Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Fall Frolic on Spectacle Island

On Saturday, October 20, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, in partnership with Boston Harbor Now, the National Park Service, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation, hosted the Fall Frolic on the Boston Harbor Islands.

The Fall Frolic marked the end of Save the Harbor's first season of Share the Harbor cruises, which opened up 11 new opportunities for new audiences to take advantage of free programming and events on Boston Harbor. From April's Marine Mammal Safaris, to summer Monday cruises, two Boston Light Evening Cruises, and this fall's Spectacle Island trips, more than 12,500 people reserved spaces on the Provincetown II to spend time on our magnificent harbor.

Groups of family and friends gather on the dock before departing for Spectacle Island

This past Saturday, 478 excited passengers rode Bay State Cruise's Provincetown II out to Spectacle Island for a day of land and shore exploration, storytelling, songs of the sea and interaction with marine life. All kids aboard were also given a National Parks Service Junior Ranger guidebook to lead them on the island. As the boat made its way across the harbor, Boston Harbor Historian David Coffin told the story of Spectacle Island. Sharing how the island, named for the shape of its two drumlins, was used as a trash dump for decades and at one point set ablaze before being transformed into a beautiful national park.
An ideal autumn day made more perfect by a trip to the Harbor Islands

On the island, guests were offered numerous ways to interact with the island and learn more about its history. The National Park Service (NPS) Rangers led a nature hike to discuss the biodiversity and how the NPS monitors the park's habitats. Storyteller Andrea Lovett shared island folklore about the Lady in Black and the Scarlet Lady, as well as tales of pirates Mary Read and Harry Maine. David Coffin led a beach discovery walk to search for Spectacle Island's famous sea glass. Along the pier everyone had a chance to try their hand at catching fish and crabs with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. Many spider crabs were caught and were a big hit with all of the younger guests who learned about how the crabs use ocean debris to camouflage themselves.

Some enthusiastic visitors spend some quality time with a spider crab

Atop the North Drumlin, visitors took in the view of Boston, picnicked, and flew kites. While in the visitor center, some painted at the Art Cart or listened to the jazz band provided by Boston Harbor Now. The day concluded with a National Parks Service Junior Ranger swearing-in and badge ceremony for all of the young visitors. Congratulation to all of the new Junior Rangers!

Kite flying atop the the North Drumlin

The Jazz Trio sets the mood at the visitor center

The day was fun for all and as the boat headed back to the World Trade Center, groups gathered to discuss their time on the island and take their final pictures with the harbor as the background. A great cruise to end a great year. Looking forward to 2019!

Save the Harbor would like to thank all our foundation funding partners, corporate sponsors, and the more than 1,000 individual donors who help make our work possible. We would also like to thank our partners at Bay State Cruise Company, The National Park Service, The Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Boston Harbor Now.

Save the Harbor’s “Share the Harbor” cruises are funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Sea Change on the Horizon at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay President Patty Foley to retire at year's end.

Longtime Save the Harbor/Save the Bay President and Chief Executive Officer Patty Foley will be stepping down from her role at the end of 2018. Foley has led the organization since 2000.

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay is best known for its stewardship of Boston Harbor, leading the successful transformation from a national disgrace to a source of recreational and economic opportunity and civic pride for all Bostonians and the region’s residents, with the cleanest urban beaches in the nation.

During her tenure as President, Patty Foley has taken the organization to a new level of success and effectiveness. Over the past 18 years, Foley has increased membership from 500 to more than 5,000, grown the organization’s budget from $150,000 to over $1 million per year and dramatically expanded Save the Harbor’s free youth environmental education programs that have connected nearly 250,000 underserved youth and teens to Boston Harbor since their inception in 2002.

“Patty Foley is one of Boston’s great treasures. Her unique leadership skills and political instincts have ensured that we protect and preserve one of our most valuable urban natural resources and put them to work as assets for the region’s residents and communities,“ said Joseph Newman, Vice President of Government Affairs for Massachusetts at National Grid, who will continue to serve as Save the Harbor Board Chair. “The Board and I look forward to celebrating Patty’s legacy of accomplishments over the coming months and continuing the work we are already doing to plan for the next chapter of the Boston Harbor Success Story.”

Since 1986, Save the Harbor has worked with residents, scientists, government at all levels, and the region’s civic, corporate and community leaders to strengthen the region’s waterfront neighborhoods and beachfront communities and improve the quality of life for the nearly 2 million people who live within a short ride or drive to Boston Harbor.

The success of Save the Harbor Save the Bay’s environmental advocacy efforts spring from the organization’s clear vision: to restore and protect, connect and share Boston Harbor, the waterfront, the region's public beaches and the harbor islands with Bostonians from every neighborhood and the region’s residents alike, especially underserved kids and families.

