We have made it through the first week of Save the Harbor, and I’m excited for what lies ahead. This week I was on Carson Beach in South Boston enjoying the beautiful view of the harbor and learning about the history of the beach.
It was almost 30 years ago that Boston was named for having the dirtiest coastal beaches in the country. All of the sewage pipes from houses and buildings would empty straight into the harbor. Yup, that includes human feces as well. Back in the 70s if you went swimming at Carson Beach you would immediately have to go to the hospital and get a tetanus shot because of how polluted it was with chemicals and other gross stuff. Learning that made my skin crawl.
Part of the $3.8 billion dollar clean up plan included the restoration of our beaches, wihch is when Deer Island was constructed changing the direction of all the sewage in the city. It took decades but now I can assure you that it is perfectly safe to swim at our beaches.
The clean up started right after the civil rights movement in Boston, including the Bus riots after the desegregation of schools in 1974. With a racially divided city and Carson Beach located in a predominantly white neighborhood, many whites were unhappy during the summer time when People of Color tried enjoying the beach. Beach riots broke out right here in our city, but in 2020 we see all kinds of people with all kinds of cultures enjoying a nice day on the beach.
The history of the Beach might be an ugly one but the future will prevail and change will continue to come.
Until next time,