Saturday, August 28, 2021

This is a See you later

 Hey there, 

As we all know it, all things come to an end, but it’s all the great memories made in that time that last forever. This was the last week of the 2021 Save The Harbor summer and like always we finish it off with a bang. We spent our last days as a whole group doing fun things like going on a spooky trip to George’s Island, joining summer groups and families on All Access to Spectacle Island, hitting up Boston Bowl and the Arcade, and finally a team picnic in the Boston Public Gardens. 

In the three years that I have worked at STH, I can never recall a dull moment even when it's 1000º outside and we’re all going crazy.  I always enjoy the refresher on the marine animals that share our harbor and this year learning more about Bivalves as well. 

My favorite moment from this summer was the first trip to Spectacle Island that we took as a whole staff. I got to make new friends and regroup with old ones while seeing kids actually get to be outside again since quarantine. 

I can’t wait to come back next year and do it all over again. A big thank you to the STH staff for always giving me the best summer. 

Sea you on the flip side, 

Jay Gomez 

Week 6 - Grappling with the Effects of Climate Change

 Howdy folks!

    This week was a very intense one, because it was HOT. As in above 90 degrees Farenheit pretty much every day. We really noticed the effects of this in how it impacted our programming--we couldn't do very much of it in an effort to stay out of the heat. Coincidentally, some of the programming that we were able to do was about heat resiliency, so this combined with the weather really got me thinking about it.

    We learned that in Boston, as with many other cities, the heat is worse in areas that have more structures and less green space. This is because of how the heat interacts with the different environments. Not only do green spaces provide shade with trees, but they allow the heat to dissipate as well. Urban structures, on the other hand, absorb the heat and it builds up in the area. Currently, air conditioning units are the most widespread and effective tool for cooling indoor areas. However, many people in Boston cannot afford them, and this combined with the fact that many low-income areas in the city have little to no green space provides for a very difficult situation for the vulnerable populations that occupy such neighborhoods. And besides, you can't cool an outdoor area with air conditioning, and the units aren't exactly the best for the climate either!

    So how can we address these problems? One obvious solution is to add more green space into areas that don't have it and have populations that are particularly vulnerable to the heat. There are additionally technologies currently being developed to help cool outdoor places efficiently and without adding to the issue of climate change. I personally do not know of a more environmentally-friendly alternative to air conditioning that is just as effective, but it is always helpful to not overuse it. Perhaps the use of glass that does not allow for temperature transfer in windows can help, and it would prevent heat from building up in people's houses when the sun is bright. All this being said, there are many different ways to address the issue of extreme heat that is with us right now, and there are infinitely many that I haven't covered nor even know of. It is simply a matter of learning about and implementing those strategies, especially where they are needed most.

See you soon,


A comic that I made using a City of Boston resource as part of our programming about heat resiliency.

We ended up working at the Copley branch of the Boston Public Library on Thursday to beat the heat. They have air conditioning, and I got to eat lunch in their beautiful courtyard!

One Last Cinnamon Swirl

Dear Blog Readers,

It's with a heavy heart that I tell you that this is going to be my last STH blog of the summer 2021 season. It's been a good run, but fall is around the corner and now I have to get ready to wake up early in the morning again. Yikes. Before I dive into what undoubtedly be an absolute banger of a blog, I'd like to thank you, my devoted readers, for sticking with me this far, you all clearly have excellent taste.

My time at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay this summer has given me so much more than just a way to finance my Tasty Burger addiction, although that's definitely a big part of it. Like, a big part, I'm actually very bad at money management. But that's besides the point. One of the biggest perks of working at Save the Harbor, I've found, is the connections you make with everybody else in the program, and especially with the people in your group. I went into this summer just looking for a job, and I came out of it with a hell of a lot of new friends, whose names I will try my best not to forget over the school year, at the risk of looking like a dickhead next summer.

I had a great time getting to know the people in my group. I'm definitely somewhat of a shy person, so I didn't really know what to expect when meeting them for the first time in Revere at the beginning of July. I joined the program late, and I hadn't been to the orientation week, so I didn't really know anybody's names and I hadn't made any friends, but none of that ended up mattering because the environment is super friendly and welcoming, and quite literally within three days I felt like a seasoned veteran of the group. Some of my favorite memories of this summer were from my first week on the beaches of Revere. I remember getting the sunburn that will permanently ruin my tanlines, and the stench of rotting seaweed on Short Beach. I remember doing the Bivalve Quest, and walking around in the intertidal zone, searching for green crabs, intact clams, and orange sheath tunicates, and sea water soaking through my sneakers when I accidentlally plunged my foot in. I remember playing keep-it-up with a volleyball on Revere Beach, and digging a massive pit in the sand, and then everyone in my group dancing together afterwards to some 2000's bangers. I have more memories from this summer than I feel like writing about, and way more than you'd want to go to the effort of reading through.