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, a committed supporter of Save the Harbor, Save the Bay stated, "I thank Patty Foley for her decades of work to improve and protect our harbor, while making it more accessible for our residents to enjoy," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "I wish Patty the best, and look forward to continuing the City of Boston's strong partnership with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay as we build on our vision to create a waterfront and harbor open for all."

“Patty has taught all of us that good policy requires good politics, and that the best way to “Save the Harbor” is to “Share the Harbor” with everyone,” said Bruce Berman, Foley’s husband, who will continue on as STH’s Director of Strategy & Communications. “Under her leadership, we have given Boston Harbor back to the people, creating a new generation of stewards who understand the importance of these spectacular urban natural resources to all of us and our community.”

Save the Harbor’s free Youth Environmental Education Programs are the cornerstones of the organization's work to connect the region’s young people and their families to Boston Harbor, our region’s public beaches and the Boston Harbor Islands.  During Foley’s time at Save the Harbor, their free programs have connected nearly 250,000 youth, teens and their families to the resources they organization has worked tirelessly to restore and protect.

Foley is particularly proud of the work she has done to strengthen the City of Boston and improve the quality of life for residents of every neighborhood, for which she was honored as City Champion at the 2017 Henry L. Shattuck Awards.

“I love Boston and our spectacular harbor,” said Foley. “I have truly enjoyed this opportunity to work with so many terrific people, including policy makers, civic and community leaders, and the region’s businesses and foundations to achieve our shared mission and goals. You can be certain that I will continue to do all I can to ensure that Save the Harbor is well prepared to continue to be an important civic asset for the residents of every neighborhood in the City of Boston and the region’s residents as well.”

Longtime supporter, friend and former colleague, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation, Paul Grogan said, “The Boston Foundation is proud to have been there at the beginning when Save the Harbor started its work in 1986, and I have known Patty Foley personally since 1991, when we first worked together at LISC. Patty has a unique understanding of the importance of the Harbor to the urban landscape, and she leaves Save the Harbor well positioned to continue as a leading voice for public investment in clean water and as an advocate for healthy, active communities.”

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay has retained Chuck Gordon of The New Kensington Group, Joannie Jaxtimer of Joanne Jaxtimer Consulting and Robin Jones of JStrategies, who work together as CJR Strategic Transition Partners to advise them on the transition and conduct the search for the new President and CEO. The organization will honor Patty Foley for her service to the organization, the City and the region’s residents at a reception in late March of 2019.

You can find a description of the position on Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's website at

Save the Harbor Save the Bay is a non-profit public interest Boston Harbor advocacy organization. We are made up of thousands of citizens, as well as scientists, and civic, corporate, cultural and community leaders whose shared mission is to restore and protect Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Bay, and the marine environment and share them with the public for everyone to enjoy.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Save the Harbor and Boston Properties team up at Victory Park for the fall

After several cloudy and rainy days, the sun finally cleared for our service day with Boston Properties on October 2rd! Volunteers from Boston Properties’ 200 Clarendon building join Save the Harbor/Save the Bay staff and interns at DCR’s Victory Road Park in Dorchester to spend the afternoon preparing the park for the fall season.

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

“Victory Road Park is fun place to be, right on the harbor in Dorchester,” said Chris Mancini, Vice President for Operations and Programs at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. “This is our second trip out this year, and our second year of a 3-year project focused on stewardship of this particular park. 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 day started off taking inventory of the work that needed to be done. After cleaning storm debris and flooding washup earlier this year, the park weathered the summer season quite well. Plants had grown up along the new edge of the park, which is important going into the fall as the root systems help prevent erosion. A tour of the park revealed two main tasks: removal of dog waste, and cutting back and pulling out invasive species that had grown up along the parking lot.

Volunteers collected dog waste and plant debris throughout the day.

As anyone who has visited Victory Road Park with their canine companions knows, it's a beautiful place to spend the day. Unfortunately not every dog owner who visits the park abides by the rules for cleaning up after their canine companions. Even a few such instances can build up over time and the impact stretches beyond the park itself. The park is at the head of the Neponset River upstream from Tenean Beach. When rain and storms hit, these unremoved piles become untreated waste that washes off the park and that can wash up at Tenean Beach. Boston Properties is committed to this park in part to mitigate potential public health crises for swimmers and other beachgoers that could be created by this waste.

In addition, sumac and other plants had grown so much in the last few months that they threatened to take over the parking lot at Victory Road Park. Volunteers quickly grabbed weed whackers (and safety goggles!) and began assisting DCR staff in cutting back vines and branches, and revealing larger plans to be cut and pulled.

Several volunteers used weed whackers to trip growth that was threatening to encroach on the parking lot.

In all, the group removed one ton of dog waste and plant cuttings, just one portion of the work needed to ready this park for the fall, and to keep Tenean Beach safe all year long.

