Monday, July 15, 2019

Do you Sea, What I Sea?

Week two at Camp Harbor View felt like it was the 5th week of the summer, which is meant in a good way because it just feels like we have been doing this for a while now. Our high energy carried over this week and afforded us to catch some really cool organisms. Beginning with a cunner fish on Monday, Lobster on Thursday, and yet another Striped Bass on Friday! Camp Harbor View's dock is not a bad place to fish if you like to catch any and everything. This week was a special one. Not only did we catch different kinds of species but I also felt really connected with my team. This week was all about working together for me. Shoutout to my entire team for being so supportive and cooperative with each other as well as with the campers, it brings the best out of all of us and that is why we are so successful at our site.

With that, campers often do ask us how clean the harbor is and what kinds of things live in it. This week we did notice some plastic pollution in the Harbor which lead me to talk about the history of the harbor clean up and the role of the deer island treatment plant with a fellow camper. He wasn't aware of what those giant dinosaur eggs did, but after I informed him how they help filter and clean the waste coming from the city he was a lil grossed out. He ended up catching this very small Cunner fish, which I consider to be proof of how clean our harbor is. It has so much life in it!
Plastic pollution is real, and unfortunately we see it almost everyday. From sandwich bags to water bottles, the list is endless. I'd like to reiterate how important it is to recycle and throw away your trash so it doesn't end up in the harbor. To help reduce plastic pollution I have been reusing bags and I've invested in a reusable steel straw, as well as remembering to pick up any trash I see that could end up in the water. Plastic pollution deeply and negatively affects the life in, not only in the Boston Harbor, but any body of water. For example, flounder caught from the Boston Harbor need to be checked for tumors from the pollution in the ocean. The flounder we caught on Friday, was tumor free, as it should be.


Flat Side of Flounder
I look forward to what else we will catch in the Harbor!
Until next week, Kharliyah :)

We Need a Drastic Reduction in Plastic!

Lobster at CHV!
            We had another exciting week at Camp Harbor view! We caught our first flounder at the site, with the first being 14.5” long and the second being 14”. We also caught our third, and largest, striper coming in at 19”, still a long way from a legal 28” fish, but fun to catch! Along with the usual hordes of crabs in the traps there was a juvenile lobster. It’s safe to say this week was one to note at Camp Harbor view. I also got the chance to go on a fishing trip with two groups this week, one from Charlestown and the other from Washington Heights, where we caught all manner of species from flounder black sea bass sharing good times on the harbor. 
Nice striper from CHV!
             Another, unfortunately, familiar sight in the harbor was plastic pollution. This was in the form of shopping bags, plastic bottles, and miscellaneous debris. Sadly, this is the norm in many coastal places throughout the world. Wherever there is a lot of people and commerce there will be a lot of trash and some of that trash will inevitably find its way into the environment. Images of sea life ensnared in trash floods social media today and helps to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans. 
            Large plastic is definitely a problem in our oceans and has decreased the quality of life of many marine organisms. Another, less known about, type of plastic pollution comes in the form of microplastics. Microplastics are pieces of plastic that are less than 5 millimeters in length. These tiny plastics enter the environment through a couple of ways. Large plastics will break down into smaller pieces over time, eventually becoming small enough to be classified as microplastics. Other plastics are made to be tiny for use in products, often called microbeads, like exfoliators or even toothpaste. No matter how these microplastics enter the environment, they pose a threat once there. These plastics have the potential to enter the food chain at a low level and, through the process of biomagnification, move up and increase in concentration at higher levels. For example, if a small fish consumes 5 microplastics and then a large fish eats 10 small fish, that large fish now has 50 microplastics in its system. If there are microplastics in marine organisms, then microplastics are definitely ending up on our plates. These plastics can contain harmful chemicals, such as pesticides, and could pose a potential risk to all organisms that consume them, including humans.
            Although plastic pollution in the ocean is scary, there is a lot that can be done to help reduce the amount of waste getting into our waters. One of the biggest things we can do to help is by properly disposing of trash and recycling plastics properly so less reusable plastic end up in landfills. We can also make sure to not buy products that have microbeads in them. Under President Obama, the Microbead-Free Waters Act was passed and it bans the manufacture of products such as cosmetics and toothpaste that contain plastic microbeads. This was a great step in the right direction and will hopefully reduce the amount of microbeads entering the environment. 
            On a lighter note, this week at CHV should be exciting as always and I bet we’ll have a bunch more, interesting captures!

Tight Lines!

Spider Crab Mania

Hello! This is the first full week at Camp Harbor View and it has been a blast! This was the week of the spidercrab, since every single trap we brought up was full of them, they easily outnumber the rest of the crabs and since they are not invasive species this is great news!  It was an extremely lucky day for us at the fishing club! We managed to catch more than a few fish, two flounders in one week and a striped bass. The excitement was in the air the whole week, kids anxious to catch a fish and even the blazing heat did not stop them participating in the activities. With high hopes in the air, every single kid was in the mood for fishing! Ending the great first week, we caught a baby lobster in our crap trap and since it was delicate we had to let it go early due to fear of harming the animal.The week ended with a family-style barbecue at CHV, it was amazing week getting to know the staff members at my sight and the children in the fishing club!
       Pollution has always been a huge issue in the worlds oceans, all oceans around the world have to deal with this issue on a greater scale. This was the case with the Boston Harbor 30 years ago, but not anymore. Thanks to Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, we are now home to one of the cleanest urban harbors in the country. While the water is 'clean', there still is the rare bag in the water, however this is only once in a blue moon. The water in Boston is clean and you no longer need a Tetanus shot if you fall in the water, but other waters across the world are not as clean. All over the world's oceans there are huge amounts of plastic that interfere with the lives of the animals who live there. Turtles, dolphins, and even birds get stuck in the plastic in the ocean, causing serious harm to these animals. Even fish confuse the plastic in the ocean as delicious food, with plastic being found in fish all around the world.
    There are a few ways in which pollution can be reduced. A simple one is making sure you recycle. This prevent the water from getting filled with unnecessary material! If you are able to tell your parents and friends to do the same, than it will be even easier to stop the water from becoming filled with trash! With action, we can do this and save the planets oceans!
See you on the harbor- Albert

I've BIN recycling. Have you?

Ahoy mateys!

The All-Access Squad spent the week had a week of great fishing, haunted forts, and environmental stewardship at both George's Island and Peddocks Island. The beginning of our blazing hot week welcomed 1,000+ people aboard our boat to adventure to George's Island, where we had some catches we hadn't seen before: Atlantic rock crabs and a mixed-gene Blue Lobster! When we weren't on the docks, we were spending time in the George's Island fort, sharing the mystery of the Lady in Black. Our first week at George's Island brought us new learning opportunities, Boston Harbor history, and rare catches of the day.

Due to expected inclement weather, the All-Access squad brought our enthusiasm to Peddocks Island to work with National Parks Service, Green Ambassadors, and other harbor stewardship programs around Boston. We worked tirelessly in the woods of Peddocks, cutting down invasive plant species and cleaning up trails for visitors. Through the drizzles and the subsequent hot sun, we grew to appreciate the hard work that goes into keeping the harbor clean and available to all!

A tidal wave of plastic.

As depicted on the cover of National Geographic's 2018 issue, our planet is becoming a wasteland for billions of pounds of plastic waste. It calls on every individual to "Turn the Tide" and reduce personal plastic usage and encourage sustainable recycling practices.

I now challenge the reader to keep their eyes peeled. 

As we move through the motions of the mundane, remain attentive. Inspect your surroundings. Understand its implications. Then turn the tide.

Since I have learned about the treacherous reality of plastic in our oceans, I have noticed plastic everywhere. Floating in our harbor and sitting on our shores, water bottles, straws, bags, and trash plague our enjoyment, but most importantly, the health and well-being of all things, living and nonliving, and the natural world. The problem spans all land forms, both natural and man-made. When we open our eyes, accept the problem, and educate ourselves, we are equipped to address the issue accordingly.

Plastic in our harbor kills.
Both noticeable bigger plastic pieces, like cups, straws, bags, and wrappers, and microplastics, elusive plastic pieces that have eroded with the tide, are choking hazards to all marine life.  If an animal is not immediately killed by choking on plastic, they slowly suffer due to the consumption of microplastics, blocking its body from functioning properly. Seeing the trash in the harbor hurts. Seeing animals die because of the plastic hurts even more. Humans are now consuming microplastics from eating food that has accidentally consumed plastic. It's time to take action for all!

What can YOU do?
Be mindful! Notice your plastic habits, and try to cut it down. People often refer to the "Save the Turtles" movement to stop using plastic straws. This excitement is necessary, but we must focus on more than straws. I try using reusable coffee cups and water bottles, participating in Boston's no plastic bag policy, simply picking up trash on beaches or in the street, or waiting for a recycling bin as opposed to throwing plastic in the trash or dropping it in the street. When you make these small changes in your life, friends and family start to learn and follow. Lastly, plastic waste is a personal choice, but also comes largely from industrial and commercial use. While you do your best to reduce your plastic waste, encourage policies, regulations, and enforcement to ensure a healthy environment and a happy world.