Another thing that I've taken away from the STH is a greater appreciation of the diversity of marine life living in the Boston Harbor. By myself, I never really would have thought to go walk out on the shore, turning over rocks to look for crabs and sea bugs, or digging around in the sand for bivalves. I also would still not have known how to fish, or had the mental willpower to come anywhere within a five foot radius of a bloodworm. By researching biodiversity, and learning a lot of interesting facts about these creatures, I found myself feeling less hesitant to look at them  up close, and suddenly a lot more interested in the specific biological mechanisms that make them tick.

It's hard to think of a single event that defined this summer for me, but the Beach Bash we held at Constitution is definitely up there. The event was pretty much textbook STH from what I can tell, meaning that it was basically organized chaos. That in itself made it pretty exciting, though. There must have been five hundred kids there or more, which meant that for a JPA the day was spent running around from activity to activity, making sure that no kid was left unattended, and generally taking care of whatever else needed to be done. I started out running the sports area, but I ended up volunteering (being volunteered by Bridget) to dance in a big group of kids for a local news broadcast, helping Kurtly run the fishing section, and helping Jason return one of the kayaks to its place. By the end of the day, I was super exhausted, but I can say that it was by far one of the most fun and rewarding things I've done in a while. I think events like that, and the All Access trips we did to the Boston Harbor Islands, really reflect what my job this summer was all about. The Beach Bash was chaotic, unpredictable, and required everybody to be adaptable and move around to wherever we were needed. Most importantly, we got to directly interact with the community, which was pretty cool. Since we talk a lot about how our mission is to make the harbor more accessible to the public, it was nice to see a direct way in which we can have that impact on kids' lives.

Our final week this summer ended on a high note, with a lot of group activities that brought together all of the JPAs and team leaders. On Tuesday and Wedneday, we had trips to George's Island and Spectacle Island, respectively, and on Thursday got to go bowling at Boston Bowl in Dorchester, since the rain caused the Beach Bash at Carson to be cancelled. I kind of suspected that I was going to be shitty at bowling since it been a few years since I had last done it, but apparently I was just born a star, because I absolutely smoked the competition and won. I was feeling pretty proud of myself until I saw Kristen's score two lanes over, and that humbled me a bit.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Waving Goodbye to a Summer Well Spent!

 Hi Everyone!

It's crazy to think that this summer has finished, it feels like I was just meeting my team and trying to dig the deepest hole of all time into Revere Beach. We've had so many adventures this summer, and I was able to learn so much about the history of Boston Harbor, the animals that live in it, and the impacts humans continue to exert on the water. I began this summer with pretty limited knowledge of all the different T lines, and I had never gone fishing on the ocean. Now I feel comfortable taking Boston public transportation anywhere, and I cooked up a massive striped bass that I caught and killed in the harbor! I'm very grateful to have had such an awesome team of students this summer who were interested in learning about the natural world around them and had great insights into all of the social, cultural, and economic factors that affect how different people in the city access green spaces and the water. Shoutout to Ari, Jasmine, Aleena, McRae, Kurtly, Henry, Alex, Albert, and Julian for all of the laughs, serious conversations, and hilarious memes this summer! 

Me with a MASSIVE striped bass during the fishing derby. Definitely one of my favorite days this summer!
The harborbots in East Boston! So grateful to have had such an amazing team :)

I was very proud of the deliverables that my group was able to create this summer. Each week, I would have 2 students from the team be in charge of coming up with a concept for our deliverable then assigning people different parts to work on. Together we would all brainstorm ideas until we thought of something that we hadn't done before. We were able to make species guides, tik toks, informational videos, infographics, and more! My favorite deliverable we made was a set of postcards we created that were written by people living in East Boston during different time periods. By writing from the perspective of people living in the past, we were really able to think through how attitudes towards the harbor have changed over time. As someone who used to love historical fiction books as a kid, I thought this was a great way for younger students to imagine themselves as residents in East Boston while the harbor was a foul and dirty body of water. We were also able to capture demographic shifts in our postcards which showed the impact of immigration on that area of the city.  In our other projects, we also were able to improve our video editing skills and some of us tried out graphic design for the first time by using Canva! 

The last few weeks were spent exploring the Charles River Esplanade and the Harbor Islands, which were both a blast! We welcomed another member to the squad in Julian, and he was a great addition to the team with his energy and sense of humor. After surviving the heat wave together, we spent some much needed time out on the water and harbor islands, where we did our last fishing session with kids and all got to say goodbye through bowling and a picnic! It was so cool to see my team at Spectacle Island on our last All-Access trip because although some had started the summer never having fished before, by the end they all felt comfortable introducing fishing to younger kids, hooking up bait, and showing them how the reels worked! 

Exploring the floating marsh on one of the hottest days of the summer!

