Hundreds of people flocked to Constitution Beach in East Boston last Friday for the Maritime Festival
On Friday, August 12th, the Harborkeepers and the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Boston held their annual Maritime Festival on Constitution Beach in East Boston. Over 400 attendees spent the day participating in marine themed activities, put on by over 20 local organizations including the East Boston Public Library, Green Roots, the Mystic River Watershed Association, the Division of Marine Fisheries, Boston Sea Rovers, the United States Lightship Museum, Maverick Landing Community Services, Friends of Belle Isle Marsh, the Trustees of Reservations, Boston Harbor Now, MWRA, FMC Ice Sports, Boston Water and Sewage, and Piers Park Sailing Center. This event was made possible through a grant from Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Better Beaches Program partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
The U.S. Coast Guard Sector Boston let attendees board their boat at Thursday’s event
“We love being at Constitution Beach," said Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Executive Director Chris Mancini. “The water is clean and cool, and it is easy to get to by the T or by car or van, making it one of the region's most accessible beaches for people of all abilities. But what I like the best is how it truly brings the community closer together."
Children and families came together to learn about marine animals, water safety, renewable energy, and more. Children were invited to kayak with Piers Park Sailing Center, board a boat from the US Coast Guard Sector Boston, and duel with a Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator. A kite expert flew a scuba diver kite in the sky, while the East Boston Public Library offered summer reading books to kids with their mobile library cart and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay brought a touch tank with crabs to educate kids about invasive species.
Kids were delighted by the opportunity to duel with Captain Jack Sparrow
“I’m just so delighted that the Better Beaches grant exists. It’s an incredible program that allows organizations like ours to put on events like this one, the Maritime Festival,” said Magdalena Ayed, Founder and Executive Director of the Harborkeepers. “It really creates a lot of unity on the waterfront and just brings the community together to learn about coastal issues.”
The U.S. Coast Guard Sector Boston taught attendees about important water safety while kayaking
“Given the large Coast Guard presence in Boston, we were grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Maritime Beach Festival to highlight how we serve the community and the public on a day-to-day basis,” said Lieutenant Norberto Perez, Chief of Incident Management at Coast Guard Sector Boston. “One of our primary focuses during the event was to promote safe boating practices. We placed an emphasis on the importance of wearing life jackets even when using small recreational crafts like paddle boards and kayaks. Having the chance to meet members from the community alongside our state and local partners made for a successful day.”
According to Save the Harbor/Save the Bays Development Director Patricia Salic, free beach events like this would not be possible without their program partners and event sponsors, including Arctic Chill and Harpoon Brewery, JetBlue, FMC Ice Sports, P&G Gillette, National Grid, Coast Cannabis, the Daily Catch, Comcast, Mix 104.1, iZotope, Inc, The Blue Sky Collaborative, Boston & Maine Webcams, BostonHarbor.com, The Boston Foundation, and The Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation.
In addition, Save the Harbor recognized the Metropolitan Beaches Commission Co-Chairs Senator Brendan Crighton of Lynn, and Representative Adrian Madaro of East Boston and the legislative and community members of the Commission as well as Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ron Mariano for their support for their beaches and communities. Save the Harbor also thanked the Baker-Polito Administration, the Massachusetts Legislature, Save the Harbor's partners at the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Boston Centers for Youth & Families, the YMCA of Greater Boston, and the hundreds of people who took part in the Shamrock Splash for their support.
To learn more about Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and the great work they do to restore, protect and share Boston Harbor, the waterfront, islands, and the region’s public beaches with all Bostonians and the region’s residents, visit their website at www.savetheharbor.org and follow @savetheharbor on social media.
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