Friday, November 22, 2019

A Message from our Executive Director

Chris Mancini has served as Save the Harbor's Vice President of Operations & Programs since 2016. He is an experienced non-profit leader with a deep understanding of the importance of free, healthy outdoor activities and environmental education to our kids and communities. Chris takes a hands on approach to all aspects of Save the Harbor's work, and is deeply committed to the organization and its success. He is particularly proud of the work Save the Harbor does to connect our communities to the harbor, and to strengthen the leadership skills of our young staff, who are the next generation of harbor stewards. He is also an accomplished sailor, active bicycle commuter and proud husband and father.

It has been a terrific year at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, with a record number of kids and families taking part in our free programs on the Harbor, the waterfront, the islands, and the region’s public beaches. 

As this extraordinary year of growth and transition comes to a close, I’d like to take a minute to look back on what Save the Harbor accomplished with your support.

This year our Youth Environmental Education Programs brought more than 35,000 kids and their families out onto our shared harbor, islands, and beaches. Our new free Share the Harbor cruises opened these spectacular natural resources to the public and helped to meet the ever-growing demand for free programs that take advantage of our revitalized harbor and the abundance of opportunities it offers to the region’s residents and visitors. Sustainability-focused Catch of the Day fishing cruises also brought the kids we serve closer than ever to their living harbor while showing them firsthand the importance of a healthy marine ecosystem.

Our Better Beaches Program reached an important milestone when we invested our one-millionth dollar in free events and programs in Boston’s waterfront neighborhoods and the region’s beachfront communities from Nahant to Nantasket. This year these programs brought more than one million residents and visitors back to our beaches for free festivals, concerts, and programs and performances that underscore the many benefits clean water and better beaches bring to our communities.

Looking over at the feedback we received from the nearly 1000 people who took part in the Metropolitan Beaches Commission hearings we convened in nine waterfront neighborhoods and beachfront communities in 2019, one thing remains clear: The region’s residents from Nahant to Nantasket love our harbor, beaches, and islands and are passionate about improving access to these spectacular natural resources today and preserving them for generations to come.

When Save the Harbor/Save the Bay was founded in 1986, the very idea that Boston Harbor would be home to the cleanest urban beaches in the nation, our neglected waterfront would become the new heart of the city, or that the abandoned harbor islands would ever become a destination for regional residents and visitors from across the nation and around the world was a very distant dream.

Though there is still more work to be done and new challenges ahead, together we have made much of that dream come. With your sustained support, we are proud to be the region’s leading voice for clean water and continued public investment in Boston Harbor, and the Boston Harbor Connection for the more than 250,000 kids and families who have taken part in our free programs since we began them in 2002.

In the nearly 4 years I have been a part of the leadership team at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, first as Vice President and now as acting Executive Director, I have had many memorable moments that remind me of what Save the Harbor/Save the Bay has accomplished in just one generation. I’d like to share one of them with you today.

In late July, Jen Last, who became our first Youth Program Director in 2003, returned to the harbor with her husband Will and their two young daughters. Their first stop was the Boston Children’s Museum, where they caught fish and crabs with Save the Harbor’s staff, as part of our Boston Harbor Explorers program, which we run five days a week at that site.

“My early memories of Boston Harbor were of beaches that were closed at least once or twice a week.” she wrote in a text. “And my memories of the Fort Point Channel and the Seaport were of empty parking lots and brownfields where we would never think to fish.”

“Today” she continued, “thanks to all of you at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, my daughters will always have great memories of a Boston Harbor that is healthy, alive and welcoming, with beaches that are safe for swimming and beautiful harbor islands that are accessible to everyone.”

With Jen’s story in mind, I am writing to ask you to make a contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more today to support Save the Harbor’s free youth and family programs and our important and effective advocacy and policy work.

As we look to the future and the next generation of critical environmental challenges facing our capital city and the region’s coastal communities, I know that we can count on your support as we continue our work to protect and share the harbor that means so much to all of us. 

On behalf of our Board Chair Joe Newman, our Board of Directors, Bruce Berman and our staff I’d like to thank you for your past support and wish you an outstanding holiday season.

All the best,

Chris Mancini

Acting Executive Director
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay

No comments: