On Tuesday, November 30, at 10:00 AM, the Metropolitan Beaches Commission and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay will convene a Virtual Public Hearing focused on improving access for people with disabilities on the Commonwealth’s public beaches in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.
The public is welcome to join us to share their thoughts on what is working and what we can do better. You can register for the hearing by following this link https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUtfuqgrj0sG9TqjeIa1rCNflHCx69GR_mF
|Floating wheelchairs and mobility mats made it possible for the Wallis family to enjoy a day at the beach this summerthanks to Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Better Beaches Program and Triangle, Inc.|
At the hearing, we expect to hear from members of the disability community as well as a panel of experts including; Kristen McCosh, Commissioner of the Boston Disabilities Commission, Coleman Nee, Chief Executive Officer of Triangle, Inc., and Kathy Lafferty, Executive Director of the South Boston Neighborhood House. Stephanie Cooper,  Acting DCR Commissioner, is also expected to attend.
About the Metropolitan Beaches Commission
The Metropolitan Beaches Commission is a permanent Commission charged with making findings and recommendations to the Legislature and the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) on ways to improve the metropolitan region's public beaches. It was established by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2006 and is led and managed by Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. You can find more information about the MBC on Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's website, and download copies of our previous reports at https://www.savetheharbor.org/mbc-archives.
Late last spring the Commission decided to focus attention on ways to increase diversity, equity and inclusion on the Metropolitan Region’s public beaches, to improve access for people of color, people with disabilities, and people who may not speak English as their primary language. In May, we heard from a diverse group of civic leaders and community members about ways in which we could increase diversity on the beaches and in our beach programming.
“We hope to do for equity, diversity and inclusion what we did for management and maintenance of the Metropolitan Beaches.” said Commission Co-Chair Senator Brendan Crighton of Lynn. “Working together we will provide DCR and our communities a blueprint for improving public access to take these beaches from good to great.”
After the November 30th hearing on improving access for people with disabilities, in January of 2022, the MBC will hold a hearing on language barriers that affect public safety and enjoyment on our region’s public beaches.
“Our state beaches are public treasures that belong to all of us” said Commission Co-Chair Representative Adrian Madaro of East Boston. “We need to advance environmental justice and center diversity, equity, and inclusion so that people of all backgrounds, conditions and abilities can enjoy them for years to come.”
Following that hearing, the Commission will host a Virtual Summit, at which they will present their preliminary findings to a broad and diverse audience of beach users to get their thoughts and input. Following the Summit, the Commission will share a report of their findings and recommendations with the Legislature, the Administration, DCR, and the public. It will serve as a roadmap for improving access and increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion on our public beaches going forward.
“The legislative and the community members of the Commission hope that this hearing will help us better understand the challenges facing people with disabilities on the metropolitan beaches,” said Chris Mancini, Executive Director of Save the Harbor/ Save the Bay. “We are looking forward to working together with DCR to develop strategies to improve access to these spectacular urban natural resources for everyone.”
For more information about the MBC or the hearing, please contact Save the Harbor's Executive Director Chris Mancini by email to email@example.com or on his cell at (617) 909-6667, or their Director of Strategy & Communications Bruce Berman by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or on his cell at 617-293-6243.
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