Tuesday, September 1, 2015

FREE Better Beaches Program Events on the Region's Public Beaches

In June Save the Harbor/Save the Bay awarded $204,000 in Better Beaches Program grants to 35 groups in 9 beachfront communities from Nahant to Nantasket to support 70 FREE public events this year. Learn more about this program by clicking here.


After a very wicked winter, we are pleased to report that the
 summer of 2015 is off to a spectacular start!

Check out the calendar below for details.

We hope to see you on the harbor, the beaches and in the islands.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Join the Boston Harbor Explorers at DCR's Carson Beach

 Save the Harbor/Save the Bay is pleased to announce five days of free programs each week during July and August for youth and community groups at DCR's Carson Beach.  Healthy outdoor activities include soccer clinics, swimming and kayak lessons, environmental exploration, fishing, crabbing and digging for clams and storytelling, poetry, and art on the shore and more!

This pilot program features partnerships with America SCORES, offering free soccer clinics, the YMCA, offering free swimming safety education and aquatics, and Boating In Boston, which is offering free kayak instruction. Funds to support these free activities come from Save the Harbor's Better Beaches Program.

South Boston Neighborhood House campers learn some kayaking techniques!
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay Youth Environmental Education Program staff will be on site five days a week, coordinating the site and offering fishing, clamming, healthy outdoor activities, and art and storytelling on the shore.

The Boston Harbor Explorers Program at DCR's Carson Beach runs from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm from Monday-Friday in July and August.

If your group is interested in taking part in this free pilot program, please contact Bridget Ryan via email (ryan@savetheharbor.org) or cell phone (860-803-0831), or call the Save the Harbor office (617-451-2860 x1008). 

Kids can spend their day digging for clams during low tide!
This great public beach is open to everyone, however groups that want to take part in this summer's free pilot programs must register in advance.

America SCORES will offer soccer clinics Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays;
Boating in Boston will offer kayaking on Wednesdays,Thursdays and Fridays.
The YMCA’s schedule will be tide-dependent, so call ahead.
Parental permission is required for swimming lessons and kayak lessons.

For more information on how to register for America SCORES soccer clinics, contact Dwayne Simmons via email or phone (617-472-6737)

For more information on how to register for the YMCA Swim Safety Education Program, contact Jeremy Stiles via email or phone (781-933-5177).
Be sure to also download a copy of the YMCA’s permission slip here.

For more information about kayak lessons, please contact Bridget Ryan via the information listed above. Download a copy of Boating in Boston’s permission slip here.

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay would like to thank the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Metropolitan Beaches Commission and our Youth Environmental Education  and Better Beaches program funding partners, sponsors and supporters for making this pilot program possible.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wrap up

Hey All,

It's been a really fun week at Children's Museum. We've been consistently catching fish. Plus, I caught my first fish there! First times are wonderful. I see that a lot with kids who go fishing for the first time. As soon as I say the word "fishing" their eyes light up, and they turn to their grown up and say " Oh _____, can I go fishing, can I?" Then, they sprint over to the rods, pick one up and either begin reeling or look up at me with a face full of questions. This is one of the best parts about being at the Children's Museum: I have the joy of seeing kids marvel, wonder, and have new experiences.

 I am satisfied with the week, and ready for it to come to a close. It's always a good feeling to have had a good, rigorous week that comes to a conclusion. Yes, it has been hot, but that's not important. What's important is that Mark, the JPA's, and myself are all ready and happy to be at our sites. So far, we have been.


Week in the Heat

Hey guys!!
This week the heat hit us hard. It makes the days feel longer, but maybe that's just me because it does not seem to slow down the kids. Nikita has been implementing new activities and projects to do at Piers Park so that we won't have to be in the sun as much and everyone seems to be enjoying it. I decided to do my hair for the first time this summer and then realized why I hadn't done it all summer. I go into work with it straightened to have it drenched in water within a hour into the beginning of the day. I didn't even make it to lunch. Carlos is fast to say the least. The kids also love dancing and showing us that they know all the new dance trends. Surprisingly, they know how to do it better than practically all the counselors. 

New week

Hey Everyone! It's Mauricio again and I am back with another blog on Piers Park Sailing Center! Here At Piers Park we get a new set of kids every week and they do various activities, from sailing, kayaking , catching fish, crabs, periwinkles , mussels, and plankton! I have the best time at Piers Park, the Harbor Explorers are great and always enthusiastic about playing games like fishy fishy cross my ocean , capture the flag, where the wind blows , and even ride that pony. The kids enjoy all the activities that we do, we even do project with them. Yesterday we made plankton nets with the Harbor Explorers. The plankton nets will help us catch a lot of plankton. The kids were so excited about making these and they were good at it for a first time thing. All together, Piers Park is great, the kids, the environment, and the staff! 