Our final picnic! It was sad to say bye to all these amazing students :(

This summer at Save the Harbor far surpassed my expectations! We were able to see so many sites and it was awesome to see my group grow and try new things each week. It was so cool to send some of my students off to college, because I know they're gonna do amazingly on their next chapters, and I can't wait to see where we all end up in the future. Special thanks to Kristen, Bridget, and Maya for doing so much work behind the scenes every day and making sure we had everything we needed to be successful! This summer has really ignited my passion in non-profit work and I'm so excited to meet even more people through Save the Harbor :) 

Sea you all soon!! Can't wait to continue working with everyone in the future :)


Monday, August 23, 2021

I was only here for two weeks so I don’t think it would be very interesting if I talked about my whole summer, so I will just talk about this last week. The week started with us going to Georges Island, where there was a military fort from the civil war that held prisoners. There were a bunch of places where cannons and guns were, and the guns could apparently fire 9 miles. After we got told a story about a lady who tried to rescue her husband but died, we went down an aisle that was the darkest dark i've ever been in. When we were done with that, for some reason we went back, and into an extremely dark room with one beacon of light in the middle. After that extremely unique experience, we went to the shore and found a bunch of crabs under the rocks.

I don't have any pictures of the corridor but this is basically what it looked like.

On wednesday, we went to spectacle island with a bunch of other groups, primarily little kids. I played volleyball with my team and we kept the ball up for like 16 hits or something which didn't beat our record of 21. After that, we went into the water which was cold but actually very refreshing and nice to have conversation in. At the end of our time on the island, we helped a bunch of people fish, but we only really caught crabs. On Thursday, my final day this summer, we went bowling at Boston bowl. Boston bowl is right near my house, so for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to bike there. It was not. It was pouring rain outside and I got soaked, but thankfully I wore a sweatshirt over my shirt, so I could just take that off and my shirt was dry. We went bowling and I wasn't very good except for my behind the back strike, which helped me get a 77 for the round.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Great Summer

 Thank you everyone for this amazing summer at Save the Habor I hope I can be a part of this program again next summer. I didn't think I was going to get this job because I didn't get a reply but I'm really thankful that my brother mentioned me in his interview because if he didn't I don't think I would have been a part of this amazing program. One of my favorite parts of this summer was working with my group because every day there would be something new and fun. I already knew how to fish, but I still learned many things about fishing that I didn't know before. I also really liked going to different locations every week and doing deliverables to do. I was also able to learn how to navigate through the train stations because before this summer I was not too comfortable using the train to go places, but now I am very comfortable using it.

I had a great summer and I hope I can see everyone next year.

Friday, August 20, 2021

A summer to remember :)


Last week I keep of save the harbor! Wow what a summer it has been. Tuesday we went to George’s island while we were there we got to explore it while David told us many of his stories. We went in the tunnel, after hearing the story of the lady in black. Ari Aliyah and I were first in the tunnel we could hardly see a thing but once we got to the end we hid to scare the rest of the crew. We also went through another tunnel, David told us a story and opened a “coffin” door inside was Bridget! It was so funny seeing everyone scream and get scared. On Wednesday we went to spectacle island, on the way there me and Ari were watching total drama island. When we got there my group had lunch first. While eating we talked about our favorite shows and funny moments from them. Next we did fishing, a few kids caught some crabs but it was a lot of fun to show them the crabs and help them catch them. The we got to go swimming and when I tell you my feet were in pain from the shells and rocks on that beach. But Francesca, Jay and I played football and then three boys from one of the camps wanted to join. We teamed up and obviously we won! Thursday we went bowling. I was in a group with Jay,Aliyah,Ari,and Henry. Let’s just say we aren’t the best bowlers. First round I was loosing….bad. But I did get a blue slushee and some chicken tenders so I was ok. Next round things started to look better. Aliyah had to leave but somehow she was still winning when she wasn’t there. We made a plan for each time her turn came we would do an extreme throw to make sure she didn’t get any points. But every time we tried we ended up doing better than ourselves. However I came into the lead witness a bunch of points ahead. We were nearing the end and things were looking great but THEN, JAY STOLE MY WIN WHEN SHE HIT A STRIKE. However my luck wasn’t over there e went to the arcade and I lost at air hockey and basketball but I did win multiple games on the car game. Lastly our last day at save the harbor we went out for lunch. I’m gonna miss all these losers. Hope to see you again. 

- Hope

Last Week at Save the Harbor. See You All Next Year!

As this program comes to an end, I find myself looking back at all the great moments I had with my group and the youth staff as a whole. During the last week of the program, we bonded as a whole team; We went to a new island (George's Island), Spectacle, Boston Bowl, and finally a group picnic. My favorite moment this summer has to go to the fishing derby. I will forever remember going on a boat to Boston Harbor and catching my biggest striper yet. There was also the time I went fishing with Aidan and Ruben at Revere Beach. It was like the stripers were purposely teasing Ruben just to vex him. The fish were literally jumping out of the water, but we had no luck and left without anything. Despite the numerous mosquito encounters, Save the Harbor has given me so many opportunities to try something new whether it be exploring new parts of Boston or teaching kids how to fish.