One ton of waste and debris was removed from Victory Road Park by the end of the day.

“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 beaches and parks for all our region’s residents.”

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Fun And Lunch At The Pop Up

Hello everyone my name is Mark Rose Site Director at Save The Harbor Save / Save The Bay's Boston Harbor Pop-Up

We welcome the community , families and friends to come stop by and learn some new fun facts about the Harbor and enjoy some of the exciting activity's we have for you guys we are located at 226 Causeway Street.

Today me and Jah'Ni got a chance to be a part of the Changing Course Project which is making cool looking fish out of plastic bottles and acrylic paint
 Also Jah'Ni and I would love to share the amazingly delicious lunch we had today which 
was yummy smoked mackerel with some tasty ceviche with a wonderful aroma made by Save The Harbor's very own Bruce Berman

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Share the Harbor "Sunset" Cruise to Boston Light

On a chilly October night, hundreds of brave seafarers arrived at the World Trade Center dock to board Bay State Cruise Company's flagship Provincetown II for a free cruise to Boston Light.

Unlike many of Save The Harbor/Save the Bay’s free "Share the Harbor: cruises, the boat was not bound for one of the Boston Harbor Islands, but would spend a leisurely two hours journeying to and from Little Brewster Island to enjoy stories and songs of the sea, and particularly the history and lore of Boston Light. With special guests David Coffin, Lighthouse Keeper Sally Snowman, and author and historian Eric Jay Dolin on board (along with a few pirates), the boat left the dock as the sun set through the rain clouds.

As we passed Spectacle Island, our harbor historian David Coffin captivated those aboard with stories of the burning garbage dump turned National Park, as well as how the city of Boston transformed the way that it disposed of its sewage sending it through a pipeline to Deer Island. This sparked fascinated listeners to ask more about the harbor cleanup,  which transformed Boston Harbor from the “dirty water” of song lyric to the home of the cleanest urban beaches in the nation. A few of our passengers even sang a few sea shanties with Coffin, to the delight of all.

On our approach of Little Brewster, we heard from lighthouse keeper Sally Snowman. She spoke of the history of the Boston Light dating back to 1716, as well as the day to day duties that she is responsible for to keep the lighthouse functioning. It was through her stories that the people looking out at the light were able to envision the sound of the crashing waves, the spectacular sunsets, and her life on the island in general. She even pointed out the whale that had washed up on the beach in front of her home, a sign of the clean water that has welcomed more cetaceans back into the inner harbor recently.

Finally, author and Save the Harbor Humanities Scholar Eric Jay Dolin took the microphone to talk a bit about pirates in the Boston Harbor as well as the New England area during piracy’s golden age in the late 1600s and into the early 1700s. He told tales of interactions between the notorious pirates of the time and colonial leaders and filled in the history of Boston Light, including the possible curse that lay over its early lighthouse keepers! For those passengers wanting to know more, he brought along his new book Black Flags, Blue Waters that he released this September.  

At nightfall, our fun filled cruise came to an end with Boston’s skyline lighting up the water around us. People flooded to the bow to take in the beautiful sights and hear some last minute facts about the seaport as we made our way back to the dock. For those who braved the rain and cold, it was definitely a night to remember. 

Save the Harbor would like to thank all our foundation funding partners, corporate sponsors, and the more than 1,000 individual donors who help make our work possible. We would also like to thank our partners at Bay State Cruise Company, The National Park Service, The Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Boston Harbor Now.

Save the Harbor’s “Share the Harbor” cruises are funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Free Fall Treasures of Spectacle Island Cruise Sets Reservation Records

On Saturday, September 29, Save the Harbor continued to "Share the Harbor" with a free cruise to explore the Treasures of Spectacle Island. With a record 2,500 reservations, it is clear that demand for free access and programming on the Boston Harbor Islands is only growing, and this clear, warm fall day did not disappoint.

As the Provincetown II motored out into the Harbor, Save the Harbor's Vice President of Operations & Programs, Chris Mancini, shared stories and songs of the sea from our All Hands on Deck curriculum. "We want people who take part in our free programs to know that young men and women of every race and nationality played important roles in our maritime past, and that there are plenty of opportunities for them today on Boston Harbor, our waterfront and the sea." 

Our newest crew members "Haul Away Together" on the Proincetown II

Save the Harbor's song leader then taught and led a rousing rendition of "Haul Away Joe", a traditional sea chantey that also happens to have an inspiring message: that if we all pull in the same direction, we can accomplish anything.