Till next blog! Sincerely Mauricio!  

Illustrious Harbor Illuminations

Hello again fellow explorers!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to work with some of my fellow Save the Harbor staff members at Hull's Harbor Illuminations ceremony. The late afternoon festivities included live music, free food, arts & crafts, and our Save the Harbor crew supplying fish painting and coloring. Although a dead skate can be disconcerting to some, once it is covered in multi-colored paint, just about everyone was interested in creating their very own fish print. With designs as simple as a single color, to superman and minion designs, I had my hands literally full of paint. At the end of the night we had over twenty different fish prints, and I had enough paint on me to create a print of my own! Thanks to our expert photographer, the picture below found its way to Save the Harbor's Facebook page, where my expert fish printing skills are on display for anyone who visits it!

Look Mom, I'm famous!

Around 8:00, the festivities came to an end, and everyone made their way to the edge of the Harbor, where hundreds of flares lined the shores waiting patiently to illuminate the water in a glorious red ring. After a signal flare was released from a fire boat in the center of the Harbor, the flares were lit in synchrony. The result was a magnificent display of lighting, as the entire harbor was illuminated from end to end. The pictures can't even do justice to how large-scale this ceremony was. Hundreds of people looked in awe at the beauty unfolding in front of them. 

Ring of Fire!
Harbor Illuminations a beautiful sight to see. The whole community coming together to produce such a spectacle was amazing. I was lucky to be a small part of what happened this past weekend, and hopefully I get to return next summer to see it all over again.

Until next time, keep on exploring!

Crabs > Skate

It surely has been an epic week for the crew over at Save the Harbor. The highlight of my week would probably have to be watching Little T, from St. Marks, catch a skate off the dock. This was the first big catch after many bites over the course of the summer. Despite the skate being the biggest Spectacle moment all summer, another particularly small part of my week was highly memorable. This would definitely have to be watching one of my campers catch a crab using one of our ugly sticks. This was legit.

Mini caught a crab!
Excitement all around for the squad!
For the first time in five years I led fishing this past Tuesday on All Access Boston Harbor. The bait used to catch this small green crab was a squid. Interestingly enough most of the squid was gone and the crab was latched onto a fairly minor part of our intended bait. Mini was part of one of the last groups to attend my fishing clinic, it feels awesome to say that, and achieve this great accomplishment. It was about 2 p.m and most would normally understand that the day is over at this point but Mini put up a a good bargain. Her words were simply "Can i fish for crabs?" That's all she had to say to win me over.

One cast...... BAM, a crab. God written or luck? The world may never know (No, this isn't a tootsie pop advertisement). This was very fun for all of us on AABH to see and a great end for our first day out on the island this week.

Until next time,

Ahmed Hassan

Sand sculpting

Sunday was a sandy day. Save the harbor staff went to Revere Beach to do a sand sculpting competition. One group decided to do the Save the Harbor logo while the team I was on was planning to do a touch tank. The touch tank came out as a bust. It was really bad. It honestly just looked like a mound of sand piled on top of each other with really bad pictures on them. We honestly gave up on that sculpture, like it was really just a failure.
Then, Ian came up with sculpting an alligator and we all pitched in and it came out amazingly. I was shocked how good it looked. Since the alligator ended up looking how amazing it was, we decided we were going to enter that in the competition. That "fish tank" ended up turning into a chair for us to sit down in when we needed to relax really quickly. It's a good thing that we entered that alligator sculpture because it won first place. The Save the Harbor logo did look good too .Until next time bye guys


Spending the summer in the sea and sand !

Hey guys !
I have had the best start to the week. It all started at the Rever Beach Sand Sculpting Competition, where we entered the amateur group competition and we won against some of our collegues with our marvelous alligator.
Next, I joined my All Access crew on Pedocks, where we relaxed in the sun and swam all day! On the boat ride to Pedocks, we played a ton of card games that I had never played before. I bonded with my fellow collegues in a way we never had before. 
This has to be the best start to the week I've ever had. I am so happy to have  had such an amazing few days. I can't wait for the rest of the week. Until next time !
P.S. If you were wondering this is our official looking medal for the competition. 