For summer that was spent at Save the Harbor during a pandemic and as a person who doesn't go outside very much, I have done more than I could have imagined in any summer. This was the first summer I was able to go outside and take public transportation by myself. I also learned how to ride a bike which I am really proud of. Being able to explore Boston with an amazing group of people just makes it harder think about having this summer come to an end. I truly appreciate the opportunity to be part of the Save the Harbor Summer 2021 team and my group members Francesca, Jay, Ty, Aidan, Marley, Arryn, and Hope. I can't wait to come back next year! 


Danny Nguyen

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Last Week at Save the Harbor! :,(

I had so much fun at Save the Harbor this summer! We did so much in such a short time, including fishing, beach clean-ups, visiting the aquarium, walking around a few marshes and the Charles River, and a lot more! But my favorite part this summer was visiting different beaches and the Boston Harbor Islands and learning about the different marine animals and plants that lived there. I also loved that we got to visit a new place every day. 

This week was really fun. On Tuesday, we went to Georges Island, and walked around Fort Warren, which was built and used as a training facility for Union soldiers and a prison for Confederate officers and officials during the Civil War. We walked through the Dark Tunnel and to the Dark Arch, which was an interesting experience, considering I couldn't see anyone or anything. I just followed the sound of everyone screaming to to find my way around. We also went to the fort's bakery where I was lifted into the oven and "baked" alive.

My group at the top of North Drumlin
on Spectacle Island
On Wednesday, we went to Spectacle Island. This island was once used to dispose garbage, but after many years of burning up all of the trash, then covering it with dirt, and creating trails and a park, it is a beautiful island that attracts both the residents and tourists of Boston. When we were at Spectacle Island, we hiked the North Drumlin, swam in the harbor, and helped younger kids fish! I really enjoyed visiting the Boston Harbor Islands, and I hope to go back soon! Thursday was a rainy day, so we went bowling at Boston Bowl. I haven't bowled in a while, and I forgot how fun (and hard) it is. 

I had a lot of fun this summer and despite Covid, I think that we made the most of our time together. Thanks for such a great summer!

- Grace

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Final Week of STH!

 It has been a whirlwind of a summer! Still in disbelief that we reached the end of our time together as a group. It definitely feels bittersweet. The Lob Mob will inevitably disband! But it was a week full of fun activities and lasting bonding sessions. Even leading up to the end, we had some intense, adventurous and educational times. I feel like I owe so much to this job opportunity and all the groups who really helped me adapt and learn so much about not just Boston's harbor but its history and future. It's incredibly healing to be able to access the water but that is now juxtaposed with the impending climate change flooding disasters. I've seen how much Boston has already prepared but it's still crucial to involve the community more so, especially those most-as-risk. 

On the plus side, spending time with community was mostly what the final week was about! Bowling, public gardens picnic, final Spectacle Island visit and tunnel tours at Georges Island. The intense heat came along with us but we got rained out our final days. The islands were of course a blast and we celebrated TWO birthdays, Jay and Syan! They even got a gift from Bridget. Georges Island was an interesting tour, the tale of the Lady in Black and lots of dark passages. Bowling was wild, some of the kids are just in general wonders--they had mad skills. Finally, the public gardens was our last gather (insert many sad faces), surprisingly the kids do not like sweets (?!?!?) but it was great to just sit, talk, and take wacky pictures.

Well, I guess I can say I am not A BOSTON NEWBIE anymore. I've graduated to BOSTON BOSS. Okay, sorry I had to. Thank you for reading these posts (if you did), it has been fun!

Till next time,

francesca 🥀

Monday, August 16, 2021

Good day of Fishing

 As many people know I love fishing. It is pretty much an addiction. My dad gets annoyed because I talk to him on fishing all the time. So when I heard  the fishing derby was going to happen I flipped with joy. Though I also was worried because I had to wake up at five in the morning to get there on time. Luckily for me my dad was able to take me so that was good. The day started out fine it was a little rainy but I was okay with that and I was to focused on getting ready to fish. When everyone arrived we had bagels to eat and coffee to start our day. We were then placed into each boat and were sent off the find the big fish waiting to be caught.

I was in a small boat with Will and Albert and this boat was fast, the only issue with that was the giant waves coming our way. I was close to the front so when a wave came my butt would hit the deck super hard. I'm pretty sure I fractured my tail bone (joke by the way). We were going to different places but no luck on the first two. Then the captain decided to go to Nahant to try and catch blue fish which was also a no go sadly. I never caught a bluefish before so it kind of sucks. But then we moved to harbor channel to catch pogeys which are a good bait fish. We could see them jump out the water it was amazing. They also were not small fish these fish were larger then my hand which means we are going for the big boys.

Once we had enough bait we decided to go to Peddocks Island. I heard this place was good for striper fishing but I never been to this place before. What we used was one bait and two rods that had plastics tubes with hooks. If you saw them you would not think it would work. Not only did it work it was the only thing catching fish. We caught 5 fish in the one area using a plastic tube. I did not catch the biggest of my life or even that day but the fish I caught I was able to release and say that it survived and will be able to continue living and make more fish its size. I don't agree with eating and killing every fish you catch I believe in catch and release. But I am happy to say I caught a Striper this year.