Our small actions make a difference, so let's get to work for mother nature, all life, and the harbor!


Sunday, July 14, 2019

We should dolphinitely scale back on the fish puns: First Week Fishing the Harbor

I spent my first week of SHSB working at Piers Park and on the Spectacle Island Cruise. At Piers Park, we conducted activities with kids including fishing, sailing, and fun outdoor games. Using fishing rods, crab traps, and minnow traps, we set also up touch tank exhibits for the kids to enjoy. On the Spectacle Island Cruise, I sign people in, directed them where to wait, and helped my team with other logistical details. Once we arrived at the beautiful island, we set up a fishing station on the pier as well as a sports activity section by the gazebo in the field. I was placed in the fishing group, where every 20 minutes, a new group of kids showed up for fishing instruction. The kids were impressive beginner fishers, and even managed to catch multiple kinds of crab and briefly hooked a larger striper fish.

The most exciting catch on Spectacle Island was a large green crab. These crabs grow up to 2 1/2 inches from front to back of their carapace, and their carapace is 3 inches wide. Their common habitats include rocky shores and jetties on mud banks, salt marshes, and in the rocks and seaweeds of tidal pools as juveniles. These crabs eat mussels, clams, snails, and worms. The green grab invaded eastern N. America in the early 19th century. Nearly 200 years later, in 1992, it was spotted in California.

Another fun find was the spider crab, which is the most popular crabs in New England. These crabs' carapace can grow up to 4 inches wide, and full-grown males can extend 9 inches from claw to claw. Their common habitats include rocky shores, harbors, eelgrass beds, and pilings. They feed on detritus and algae and cover themselves in marine materials to camouflage.  One interesting thing to note about these crabs is their lethargic behavior, making them largely unthreatening. We caught quite a few of these on Spectacle Island!

My first week of SHSB made me appreciate the nature and ecosystems of the Northeast. I look forward to going on on the water many more times throughout the summer and hopefully catching many interesting marine species. But for now, I am going to unwind, cook on the grill, and enjoy the fireworks on the Esplanade. Have a great weekend. 

Will Miller 

Diving Into Week One!

Hey guys!! Jumping into the first week of work I started at The Children’s Museum and had a great time! We set up the crab traps, fishing polls, touch tanks, and our lovely lovely tent (which was very needed). We caught many crabs, and even a small fish — which was the talk of the day. I made many new friends, including Kat, Jay, and Kathleen at Children’s as well. We had a successful fishing day and even attempted to have a crab face. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we set out to Spectacle Island with AABH. On Tuesday I participated in a game of football with Qalid, Alex, and Vanessa, along with the other kids who came up to join, which was exhaustingly fun! On Wednesday I fished and many kids caught crabs — so many that out touch tank was overflowing! 

The most common species we caught were green crabs, at both AABH and The Children’s Museum. Green crabs get their names from the 5 spikes on the top of their shell, as many of us noted this week. They are said to have been first found in southwest New Brunswick in 1951, in Canadian waters. Green crabs are omnivores, meaning that they eat both plants and other animals. They grow up to 10 centimeters, and are around that size when they’re adults. Although the name blatantly says green, these crabs can actually be green, yellow, or even red! (
We also caught Skate as well. Skate are flat-bodied fish and are part of the “Ray” family, which is why they look like stingray— and also why kids get so excited and scream “I caught a stingray!!” Skate eat a lot of bottom dwelling animals, which include shrimp, crab, oysters, clams and other invertebrates as well. They are found in most parts of the world, from tropical to near-Arctic waters and from the shallows to depths of more than 2,700 metes. (
Fishing at Childrens!
This week was really fun with all of my new and old friends! I can’t wait to catch more crabs and teach more kids how to fish!

See you next week!! 

Long tide, no sea! A Recap for Week One

Hello friends!

We've only just dipped our toes into the Save the Harbor summer this past week, and I cannot wait to dive in completely for the rest of the summer! On Monday I joined the Boston Children's Museum teaching "Fishing 101" on the harbor dock. Hundreds of children, adults, tourists, and even just people on their lunch breaks stopped by to enjoy our fishing activities, crab trap, and touch tank. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I worked with All-Access Boston Harbor, with my official AABH squad for the summer! We spent our days on Spectacle Island enjoying the beautiful weather, refreshing swims, and providing fishing, crabbing, and organized sports to all of the eager passengers each day. Working, fishing, and playing on the harbor is a surreal experience in itself, but I couldn't be happier with my fellow Save the Harbor employees. Every LHE and JPA brings a sense of adventure, a unique set of knowledge and experiences, and an appetite to share our Save the Harbor expertise and learn more along the way!
Aleena, Qalid, and Will on the Spectacle Island dock! Just a few from our AABH squad.

