and Swampscott have planned improvements to their sewer and storm water systems, which we expect will result in significant improvement in water quality on King’s Beach.

It was a relatively rainy swimming season for Boston Harbor; the seasonal rainfall total was 12.1 inches, which is markedly higher than last year’s 5.3 inches. There were several large rain events during the 2017 swimming season, three of which were greater than 1.25 inches of rain. Though the average daily rainfall for the summer was 0.13 inches, more than 25% of the rain came in just three storms.

This variation is why we are reluctant to draw conclusions from a single year’s sampling results, though we understand why it’s interesting to see where water quality improved or declined versus the previous year. However, 2016 was a particularly dry year.

Changes in the intensity and frequency of summer storms may well explain the variations we saw on some of our beaches in 2017, which is why we urge the public to use the multi-year averages we have provided in comparing relative water quality among beaches.

To download the full 2018 Metropolitan Beaches Commission Water Quality Report Card, click here.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Metropolitan Beaches Update: Tough Winter on the Beach

It was a brutal winter in Massachusetts this year, with two wicked bad storms hitting at wicked high tides in quick succession. While our memories of the snow may be melting as the sun comes out, the beaches aren't able to bounce back so quickly. Waves washed away literal tons of sand from the beach and the sand dunes. Debris and trash washed up with flood waters and remains scattered along the beaches. Infrastructure was damaged up and down the coast, in some cases potentially beyond repair.

The state of the beaches as we begin the summer was recently detailed in a piece in the Boston Globe which you can read here.

Article in the May 23rd edition of the Boston Globe

As beaches are opening this Memorial Day weekend for summer recreation, beachgoers will see how much has changed after just one winter of extreme weather. State agencies, including the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and local officials are working diligently to prepare the beaches for the summer. As Bruce Berman, Director of Strategy and Communications at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay recently said in an interview on Radio Boston, "It's because of the passion and commitment of the staff at the parks agencies, the beaches are going to be in the best shape they can be with the resources we have after the winter we had."

Even so, long-term strategic planning is necessary to protect these important resources. The Metropolitan Beaches Commission will be contributing to that process during its next hearing on Monday June 18th, where they will discuss the impact of these winter storms on the waterfront communities from Nahant to Nantasket, and plan for the summer and summers ahead. If you are interested in attending that public hearing, you can join us at the Massachusetts Statehouse in Room 222 on June 18th from 2-4pm.

"Water quality is really improved up and down the coast," added Berman "What I'd say to people is have a really good time at the beach. But I would also suggest that they get involved, join their local beach friends group, or volunteer for park serve day, whatever they can. Do what they can to not only enjoy their beach and share their beach but to take care of their beach."

A Letter From Our President

It was a rough winter for our waterfront neighborhoods and beachfront communities, as wicked bad storms on wicked high tides flooded neighborhoods and wreaked havoc on public beaches from Cape Cod to Cape Ann.

With summer fast approaching and the clean up well underway, I am writing to ask you to help Save the Harbor/Save the Bay make it a terrific summer for the region's kids and families, with a generous donation to support our free youth and beach programs.

Your contribution of $25, $50, $100, $500 or whatever you can afford to give will help us connect 30,000 underserved and low income youth, teens and families from all of Boston’s neighborhoods to Boston Harbor, the Seaport and the sea this year. It’s easy to make a contribution today.

With your support, Save the Harbor’s free Youth Environmental Education Programs staff of 34 educators and their high school assistants will host 24 free All Access Boston Harbor trips to the Boston Harbor Islands this summer, and host 10 new free Share the Harbor excursions in the spring, summer and fall.

Your support will enable us to offer our free Boston Harbor Explorer program at 8 sites on Boston Harbor and at 50 free beach events, including 10 new Life’s a Beach Festivals featuring aerialists, acrobats, jugglers, singing pirates, art on the shore, storytelling by the sea and more.

It will also enable us to continue our advocacy for clean water, better beaches, affordable water transportation and the completion of the South Bay Harbor Trail, which begins at Ruggles Station and connects the residents of Roxbury, the South End, Chinatown, Fort Point, and South Boston to new jobs and recreational opportunities in the Seaport and on the waterfront.

Over the years, our free programs have connected nearly 200,000 young people and their families to Boston Harbor, the Harbor Islands and our region’s public beaches, making Save the Harbor/Save the Bay the Boston Harbor Connection for kids and families who truly reflect the diversity of our great city by the sea.

I want you to know that we will use your funds wisely. Save the Harbor invests more than 80% of the funds we raise in our programs, which will serve more than 30,000 young people and their families this year and bring over 1 million people to the region’s public beaches from Nahant to Nantasket in 2018.

I hope that we can count on your support as we continue to Share the Harbor we have worked so hard to restore and protect with Bostonians from every neighborhood in the city and all the region’s residents and visitors as well.

All the best,

Patricia A. Foley, President

P.S. I hope you will join us on Monday, June 25th at 5:00 at the World Trade Center for a free Share the Harbor cruise to Boston Light on Bay State Cruise Company’s flagship Provincetown II. You will be receiving your invitation by email shortly.

You can find out more about what we have planned for this summer in our newsletter, on our website at and on our youth and beach program blog Sea, Sand & Sky at

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hines and Save the Harbor Sweep Up Storm Surge

Even the threat of looming thunderstorms couldn't keep volunteers from Hines out of Squantum Point Park today! More than 25 employees of the real estate investment, development, and management firm joined Save the Harbor staff and interns for an afternoon of stewardship at this spectacular waterfront park in Quincy. 
 Starting the day at the pier!

"This park used to be a naval airfield and the pathways follow the old airstrips that were in use through World War II," said Chris Mancini, Vice President for Operations and Programs at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. "All our waterfront parks and beaches are spectacular places to spend the day, but the history here makes it pretty unique." 

Most people donned ponchos to start the day.

Luckily the rain stopped shortly after we began our cleanup, allowing everyone to work more efficiently, and to take on another important task: raking up storm washup. Squantum Point Park is at the tip of a peninsula, and the storm surge and flooding from the major storms that hit at high tide this winter brought debris pretty far into the park. Given the problems these piles can cause for the pathways, especially given how thoroughly mixed in the plastic, metal, and styrofoam trash is with the theoretically decomposable plant matter, this wash up all needed to be raked into piles and bagged for removal.

Just one of the piles of storm wash up that needed to be removed.
This pile was nearly over the seat of the bench when we arrived.

After scouring the park for litter, and removing what felt like literal tons of storm wash up everyone felt a connection to Squantum Point. Some volunteers were even starting to talk about the next time they were going to get out on the water (we hope it will be with us, on our June 6th Share the Harbor cruise to Boston Light)!

We would like to thank Hines for their support for Save the Harbor and for the region's public beaches.

The team left no stone unturned!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Liz Whelan - Summer on the Bay

Hi Everyone!

My name is Liz Whelan and I have recently joined Save the Harbor Save the Bay team as an Environmental Policy Intern for the summer of 2018. I am a graduate student at Boston University School of Public Health. I am originally from Connecticut, and received my undergraduate degree from Elon University. Nowadays you can find me eating pizza somewhere along the harbor walk in the North End.

I had the pleasure of moving to Boston about 3 years ago and began working at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. After 2 years working in the Intensive Care Unit I discovered my passion for public health. After working closely with patients, I realized there is so much we can do to improve our society and work toward preventing the need for hospitalization. My other great passion in life is environmental conservation. I am excited for this opportunity at Save the Harbor Save the Bay because I have not yet had the chance to work in a nonprofit and hope to someday build my own nonprofit. This internship gives me the opportunity to utilize what I have learned in my Public Health education thus far and apply it to the field I am interested in.

When I am not trying to save the environment or all the animals, I love to hike, read, travel, and be outdoors as much as possible. Growing up traveling was a huge part of my life, and we frequently took trips to the ocean where I discovered my love for the water. I look forward to giving back to the environment that has been a wonderful and meaningful part of my life, right here in Boston.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Save the Harbor and Boston Properties Team Up to Tackle Trash

Following some extreme weather on Tuesday evening, the skies were calm and the temperature was cool on Wednesday, May 16th, when staff and interns from Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and volunteers from Boston Properties’ 200 Clarendon building went out to DCR’s Victory Road Park in Dorchester for a day of service.

Volunteers including spent the day cleaning up Victory Road Park along the harbor in Dorchester 

“Victory Road Park is a really incredible spot right on the harbor here in Dorchester,” said Chris Mancini, Vice President for Operations and Programs at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. “We are so excited to be starting our second year of this 3-year project to ocused on working with DCR to maintain this park, and we are grateful for their commitment. We cannot overstate how important this work is, not only for the sake of this park itself but for the impact it has on nearby Tenean Beach.”

The first task for the group was to take an inventory of winter and storm damage sustained by this waterfront park. Parks and recreation areas across the state, but especially in coastal communities, were hit hard this winter by two so-called “hundred year storms” and the result is clear to visitors as they begin to return to the parks. Victory Road Park is no exception. Large piles of gravel and bricks, plant debris, and litter had washed up into the park. Small trees had been uprooted as the sand eroded, and had washed up into the pathways, as had several very large pieces of wood that posed a safety hazard with nails and other metal pieces protruding from them.

A large plastic buoy had washed up onto the island. 