Big bait for big fish

Nice Fish if you ask me

Best Week So Far!

 This week has been a blast i had great time learning about new things and meeting new people who also take care of the environment around the harbor and ocean i had great time participating in the Fishing Derby caught a few fish but in the end i learned how to catch fish and my fishing team won the Fishing Derby by catching the largest striped bass our group also learned about what the New England MIMIC and Invasive species do, New England MIMIC stands for Marine Invader Monitoring and Informative Collaborative which means if they see unrecognizable species they will take a look at it and gather information and see if they outcompete other native species and Invasive species are non native species that causes harm to the introduced ecosystem, they can be harmful by consuming high numbers of native species, outcompeting native species, and by being toxic and venomous.

The Youth Cruise was one of the most greatest experiences because not only i get to be on a cruise but also there were people i never knew who also do things around Boston keeping the environment clean and safe. This shows how much people really care about Boston making the city happy by doing the unexpected by taking care of the city with more pair of hands a lot of brains to come up with their own focus on what they could do to support Boston and programs contributing to that focus knowing what each program does as a team.


Week 6 : the summer is coming to an end

 For this week we were placed at castle island for the first day it was very hot but we were able to go on a fishing derby and  it was very fun. We all went on to different boats and competed with each other to see which group would get the biggest fish of the day. My group had a lot of fun we were blessed to have Dee as our DJ we had a whole dance party and at first we weren’t catching any fish we would just catch these tiny baby ones it took awhile for us to start catching some big ones which happened towards the end which was kind of a bummer because by the time we started talking I get the hang of it we had to leave then when we got back we waited for everyone to get back then we ate a good lunch. When everyone was back we compared our fish to other ones and in the photo below u can see everyone that won with their fish in their hand. 

The next day it was so hot that we basically were able to find somewhere to cool-down and sit at to work on our deliverables and what we were going to do for that week and we were all able to make our own fun out of that day later on that day all of the save the harbor staff went on a boat for the evening and we were all able to meet new people from different organizations and speak with them to see what they do at their jobs. We then did a scavenger hunt we’re we were able to visit the different groups tables and everything then when you we’re done you got to choose from three different bags that either had sunscreen sun glasses or a water bottle and I chose the water bottle. Then we ate pizza and rode around the harbor until 7 then went home. The next few days we were virtual because of the humidity outside but I was able to volunteer at Reverend beach for the touch tank at Kelly’s then on Sunday I was at fort point channel for the un dia de kayak event where families were able to go all around Boston and go kayaking and see green crabs and go on a ferry to the ICA in East Boston. Overall the week was very fun and excitingly active for me

Winning crazy 8 and best vibes


Another week at Save the Harbor! This week was full packed with fun and adventure. On Monday we met Ruthzee Louijeune where I took much inspiration and asked her what it’s like working in the politician world as not only a poc but also a women of color dealing with stereotypes and hardships. Tuesday we did the fish derby my group may not have won biggest fish but we definitely won the best vibe check. All day we were dancing and partying and still catching fish that were lacking in size but the other groups wish they were us💪. On Wednesday we met at constitution beach we were able to do some swimming and I got beef with ty and jay for beating them 9 times in crazy 8! I also brought my volleyball so we could get some exercise. Later that day we met with the other groups for the youth cruise! Having been my first one I didn’t know what to expect but it was a lot of fun to meet groups similar to ours and get to connect with them. On the way back our save the harbor crew danced at the top of the boat. Thursday we met online due to the heat where we worked on our deliverable and watched an episode from our planet on Netflix. Lastly Friday was a day full of zooms. The meeting kept closing while we were discussing what we did this week and learning more about birds we had to keep restarting the meeting. Stay tuned for next week!


fishing derby and charles river

         This week we had a fishing derby and we were at the Charles river.  The fishing derby was fun even though the boat I was on didn’t catch any fish.  It turned into a party boat more than a fishing boat by the end.  We had to get there by 7:00 and it was in the seaport so I was up since 5:30 that day.  The day after I didn’t need to go in until 12:00 so my sleep schedule is screwed up now.  Every boat caught something even if it wasn’t a big fish.  I think I have a record for the smallest fish caught.  My line got tangled with someone else's line and when I reeled it in I saw a very tiny fish on it.  Sadly I didn’t get a picture of it and I don’t know the guy that did.

On Wednesday we walked around the esplanade so we could get videos for the deliverable.  Then we were at long wharf where we met with other non profit groups that were working on the harbor. Thursday was 95 degrees so we spent about half an hour outside before going inside to finish the deliverable.  The part I was doing was about bike trails and blue bikes.  What I learned is that there’s not a lot to talk about after you say where they are and that there’s one bike trail.  Somehow I turned it into a seven second sentence.  And for Friday it’s 12:55 when I’m writing this so this is what we’re doing, not dying from the heat and writing the blogs.  

