In preparation for the 2021 beach season, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay convened a public meeting of the Metropolitan Beaches Commission about race and equity on the Commonwealth’s public beaches and used our findings to build a more equitable grant process.
Based on the community’s feedback and Save the Harbor’s values, $40,000 of the 2021 Better Beaches funds were set aside to address barriers in access and equity that community members of color, folks with disabilities, and queer people experience on our region’s public beaches.
We directly addressed the community’s request for more diverse music and food, additional mobility mats and beach wheelchairs, and free life jackets on our region’s beaches by allocating additional funds to new and existing partners with plans to meet these needs. We also continued the two Anti-Racism program initiatives founded in 2020, Harbor Healing and Beats On The Beach, and engaged more new partners than ever before, with 31 of the 67 grantees being new partnerships.
In 2022, we aim to make the process even more equitable by introducing elements of participatory budgeting. We will be asking for community input at every step of the process, following the mantra "Your Beaches, Your Voice, Your Choice!". We can't wait to ear from you throughout the process and see you on the beach next summer!