So far this week has been very different in terms of things that I've done so far.  On Monday I was at the children's museum doing fish prints, and I had so much fun that I didn't realize the skate had spikes so I had little scratches on my finger tips . It was so cool seeing all the kids pick different colors. While most siblings picked the same colors they were still all unique. Then on Tuesday I was at Carson and it was so hot even before I got there. When I got there the beach looked so pretty while the soccer camp was setting up . A couple minutes later the kids started arriving little by little. Then Santiago said "let's play a game", but it sort of looked more like a warm up . It was pretty cool to be honest. The game involved numbers and fruits; although I forgot the name it was pretty fun! I'm pretty sure you guys all know Preston and how competitive he is when it comes to sports. Well , it was time to play handball and it was our team verses his. He was talking so much trash about how his team was going to win but guess what?  The team I was on won and it was so fun.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Great week

This has been a really good week so far. We have been pulling in more people than we have all summer! We have consistently hit two hundred or more people coming to the site, which keeps everyone running around, checking crab traps, and showing kids how to fish. The other day we had these huge camp groups come by. We had ten to fifteen kids per group. At first, it feels like a lot, but once you get into it, it is impossible not to have fun.

We have had the same crew at Children's for the past few weeks, but recently we have had some new JPA's and LHE's come in: Carlos, Ian, Arianna, Ahmed, Dexter, and Max. I love my team, and it has been really great getting to know some of the other JPA's and LHE's. We really do have a great group of young men and women this summer. I have never seen a group that age be so kind, responsible, and generous. They really want to help the kids they work with, and it is wonderful to see the joy they both bring to the kids, and receive in return. I am especially impressed with Mark Rose. He carries himself the way a leader should. He is humble, and teaches by example rather than by preaching. I look forward to working with him, and other JPA's and LHE's, more.

School of Mackerel

     On Thursday was the biweekly fishing trip event at Camp Harbor View. We take the fishing club who has been fishing with us for the past two weeks on a boat and take them into the harbor. We then proceed to fish and try to catch something in order for us to take it home. Before getting to Camp Harbor View we went to a spot where there was a school of mackerel and we caught at-least 20 mackerel. It was really cool because they were using these special hook that allowed them to be able to hook 2-5 at a time, instead of the usual one.

     When we finally got the kids we went straight out to the harbor to where the school of mackerels were. But instead we were able to catch two huge totaugs. The totaugs were giving a very big fight and it took a net to bring them in from the surface of the water. It was the biggest fish that I had actually witnessed being caught. It was fun to see how much of a fight big fishes give to a fisherman. We didn't really catch as many fish as the last fishing trip, but the kids still had fun going through the motions of being actual fishermen. I really wanted to catch something because I knew this could possibly be the last time that I would go on the fishing trip. Fishing is pretty relaxing and I'm glad that I have gotten the chance to do it twice on the trip already
Ivaniel Diaz

New Site Adventures: Spectacle Island

Hi everyone, it's blog time!

      So, while the rest of the CHV crew got to go on the fishing trip last Thursday, I had the opportunity to take part in All Access Boston Harbor instead. We were going to Spectacle Island that day, which was great for me, since I had not had the chance to go there yet. While we were waiting for the kids to meet us at the Blue Hills Pavilion, I set up a crab trap off the side of the pier. By the time the first groups started to arrive we had caught a couple of small perch and some green crabs, which we set up in a touch tank for the kids to interact with.
One of the All Access kids trying his hand at fishing for the first time!

      Once all the groups arrived, David Coffin gave his welcome speech and we started to get all the kids moving to the ferry. Once everyone was boarded, I started signing groups up for fishing sessions out on the island. The kids were so excited to try, that my fishing schedule was filled to capacity all day long! When we arrived, after a quick lunch. I showed the first group how to set up the crab trap, and then taught them how to properly cast a fishing line. The kids had a blast learning how to fish and catch crabs. After all the groups got a chance to come through and try their hands at fishing, we had to board the ferry and return home. All in all, everyone had a great day!

Bye for now everyone!
Justin Warrener

CHV Beach Walks and Crab Hunt

Welcome back folks, it's blog time!

        So far at Camp Harbor View we've taken kids on hikes up to the old fort, participated in the Amazing Race, taught them about sea glass and beach artifacts, and taken them fishing off the docks. This week, since the tides were with us in the morning (low) we were able to take the kids on beach walks. We showed the kids the best places to look for sea glass, showed them the different kinds of animals that live in tide pools (hermit crabs, periwinkles, Asian shore crabs, etc.).
A couple of campers from GPL search the tide pool for any signs of life.

      We also took the opportunity to teach the kids about invasive species, specifically the Asian shore crab, which eat the larvae and eggs of lobsters and other crab species native to the Harbor.Over the course of the week we started a contest between the different CHV Lighthouses (camp groups) to see who could catch the most Asian shore crabs. The campers love any chance to prove their Lighthouse is the best, so they all got really into it. The first team, M-Dot managed to catch 166 crabs, Sandy Nook, caught 169, GPL manage to pull into the lead on day 2 with 212 crabs, but Heron Nook took the contest on day 3 with a whopping 370 crabs!
Campers and counselors scour the beach, on the hunt for Asian shore crabs.

That's all for now!
Justin Warrener

Beach Walks at Camp Harbor View

This week we mixed things up a bit and took the kids on beach walks! Instead of a fascination with shells and hermit crabs the kids took a liking to the Asian Shore Crabs. All together the kids collected over 600! We invited a little friendly competition between lighthouses to see who could collect the most! The largest amount collected by one group was over 300!

As well as the beach walks we allowed the kids in fishing club to use an underwater camera to look under the surface. Other than a few crabs and a lot of rocks we didn't see much, but the kids were fascinated with that alone! They could see an environment separate from their own and it also helped me prove to them that it wasn't their fault we couldn't catch fish at the dock; there was just none to catch!
See Yah!

Fishing Trip #2 and my First Day At Carson Beach

On our second fishing trip with Camp Harbor View we caught some good fish! We caught a bunch of mackerel which we later used as live bait to try and catch striped bass. The kids had a great time and so did I (as expected)! This week I also spent my first day at Carson Beach which was awesome! We went kayaking and paddle boarding. It was all fun & games until we had to paddle back to shore against the current & wind. The 10 minutes trip out took us nearly a half an hour to take back in. By the end of the day I had acquired some well earned blisters from the paddle.

See you soon!

Andres Amador Brings Art on the Shore to Boston Harbor.

Andres Amador, a San Francisco-based artist, will be making spectacular art on the metropolitan Boston region's public beaches from August 7-9 as part of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's Better Beaches Program.

Andres' artwork can span over 100,000 square feet, achievable only during low tide. His artworks do not last long- within minutes of finishing a piece, and often while still in progress, the returning tide begins resetting the canvas.

Andres has been featured by the BBC, CNN, Discovery Channel, and numerous TV programs and periodicals globally. His artwork has appeared on beaches in the US and internationally, with his primary canvas being the Northern California coastline.

8/7 - Workshop at Carson Beach in South Boston from 9:00  - 12:30
8/8 - Public participation project on Constitution Beach in East Boston from 10:00 - 1: 30
8/9 - Solo project at  "Treasure Beach" on Spectacle Island from 11:00 - 2:30

If you would like to take part in the workshop on Friday or the demonstration at Constitution Beach on Saturday, please send an email to info@savetheharbor.org.
Here are some links Andres has pulled together for us:

Photos of previous artworks:

Videos made for this appearance:

If you would like to take part in the workshop on Friday or the demonstration at Constitution Beach on Saturday, please send an email to info@savetheharbor.org

See you on the beach!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Crazy Week.......


 photo IMG_3171_zpsqzxzdv9z.jpg      Hey everyone! I hope everyone had an awesome week. This week was a great week, but at the same time was crazy because I moved to three different sites. The three different sites I was at were Piers Park, Carson Beach, and Children Museum. This week I was at Piers Park first, then was moved to Carson Beach. It's a fun site to be in because you get to play soccer. I got to be one of the coaches. I also got to go fishing, and play a game with the water balloons. When I got to Carson Beach early in the morning, I played a game called the sand box. That's what I call it, but I'm not sure if that's the name of the game. It was fun. My team mate and I won. We got a picture of it him and I playing. It was boys vs. three boys and Ruth, the boys won because they were a beast at it.                                                                                                                                                                                    
 photo IMG_3184_zpslowwhrgv.jpg      At Carson Beach we had a soccer tournament. It was fun! I coached the kids. We were winning because I was coaching well, and I had a lot of plans to win. I had five kids and the other team had seven. We called our team the Veggies, and the other team called themselves Ranger Banana. I thought: "these kids have good imaginations." I like playing soccer.