Fun filled amazing week

 This week was extremely fun because on Tuesday we were at a fishing derby. This was my first time doing it and I didn’t know what to expect. First we split into different groups. My group went on the big boat and I was with Hope, Aliyah, Alex, Henry, Dee,Keiana, Marily, Caroline, Maya ,Grace and Ty. I’m the morning we all were complaining about how cold it was and ate some snacks. Dee connected to the aux and was blasting some tunes, we had stopped to finish and no one had gotten anything yet. So we just started to dance to the songs and had a whole dance party. We re zoomed to fishing and I had gotten a fish but I couldn’t reel up the fish , it was too strong and broke my line. When we were back on the move we started to dance again. We (Dee, Aliyah, Hope, and I) taught Alex dance moves and we all soon started to dance, we forgot or didn’t really care to fish. We stopped and people started to catch fish. The captain had got one and I took a picture with it but it started to flop and I accidentally dropped it , but we soon got the fish in the water. I had got a small fish and I named him Nemo, then I had gotten another fish and started to reel it up but once he was at the surface of the water, he somehow unhooked himself. I lost the fish. We danced one more time then went back to the dock. Once everyone was there we ate lunch and took a group picture and decided who was the winners and called it a day. The next day we went to the Charles river, I was late because I had gotten lost but I eventually found my way. We walk to the Charles and we’re walking and found a work out park and started to ”work out“.

Then we kept walking and decided to stop to eat. We stopped at this beautiful old tree. Once we had sat down Albert started to climb the tree and I wanted to climb it also. I had to ask Albert how to climb it. I climbed the tree and made it to the top and once I had got there we decided to walk again. I had to quickly climb out of the tree to continue to walk. We stopped at a park that had a zipline. I got on the zipline twice and it was a lot of fun. We started to climb the structure and go down the slide. I went down the slide backwards and almost fell off the slide at the end. Then we all took turns on a spinning wheel, and once we all got off of it we fell to the floor. Then Jason dismissed us early since we had a cruise to go on as a group. So  Jasmine, Kurtly, Julian,Henry, and I wanted ice cream so we went to j.p licks. Then we went to the office where me and Kurtly went crazy over bagels, then went to the cruise spot where we were meeting. One the boat we played games and did a scavenger hunt then called it a day. On Thursday we went back to the Charles and walked around then went to the library and played uno, ate lunch and worked on our deliverable and decided on a video and worked on it for the rest of the day and then went home. On Friday we met at the library and played more uno for a while and I won two rounds and then we went to Wendy’s for food but we ate at chipotle. Then we went back to the library and relaxed, then went home. 

See you next time on the water -Ari

Week 6: Fish


I spent this week by (and on) the ocean. My group started the week doing the fishing derby. Some of my group ended up on different boats but half of us ended up on the same boat. Unfortunately, none of us ended up catching anything large enough to keep but I did catch 2 fish, which I've never been able to do before. The next day my group went to East Boston and hung out at Constitution Beach. There I played a very short game of volleyball before moving under the shade because of the heat. This entire week was very hot and sunny, which I did not enjoy. We were not at the beach for long however because we needed to go all the way to the harbor for a youth cruise. 

While at Constitution Beach I started to wonder a bit about the airport across the water from us and its possible effect on the sea life (fish). This was mostly in response to the fact we had been fishing the day before and I took home a piece of fish to have for dinner. Does pollution from the airport mean that the fish in that area of East Boston is possibly contaminated? Per usual, I took to Google to see what I could find. One article was about how communities near the airport are exposed to harmful air pollution. A couple studies found evidence of ultrafine particles in the air around airports, which although they are not fully studied (or even regulated by the EPA) could possibly be more harmful than the larger particles (which are regulated). Does that translate over to fish too? Because if the ultrafine particles are in the air, which dissolves in water, and fish breath oxygen... they too are breathing in the particles, right? 

I don't think any of the pollution in water is as bad as it used to be but I do think it's something to think about. Overall this week brought up a lot of questions for me and was very entertaining. I hope next week is fun too. 

-- Marley 

Week 6, almost done!

 Hey all, Aidan has returned from whence he came with the second to last blog this summer. This week was BUSY, starting with a fishing derby! Wednesday had me at constitution beach, and Friday was another beach bash, so let’s get into it.

I was not happy that I had to get up at 5:30 to fish, but I would survive, especially if I knew what was in the briny depths of the harbor. We met at docks near the ICA building in the morning to get on our boats and I got this fisherman named Bradley and his dad. We got to go to a place they call a secret spot, where there were lots of stripers in the water. I was the first one to catch one, a small one, but enough o make things interesting so quickly in the morning. Later in the day, I caught another striper that was just an inch off of being dinner. Now while they didn’t contribute towards quantity of fish caught in the competition, it was a cool experience to catch pogies, a small type of filter feeding school fish.