Some of our intrepid youngsters show of the sea glass and ceramics they found on South Beach

Once on Spectacle Island, visitors dispersed for picnics and walks on their own, while groups joined Save the Harbor's staff for fishing and crabbing on the pier, kite flying on the North Drumlin, and sports and games in the Saddle. The most adventurous joined our resident pirate for a walk along the South Beach where they discovered some of the "Treasures of Spectacle Island" which give a window onto the varied history of Spectacle Island. Though none of the treasures can leave the beach, our young "pirates in training" got a lesson in geometry and the scientific method as they drew transects at high and low tide, and developed hypotheses about where they might find the most interesting objects, and what each might tell them about the island.

We bid the island farewell until October 20

We couldn't have asked for a better day to explore one of Boston Harbor's most spectacular places, and look forward to our next Share the Harbor cruise on October 20th.

Share the Harbor is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay would like to thank our partners at Bay State Cruise Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, The Boston Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, and Distrigas/ENGIE for their Leadership Grants which make all our free programs possible.

Save the Harbor is grateful for Partnership Grants from Boston Properties - Atlantic Wharf, Eastern Salt Company, Inc., Fan Pier - The Fallon Company, John Hancock Financial Services, The HYM Investment Group, LLC, The Llewellyn Foundation, Massachusetts Bay Lines, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Massachusetts Port Authority, National Grid Foundation, P&G Gillette, Lawrence J. and Anne Rubenstein Charitable Foundation, William E. & Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust, Vertex, and The Yawkey Foundation.

Save the Harbor also appreciates Stewardship Grants from The Paul and Edith Babson Foundation, Forrest Berkley & Marcie Tyre Berkley, Blue Hills Bank Foundation, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, Camp Harbor View Foundation, Circle Furniture, Comcast, Copeland Family Foundation, Inc., The Cricket Foundation, Cronin Group, LLC, The Daily Catch Seaport, Elizabeth Elser Doolittle Charitable Trust, Enbridge, Tom & Lucinda Foley, Foundation for Sustainability & Innovation, Liberty Bay Credit Union, Lovett-Woodsum Foundation, Maine Community Foundation, Mass Humanities, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Nicholson Foundation, RMR Real Estate Services, Clinton H. & Wilma T. Shattuck Charitable Trust, Skanska, South Boston, Community Development Foundation, Abbot & Dorothy H. Stevens Foundation, and Tishman Speyer.

Save the Harbor would also like to thank Program Funders 3A Marine Service, Andus Baker & Rowan Murphy Family Fund, The Bay State Federal Savings Charitable Foundation, Beacon Capital Partners, LLC, Boston Bruins Foundation, Andrew J. Calamare & Marianne Connolly, CannonDesign, Circle Furniture, Kevin & Dee Colcord, Dark Horse Capital Partners, Diversified Automotive, Eversource, Tom & Lucinda Foley, Fort Point Framers, Goulston & Storrs PC, Legal Sea Foods, Miss Wallace M. Leonard Foundation, George Lewis - Haven Trust, Liberty Bay Credit Union, Mass Bay Credit Union, Massachusetts Marine Educational Trust, National Park Service, Randy Peeler & Kate Kellogg, SKW Partners, Inc., Abbot & Dorothy H. Stevens Foundation, Storm Duds, Matthew J. & Gilda F. Strazzula Foundation, TD Charitable Foundation, UDR, Kyle & Sara Warwick, and Winthrop Parks and Recreation.”

Special thanks to everyone who joined us on the cruise, and to the hundreds of individual donors for their generosity. Thanks as well to our partners at the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Metropolitan Beaches Commission, the Boston Centers for Youth and Families and the YMCA of Greater Boston for their support.

Discover Moakley!

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay was proud to be invited as a co-host of this past weekend's DISCOVER Moakley event in South Boston, along with Boston Parks and Recreation, Greenovate Boston, Boston Harbor Now, The Trust for Public Land, and the Department for Conservation and Recreation.

With Moakley Park's location along Boston Harbor near Carson Beach, visitors from around the region were welcomed as part of Climate Preparedness week to learn about the comprehensive long-term plan for the Park, which balances recreational needs and community gathering spaces with protection against climate-change impacts such as flooding from increased rainfall and sea level rise.

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay was there on land and sea, activating the beach area with aerialists, acrobats and jugglers thanks to our partners at the Boston Circus Guild.

Kids and families also joined us to try their hands at surf casting, and learned stories and songs of the sea from storyteller Norah Dooley as the pirate Mary Read!  It was a beautiful fall day at the beach, and one of the highlights was the kayaking lessons offered by our good friends from the Piers Park Sailing Center.

But that's not all! Members of our youth summer staff also ventured inland to bring a little bit of the beach to the city itself, sharing the Japanese art of fish printing - Gyotaku - with kids who learned about the interesting life cycle of a flounder, while creating a unique piece of art as a memory of their day on Boston Harbor.

Thank you to the City of Boston and our great partners for a wonderful event providing free outdoor activities for kids, families and community, and for highlighting this outstanding waterfront resource in South Boston.