Roy with our Striper!
Our crab race!

And now to introduce the guest of honor in my blog. The peanut butter to our jelly. The one's we couldn't do it without! The thing that makes Save the Harbor tick: the marine life!!! From our crab races to our battle reeling in a Striper, the marine animals we catch are crucial to the educational moments at the museum or on Spectacle Island. If there's one thing that I've learned as an Environmental Studies major it's that experiential learning, actually getting your hands dirty and enjoying a tangible, real-life moment with something has a lasting impact on a learner. Having meaningful interactions with the marine life in the harbor is something extraordinary.

While we have caught over one-hundred Green Crabs in just one week of our summer, one species that stands out to me is the Spider Crab crustacean. These crabs stand out amongst the crabs we typically catch, because of their slimy shells, noticeably large size, and beak-shaped grumpy facial features. Their bodies are typically covered in algae, bacteria, typically used for protection from predators. A fun fact is that the size of Spider crabs can range from 1 centimeter to 14 FEET LONG, depending on the different families!!! Spider Crabs are considered scavengers, typically feeding off the flesh of dead organisms in the Northern Pacific, of European and Japanese coasts, and, of course Boston Harbor! In terms of conservation, Spider Crabs are very tolerant of polluted waters and eutrophic environments; so don't be fooled! These spiders are fighters to tough waters, despite their slow movements.

Another species we caught was the Striped Bass, otherwise known as a Striper! Stripers are adaptable fish found in the rocky bottoms of freshwater lakes and open sea waters. They're ravenous creatures, feeding on many types of prey fish including anchovy, alewife, and croakers, and can be found weighing up to 50 pounds! The smart fishies migrate north for the warm weather, and love to travel south for the tough New England winters. I think we should learn something from them, that's for sure! We're looking forward to meeting some more of the harbor's marine life as the summer continues.

The first week has come to a close, and I could not be more excited to continue! After spending my July 4th in New Jersey, I'm looking forward to our first full week of Save the Harbor adventures! Check out our Instagram @savetheharbor for more frequent updates.

Signing off!!
Aka Cap'n Save the Bae

Week 2 On George’s Island!!!

    We kicked off week two at George’s Island, and to say the least, it was a success. On the island we had fishing going on like usual where the kids had the opportunity to fish for the first time or do it again, and they loved it. For us on the island, the catch of the week was a mixed gene blue lobster! Catching crabs is what commonly happens for us, so when the fishing crew was like a child on Christmas morning. Everyone got the chance to take pictures of the lobster or with the lobster because it was such an incredible catch. This moment will definitely be one of the biggest highlights of the summer for the All Access squad.

    While we had fishing going on, our other group was interacting with the kids by playing sports and taking tours of the infamous black tunnel. Before we got to the island we were told a story of the lady in black that supposedly haunts the dark tunnel on George’s island, and it was true to its word. The tunnel gave many the chills, but those who dared to go in it had a great time exploring it. For me, I love listening to ghost stories and exploring creepy places like this tunnel. I got the privilege to walk through it and it was most definitely eerie. The tours were a success, as were the sports that we provided the kids of many different camps all over Boston. On Tuesday we had a great game of waffle ball going, staff against the kids and everybody had a blast letting loose and just enjoying the day. Being able to join in on the game didn’t make me feel like I was working, but made me feel like a teenager having the summer of her life.


    Ending the week, we took a trip to Island and help out making it look beautiful and back to its historical features. When we got there, we were split up into different groups so we were able to interact with people from different organizations all around Boston. Pulling the weeds from around the buildings and around the island made me appreciate the history of these islands and Boston really has.  It is important to clean up not only the places that hold so much value but everywhere because our planet really needs it to stay alive. There is so much pollution and plastic all around us that needs to be dealt with or none of us will survive. If you can take anything away from this, it should be that working to clean up our planet shouldn’t be a chore, but a choice! With all this being said, week 2 was just the beginning and I can’t wait to see what week three and the rest of the summer has in store for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay.

    Au Revoir,

Madison Theriault

Marine Life!

Hi everyone!

This second week at save the harbor has been a blast! The group I work with is awesome, everyone works together to well and does an amazing job keeping the energy up and lively. We have been posted at the Boston Children’s Museum site teaching kids how to fish and showing them all of the cool critters we catch that live in the harbor! Some of the things we normally pull out of the water are small perch, striped bass, green crabs, and spider crabs! 