On Wednesday, we got to go in late, around noon, to go into work. I was stationed at constitution beach with my team until 4, when a small cruise boat would scoop up a few SHSB teams. We spent most our time in the shade, so much so that I only swam for a few minutes, because it was also cold. The boat had a lot of pizza and a scavenger hunt prepared for us and other organizations in Boston that are managed by teens our age.

Thursday was called off due to the seething heat, but at 6:00 I went into Revere with my siblings to work a touch tank at the sidewalk next to Revere beach.

On Friday, I got to do another beach bash, in Carson too! It was just like a normal summer, with dozens of kids playing with all the gear we brought and visiting the tents we had up. We even got the fishing rods out again, and plenty of people wanted to try. And it ended like the others too, with a giant splash of everyone running into the water.

And that does seem to wrap up this blog, just one more left! We’ll see what’s in store for the final week of the season, but for now, I’ll be signing off.

Until next week,


Second to Last Week on the Harbor

Hi Everyone!

This week was a blast! 

On Wednesday my group and I tackled the heat by walking the Boston Harbor walk to stay close to the ocean breeze. We also spent some time with a park ranger to learn about invasive species in the area. An invasive species is a non-native species that cause harm to the introduced ecosystem by consuming high numbers of native species, outcompeting native species, or being toxic or venomous. My group and I participated in MIMIC which stands for Marine Invader Monitoring and Information Collaborative. MIMIC works to collect as much data about population levels of invasive species all over New England. Some of the invasive species we see here in Boston are Asian shore crabs, Japanese skeleton shrimp, encrusting bryozoans, and golden star tunicates. I even saved a cool bug that was drowning in the water while looking for invasive algae! There are two ways that non-native species can be introduced into new environments, accidental introduction (traveling on the bottom of boats or the pet trade) or international introduction (aesthetics and pest control). One of the most common forms of introduction is ballast water. Ballast water is water that is taken in by big shipping boats or cruise ships to help with buoyancy, balance, and stability. The issue with ballast water is that it is brought across oceans and released into the harbors where these big ships are docking. Catching a ride in ballast water from the western-pacific is how the now very common Asian shore crab arrived on the west coast. My group and I even created our own New England MIMIC invasive species ID cards to help more people identify and record any non-native species here!

After lots of invasive species monitoring Wednesday afternoon, all of the STH staff went to Long wharf to board the youth sunset cruise. It was really cool to learn about all the work that other youth organizations like us were doing. 

Thursday was just as hot as Wednesday, but we made due by visiting a park that had been designed for climate resiliency. It was completely prepared for sea levels rising and increased storm surges. The park had pathways that were angled to the harbor so any water could drain, there were benches that doubled as storm walls, and the whole park was elevated higher off the water level to be even more prepared! All in all, it was a really good week and I had a blast. 

I am excited for next week but also upset that this summer is coming to a close. 

See you all soon!


Another Amazing Week

     This week was very different from the rest of the weeks. Usually I wake up around 8 or 9 to get to work but for the fishing derby on Tuesday I had to be up at 5 in the morning. Something haven’t done since going to school before Covid. The pain of waking up that early was well worth it considering how fun that day ended up being. I got the chance to catch and hold some really big fish, while also meeting new people. It was super fun spending time with all of my coworkers again and eating lunch together at the end. I also got paid that day so that also contributed to my fondness of the fishing derby

    The Youth Cruise was a good experience too because of getting to learn about of other youth groups do around Boston. Seeing how each group has it's own focus and all our programs contribute to making Boston a better place was really cool. Later my group and I did a search for invasive species around the seaport docks. We learned how to identify them and why it's important for cities to know exactly what species are present and where.


Striper? I hardly know her!

Though the heat wave put a damper on Team Jason's second-to-last week together, we were still able to have a great time at the fishing derby and on the Charles River, which I was particularly happy to be exploring, on account of how close it is to my home. Before hitting the Charles in 90° heat though, each of us took to separate boats during the fishing derby, in search of striped bass.  

I was fortunate enough to catch a few stripers, one of which I kept, but some of my group-mates were not so lucky. Surprisingly thought, the most valuable thing I gained from the trip was not the massive fillets that I took home, but instead the interesting striper and fishing facts I learned from Captain Mike and Charlie.

Here's a few:
- Stripers lack eyelids and dive deeper into the ocean when the sun is out, which is why it was advantageous for us to fish on an overcast day
- Female stripers with eggs are significantly larger than males, which is why we weren't supposed to keep any fish longer than 36''.
- Stripers store mercury and volatile "fishy-smelling" chemicals in their fat and blood vessels, which is why we cut away the striper's red meat when it came time to clean up the fillets.

By the time we were exploring the Charles River, the city's heat wave was in full-effect, which made it especially helpful that our group was full of locals that knew all the important areas and spots around the river. Though we tried to avoid spending too much time outside due to the heat, the time that we did spend outside was full of action. I was already familiar with the various parks, outdoor gyms, and playgrounds along the Charles, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn more about the ongoing conservation efforts on the charles, such as the construction of a floating wetland in the middle of the river, designed to suck up nutrients from rainwater runoff, which serves to mitigate the river's yearly toxic algae blooms that make the river unswimmable.