Also on the list of tasks at this park was pet clean up. Dogs are allowed to enjoy Victory Road Park with their human companions and many do. Unfortunately not every dog owner who visits the park abides by the rules for cleaning up after their canine companions, which can create a pretty messy situation. The impact stretches beyond the park itself. Given its location at the head of the Neponset River, just upstream from Tenean Beach, these unremoved piles become untreated waste that can wash up at Tenean Beach and create a public health crisis for swimmers and other beachgoers.

The group scoured the park, from edge to edge, clearing debris. The exposed roots of the tree show how much erosion has occurred. 

With their mission laid out, trash pickers in hand, and a boost of energy from a delicious lunch from Redbones, provided by Boston Properties, the team took to the trails! Many volunteers combed the park, removing waste and litter from every spot they could find. Another group raked and shoveled several piles of washed up debris off of the pathways.

Dirt, plant matter, and innumerable bits of debris had washed up into the park, beyond the pathways. 
This group is removing the contaminated wash up. 

Everyone pitched in to remove large wooden posts and other large debris that blocked the paths. In a single afternoon the group removed two full truckloads of waste and debris from the park, just one portion of the work needed to ready this park for the summer, and to keep Tenean Beach safe all summer long.

This large column was blocking the path into the park. With nails and screws sticking out of it, it was a 
real safety hazard until this group got it up and away! 

“We are incredible grateful to all the volunteers who came out today,” said Bruce Berman, Director of Strategy and Communications at Save the Harbor, “and we appreciate everything that Boston Properties does to support a clean and active waterfront for all our region’s residents.” 

Volunteers ended the day with a smile. 

The service day on the 21st was the first of three such events that Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and Boston Properties 200 Clarendon have planned throughout 2018.

Marina Mozak - An Eventful First Day


My name is Marina and I’m an environmental science and political science double major at Drew University. I’m so excited to have started an internship at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay yesterday and it was a very exciting first day! We went down to Victory Road Park in Dorchester to meet some of our partners from Boston Properties and 200 Clarendon do some cleanup work. The park is very pretty, situated as a peninsula on the Neponset River, with a view of Marina Bay. And little did I know, it is just around the corner from my apartment! My first day with Save the Harbor and I’m already seeing what is so special about the Boston coastline and how accessible it is.   

We were at this location for this event because the park has become a dog park, because the locals need someplace to walk their dogs. However, because the city has not set it up for dogs, the park has become full of waste. Unfortunately, that waste washes off from the park and gets into the river. The goal in our event there was to clean up that dog waste so that it will not wash downstream and make it dangerous to swim at the nearby Tenean Beach. That plan was dampened by the rain on Tuesday, which washed most of the waste into the river before we arrived. But, we still took advantage of being in the park with such eager volunteers and we managed to clean up a lot of the storm wash-up that wound up on the beach from the N'or Easters this winter. 

Getting right into the thick of caring for our coastline was a great way to lead off my summer internship. My passion is working to make natural spaces cleaner, safer, and more accessible for people who live in cities. I believe that we can find solutions to the problems that urban natural spaces face, so that they can remain somewhat wild while still working for the people who use them. Victory Road Park is a great example of this, the locals needed somewhere nearby to walk their dogs so they started using the park. Now we just need to problem solve so that the park can fulfill their needs and be sustainable at the same time. And I look forward to being a part of that that plan and solution this summer.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Nicole Comeau - Exploring a New Part of the Ocean

Hey Everyone!

My name is Nicole Comeau and I am a rising senior at UMass Amherst. At UMass I am an undergrad in the Isenberg School of Management majoring in Management with a concentration in Sustainable Business Practice. In addition to business school, I am also minoring in Natural Resource Conservation. This summer I will be interning with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay as an Operations Intern and I am so excited to not only learn, but also help protect the ocean and keep our beaches clean!
Me in Narragansett, RI - my favorite beach spot!

I grew up in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, a small town exactly 26.2 miles outside Boston - the start of the Boston Marathon. As a child my summers were spent outdoors whether it was at summer camp swimming and canoeing or playing competitive softball. When I was not at camp or playing sports, I could be found in the ocean.

My family bought a beach house in Narragansett, Rhode Island when I was three years old where I spent every weekend on the water. No matter how cold the water was I could always be found amongst the waves and would never want to leave. We took day trips to the sandbar where we anchored our boat and I would swim to the jetty to hunt for starfish. At least once a summer we took a trip to Block Island where we spent the day tubing and swimming. Other days were spent boogie boarding on the beach and at night we would visit the lighthouse to catch crabs and watch the surfers. I can not imagine my childhood without the ocean and I am so grateful to have grown up with the water.
Swimming at sunset in RI (Age 7)

As I got older my busy schedule has limited the amount of time I am able to spend at the ocean but my childhood experiences truly influenced the work I hope to do in the future. Upon starting my college career I knew business was the right field for me but was unsure where I wanted to take my degree. When it came time to declare a major I chose Management as it allowed flexibility in the career paths I could choose. As a Management major at UMass you are given the opportunity to choose a concentration and at the moment I saw the Sustainable Business Practice option I realized my passion for the environment. Growing up with the ocean has sparked my love for the environment and I am so excited that Save the Harbor allows me to spend more time on the water and explore another area of the ocean.