The green crabs are seen most often, probably because they are an invasive species! They are usually pretty small, only ranging from 2.5-4 inches long and are native to Europe but can be found in the North Atlantic or Pacific coasts. They are also normally found in shallow water with a muddy, vegetated bottom which would explain why they love the harbor so much!

Opposite to the crabs we see every day, on very rare occasions one lucky person will reel in a big striped bass! We have only caught one so far but are hopeful for more in the future since there is always a fun buzz of excitement when we reel one up. These big fish are normally 20-40 pounds and can be found in lakes or the Pacific coast. They also put up one heck of a fight on the fishing pole!

Next week we will still be out in front of the museum, hopeful for more fun and ocean life to share with the kids! I am really excited to see what else we might catch as the summer continues on, you never know what could be swimming through during high tide! Hopefully we can reel in another bass or pull up a giant spider crab for everyone to come and hold!  J

Sea you out there!
Brianna Malley

Fighting Pollution is the only Solution!

Hello, and welcome back to Kamal's Blog!

This was my second week at Children's Museum and this week was pretty mundane and was similar to the other week ive been at the museum. This week was pretty slow because there were a lot of moments where crabs would not come into the crab traps and there weren't really much fish on the fishing rods either so we had to use what we can. There was a moment where we caught a pretty big and keep able striped bass. There was also a day on Wednesday where I went a boat to fish with other kids and teens, in which on the boat we had caught a lot of fish and taught people how to use to fishing rod. Afterwards I was back at the children's museum. Despite the slow days, my group/team members really make my day despite the day having a fair share of ups and downs. 

I have seen multiple traces of plastic pollution in the Boston harbor. When I am working at the Children's Museum, you see all the plastic that people have dumped into the harbor like gloves, bottles, plastic bags and many more things. Although we would try our best to Save The Harbor by cleaning it up, due to what our materials are it can sometimes be difficult into picking the waste out of the harbor.I remember one day during my week, a chair was pulled out of the water and I had to pull a plastic bag out of the water with a fishing rod. Plastic and trash in general that ends up in the harbor can harshly affect us and marine life as we know it. For example, there is a lot of trash in the ocean even to the point where there are actual trash islands forming in the pacific. The trash and pollution that forms harms the marine life and plants that reside in water. It degrades plant life and kills animals such as sea turtles and other wildlife.

Plastic/Trash Pollution not only harms animals and plants alike, but it also harms humans. If thought about, the pollution that is put into our water is in the same water that we drink and use in our everyday lives. It harms us on the inside in the worse ways possible, which even gives us diseases and other harmful things such as that. There are multiple ways we can all help clean up the harbor by using the recycling bins that are all around Boston as well as finding any trash or plastic in the water and picking it up and placing it where it belongs. Also reducing the use of plastic bottles can help a a lot because all those plastic bottles often just get tossed in the ocean. Personally ill encourage my friends, family and others by trying to convince them to not buy plastic bottles and always remind them to throw away and plastic into the recycle bins and any trash into there designated bins.  

We need to Save this World not ruin it, so lets come together and "Save the Harbor and Save the Bay"

Plastic Pollution

Hi everyone!

We had another great week over at the Boston Children’s Museum! We had a couple more bass hooked on our lines and more spider crabs crawling into our trap. Our luck with the large striped bass continued and we ended up catching TWO more…one of them almost took the pole with him during our lunch break! However besides the cool sea life, we did catch a lot of trash as well. While we are out fishing in front of the museum if we ever see trash floating by, we make it a point to do our best to catch it! So far we have collected trash bags, juice pouches, and a lot of food wrappers. Our biggest find of all was an old, muddy chair that we spotted during low tide. Thankfully the next day Boston Line was out on a boat collecting trash and kindly got it out of the water for us!

Seeing this kind of pollution in the harbor isn’t a very pretty sight. We have one of the cleanest harbor’s here in Boston…yet we still see trash! The plastic in our waters is a huge problem not only for the critters who LIVE in it, but for us as well. As long as there is pollution, it means any seafood you consume will have plastics in them as well. So in the end, the pollutants we put in the water only come back to harm us! It is extremely important that we take the time to be conscious of where we throw things away and how we dispose of them. Recycling, cutting out the use of plastic bags or straws, and simply picking up trash when you see it are simple things we can all do to help the problem! So next time you are taking a nice walk on the beach, take a little time to pick up any litter you see, the friendly sea life below the surface will greatly appreciate it J

Sea you out there!
Brianna Malley