The rest of our time was spent in various cafes, libraries, and on a youth cruise around the Boston Harbor. And while our youth cruise with with various other harbor-related youth organizations was short-lived, we enjoyed our sweet time inside of the air-conditioned Teen Room of the Copley Library. While our time inside of the library meant that we'd have less time on the river, it allowed us to spend more time and effort on our deliverable, and we were able to put out an informative and fun video about the activities along the Charles River, and I don't think anyone would say that our time in the library was wasted.

Good week! One left to go!

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Week 6: Fishing Dream Team + The Chahles Rivah

-- Fishing Dream Team and The Chahles Rivah --

    We're in the last few weeks of the summer here at STH, and we finally arrived at what I consider to have been one of the highlights of the program, which is the revered fishing derby, an annual tradition in which the JPAs are divided into teams, and we compete to see who can bring in the largest striper from the Boston Harbor. We set out stupid early on Tuesday morning (I had to wake up at 5:30, and I was one of the lucky ones), and we quickly were divided up and assigned to a bunch of boats of varying size, which were generously provided by some local charters. I ended up on the Belle with a supergroup of about 10-15 other JPAs and team leaders.

     As far as fishing ability goes, we weren't exactly the dream team (I think I could count the number of us that had actually caught a fish before on one hand) but what we lacked in skill we more than made up for in dance moves and unyielding perseverance. We triumphantly sailed out into the harbor, heads held high, ready to prove ourselves          ...and sailed right back empty-handed four hours later because at the end of the day no amount of mental fortitude will make a fish bite your hook, apparently. 

   Still, I can say for sure that we were the most fun group. When we weren't fishing or getting our hands bathed in bloodworm guts, we were blasting music through the AUX and dancing, which was super hype. Well, everybody else was dancing, and I was kind of stumbling around the boat like the one-footed seagull I saw on Revere Beach a few weeks back. Maybe that and a smile is all dancing really takes.

    This week, Team Jason was assigned to work along the Charles River Esplanade. The focus of our deliverable was not very specific, so we had a lot of flexibility in choosing what we wanted to do for the week. We settled on the idea of making an "infomercial" type video about the Esplanade and talked about the different activities available, the accessibility of the park, the importance of having green space in a city, and the recent efforts to clean the river and prevent algal blooms.


Team Jason at the breathtaking Charles River Floating Wetland, featured on left

    It was a really hot week because of a recent heatwave we've been having in Boston, and on several days this week temperatures hit the high nineties, which meant that we were sweating our butts off walking around the waterfront. To keep cool, we also spent a lot of our time in the Boston Public Library (bless the AC), and we made sure to keep super hydrated. Some of the spots we stopped at along the Charles River to collect footage for our video included the Calisthenics Park, the zipline playground, and some of the docks. Despite the intense heat, I like walking around downtown, and I do it a lot, so I thought it was a pretty good week.

A gargoyle on the Longfellow Bridge overlooks the river

    That's about all I have to share with you guys for this week! I look forwards to writing my final blog of this summer next week. On an unrelated note, I am sorry for talking so much about the fishing derby without including any photos from it, during the event I was having a lot of fun, and I wasn't really thinking ahead to my blog, so I didn't bother to take many. I guess you'll have to take my word for it when I say it was really awesome, and do check out a few other blogs, too, in case someone else got some good pics!

   Thanks for reading! 

- Alex

New star team member Julian spotted alongside some other nerds

Fishing Derby

 This was my first week as an employee and it was definitely very eventful to say the least. The first day we had a zoom where we met Ruthzee Louijeune, who is running for Boston city council at large. She was very interesting and answered all the random questions people had, from specific policies to personal experiences, it always seemed like she cared about the question and had a well thought through answer. On Tuesday, I woke up at 5:30 to go to the fishing derby at 7, which was a very new experience for me, because I had never fished in my entire life. Somehow, I caught a 30 inch fish in on like my 5th attempt, and still the hardest part was putting my hand in the fish's mouth and feeling the inside of its skin. The guys on out boat were clearly very good at what they do, because we caught like 7 fish that were 25 inches or more. Also, one of the guys that owns the boat, Bradley, took the heart of a fish and it was still beating for a while after!

Even after the first day, it stayed fun and entertaining the whole week, with my group exploring the Charles river. We went down the esplanade on the south side on Wednesday, and we started our deliverable by filming things like playgrounds, animals, and people kayaking. There was a giant park with a rock climbing thingy and a giant spider web to climb on. After we walked, we got ice cream and then went on a cruise with a bunch of other camps. Thursday, we went on the north side of the river and saw a floating wetland that was there to help the rivers ecosystem. After that we went to the library to work on our deliverable but we really just played Uno and 3-d connect 4. The final day, we went straight to the library and just worked on our project, but we did go to Wendy's in the middle of it. -Julian