I am looking forward to my summer in Boston with Save the Harbor and protecting the environment!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Atlantic Wharf Days

Hi Guys,

Hope everyone's enjoyed their year. It was so nice to be reunited with my old friends Eric and Jaiden. We started off like any day at Atlantic Wharf with introductions and we got to fish print and play with a lobster.

Sea Chantey Fun.

As I did the fish prints with Eric and Emily I saw how kids were so curious to see if these fishes were real or not. As they brushed the fishes I let them know that they had names and they were like "really?" I was like "of course".

Wrapping up the Atlantic Wharf events you could tell that the kids truly enjoyed when they were asked what their favorite activity of their day was and they raise their hand for everything!

I am so excited for this summer so I could hold many green crabs and fish print and just take in nature in its purest form.

Until next time,
Nieomi Colon

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Singin' like the Good Ol' Days

Hey everyone,

         Going on the Marine Mammals trip to see seals was amazing. It started off like any exciting day where we geared up in pirate attire. I dressed Eric up and it was a pleasure to make the families in the line laugh.
My buddy Eric.
It was so nice informing many families on the different pirates that rebelled but had a purpose in what they did.

As we stared into the beautiful Boston Harbor we spotted a seal at 3 o'clock which was the first time I truly saw a seal but it was so adorable as it stared at the boat.

A cute Seal I saw.

This trip just reminds me of how grateful I am for working with Save the Harbor. It's a job that will continue to teach me about myself and how to present myself to others. Hopefully this summer teaches me many more lessons and I just have fun with kids.

Until next time,
Nieomi Colon

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Seals and Sea Shanties At The Marine Mammal Safaris

This Saturday I attended the marine mammal safaris boat ride, which was three 1-hour and a half trips out on the sea. Before we got on the boat ride Chris had brought a bag full of pirate clothes for the trip. Me and Garrett ended up dressing up as pirates but I got lucky because I got  to wear the blunderbuss (a fake one) in it's holster, honestly I'd say I pulled off the old pirate costume pretty well. After everyone was all ready we talked to the people about seals and porpoises, took a big group photo, and boarded the boat. When we got on the boat the Captain started speaking a bit more about how to say where you see the seal for example if there is a seal or porpoise on the left side of the boat you should say to look at your 9 o'clock, if it's on your right 3 o'clock, forward would be 12 o'clock in back would be 6 o'clock. Through all the trips I would go around handing out the "daily papers"  while held information about pirates from back in the day for example there was the great Robert Smalls who Robert Smalls was an enslaved African American who, during and after the American Civil War, gained freedom and became a ship's pilot, sea captain, and politician.

The great Robert Smalls taking a photo with one of his fans.

On the first trip apparently there was a seal but I didn't hear or see it because I was too preoccupied entertaining the children on the lower part of the boat, whether it was engaging the children or helping them look for the seals or porpoises I was doing it. The second trip was a little easier and there were not as many people so I did basically the same thing. But the third and final trip we saw it! We saw the great sea puppy swimming around in all its glory! Sadly almost everyone and their mother swarmed around the side of the boat so I could not get a good photo to show you all here, sadly we were not blessed with the sight of a porpoise but there's always next time!

  Until next time,

          Eric Joseph

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sea Shanties and Safaris

Almost ready to depart!

Working on the marine mammal safari was a blast. If you like spending your day on a boat in Boston Harbor, under the sun, and seeing some harbor seals, then this is the trip for you. Save the Harbor created a FREE trip open to anyone who signed up, to join us on a safari trip through Boston Harbor. Most of the kids who I talked to on the trip were so excited because they’d never been on a boat before. Most of them didn’t even know that they could spot harbor seals in their home city.
Spotted: a harbor seal
“HARBOR SEAL SIX O’CLCOK”! On the second trip out of the day, heads turned to the back of the boat to spot a harbor seal in our wake, popping his head up so that he could only be seen for a couple seconds. Little kids screamed and scurried to the edge so they could pop their heads out over the edge. Phones were ripped out of pockets in a quick attempt to snap a picture and engrave a memory.

One of the best parts of the day was teaching all of our passengers to sing Haul Away Joe! I loved thanking each person walking off the boat and listening to each child hum the sea shanty they had just learned and sang at the top of their lungs.

Until the next adventure
-Patrice Haney