When I was sitting down watching the kids play soccer, I felt like somebody was behind me so I ignored it. When turned around to face straight ahead, Ruth kicked the ball and hit my head. I was thinking to toss her in the water, but I just don't like the feeling of the sandy water because it feels muddy.

 photo IMG_3187_zpsjs14gdsd.jpg       At the end of the day, they had those water balloon games. I am not sure the name of the game, but there's a picture of the kids playing. I was trying to throw a water balloon to Ruth, but it kept popping every time tried to throw it. Wednesday was my last day at Carson Beach because Bridget told me they needed help at the Children's Museum. When I went they needed some help to fix the fishing rods, which I still remember how to do from last year.
 Sincerely, Carlos Garcia

Meet Makayla

Makayla and I
Now that we are in the middle of the summer more and more kids from last year are coming back in bulks and to make it more of a coincidence there were two pairs of twins this week returning from last year. There was Jacob and Ryan as well as Makayla and Allison. These aren't the only twins that we've had this summer, every week we have at least one set of twins which gets confusing but usually we're able to tell between the two very quickly.

We were wearing capes 
Almost all of the kids were extremely out going right from the first day and had no problem playing with the others except for one of the girls. Makayla, one of the twins, came with two of her sisters but they were pretty mean to her so she would mostly want to sit away from them. Once I noticed I sat with her and just started talking to her and slowly she came out of her shell. By the end of the week she was perfectly fine and running around with all the other kids, constantly asking to wear my sun glasses, asking for piggy back rides and just being comfortable around all the other kids. I was also really excited to hear that her and her sisters will be returning before the summer ends.

Until next time,


Hello everyone! This is my little friend Viviana. She's been with us at Piers Park for two weeks now and she's an awesome kid! She is always trying to do something, like going kayaking, sailing, looking at the crabs, and the list goes on! She asks me to her to carry everyday and of course I do it. I've started to grow bonds with our harbor explorers and it's a great experience. I know the kids have so much fun when there's a smile on their face 24/7! She comes and sits at my lunch table during lunch and she's always looking for me to play a games with her! 

Till next time, Have a great summer - Mauricio 

4 way Kayak !

This right here is a 4 way Kayak. It's was a hilarious trip. The kids were trying to paddle together, but one side was stronger than the other, leaving the kayaks going nowhere. With us at a stand still, we all laughed because we couldn't get our kayaks to go anywhere, till we were working together. The kids were having a blast paddling and it was a different way to go kayaking! It's boring if everyday we take them out on a single kayak and come back after 7 minutes. Also we sang songs like Boom Chicka Boom and others! Altogether it was a fun trip on the kayak! 

Keep Up the blogging and see You Next time - Mauricio

Guide to Boston Harbor: Peddocks Island

Children's Guide to Boston Harbor
Peddocks Island

Peddocks Island is one of the largest islands in Boston Harbor, it has been part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area since 1996, and is home to the now-defunct Fort Andres.  Campsites are available for rental on the eastern end of the island, and a group of privately owned summer cottages are located on the western end.   Despite its “lack” of amenities like snack bars and haunted forts to explore, Peddocks Island does have:

Visitor Center with exhibits
Restrooms and fresh water
Tent Campground
Yurt campground with water and electricity
Fully renovated chapel
Picnic tables and cooking grills

During the summer, Peddocks Island is one destination for Save the Harbor’s All Access Boston Harbor program, and was a fan favorite amongst guests last summer.

 In 1904, Fort Andrews was built on the island, and served as an active harbor defense until the end of World War II. As of 2008, 26 of the original buildings of Fort Andrews were still standing — guardhouses, prisoner-of-war barracks, stables, a gymnasium, a firehouse, etc. — although most of them were in decrepit shape and were closed to the public for safety reasons.

**Fun Fact: In 2008, Peddocks Island was used for filming scenes in Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio!**

In 2011, the City of Boston granted $7.8 million to renovate the island. In an attempt to make the island more visitor friendly, 11 buildings were torn down and 11 more were renovated.  Additionally, walking and hiking trails were created, along with tours of the historical buildings.

Today Peddocks is a great place to spend the day.  Its pier provides ample places to fish, catch crabs, and pull up skates.  Right off of the dock is a large open field for games and on most days Frisbee golf is set up by the rangers.  Enjoy a relaxing lunch in the Adirondack chairs facing the harbor.  Walking along the shores you can find beach treasures and smooth rocks to skip in the ocean waves.  Take the hiking trail and explore the island to see the remaining buildings.

One of the island’s best features is its beach.  Sandy with few rocks, it provides the perfect spot to cool off (although it is not life guarded).  Bring a mask and snorkel and explore the life below the waves.  Get up close and personal with clusters of hermit crabs and the brave green crabs that venture away from the pier.  Bring footballs or other balls into the water to play catch or a fun game of keep away. 

Although potentially the most “rugged” of the islands, Peddocks is a diamond in the rough.

Use the Links below to help plan your trip today!