Thursday, August 27, 2015


Hi all,

It's strange to think that my time at Save the Harbor is finished. The summer has flown by. I've had the chance to work with some wonderful people.  Its rare to get a group of people so willing and dedicated to one cause. One fact that struck me was how much everyone––the JPA's, the LHE's, and the Senior Marine Educators––enjoyed coming in every morning. There are a lot of people who go to work simply because they have to, and they begrudgingly do their work. No one ever complained about Save the Harbor. Sure, we moaned and groaned about getting up early for staff meetings and smelling of fish, but at the end of the day their was no other place we wanted to be. That's amazing––really.

The last couple days felt too fast, but then again the summer felt too fast. I had the chance to be on site with some great JPA's. I really liked working with Abdi, Ivan, and Jayda on my last day. They knew how to have fun, laugh, and play pranks on each other while also doing what they need to do. I have been with other groups on site who were very serious and didn't talk during our down time, and others who needed to do a little less talking, but striking the perfect balance makes the day feel easy and fun.

I received a gift on my last day––a best friend. A little girl came up to our site, Adelaide. When she saw the crabs, I swear she fell in love. She couldn't stop touching them, asking questions, and showing other kids. She even helped other kids get over their fears. One girl came up and was scared to touch the crabs. So Adelaide, holding a crab in her hand, said: "See their nice. You don't have to be scared because I'm holding it. You can hold this one. It's not scary." Adelaide gently put the crab in the girls hand. One day, I swear, she's going to be a teacher.

She didn't leave the site for forty-five minutes. We talked, touched crabs, and she helped me pull up the crab traps. It's moments like this that I'll miss.

It's been an amazing summer––the best I've had in a very long time. Goodbye until next summer.

-Mike Murray

Sunday, August 23, 2015

First time at Piers Park!

Piers Park!
Hey, friends of Save the Harbor!

My last post was about one of the new sites I visited this week, CHV, and in this post, I'm going to tell you about my day in East Boston! Piers Park Sailing is an amazing site- I happened to be there on a day of downpours and high humidity, but we still had plenty to do.

After building sea creatures out of clay during some morning rain, we went down to the crab traps. My JPAS, Andy, Ana and Bella, were incredible- they took the kids kayaking, helped me teach the kids about skeleton shrimp, and even participated in our crab race!

Soon we were off to explore the parks, where we talked about genes and biodiversity while we searched for four-leafed clovers. We didn't have as many kids as we normally do because of the weather, so we were able to really get to know Friday's participants! We spent a third of our time laughing, at least!
Bella kayaking with Claire!

We ended the day with an amazing spin on a sailboat. I had never been on a sailboat that size before- it needed TWO people to control the sails, and we fit 10 people onto my boat! This was a refreshing way to catch a breeze and relax after a long Friday of tumultuous weather. Thanks for always bringing me new experiences, Save the Harbor!

Until next time,

Jessie teaching Andy how to use the broom! 

Fun with crabs on the doc!

New Places, New Faces!

Hello again, friends of Save the Harbor!
 Though we are coming to the end of the summer, we are not winding down! I was lucky to work at two new sites this week, and I have many stories to tell! 

Speaking of new faces- my first skate! 
Camp Harbor View is remarkable. I started off my Tuesday on a big ferry, surrounded by energetic counselors in bright blue shirts. They were fun, organized and friendly. They brought me up to speed on the camp as the boat brought us out to Long Island. My two days at this camp were filled with nature walks, hikes, beach time and fishing- not to mention a few chess games at lunch! We talked about the genetic diversity of the habitats around us, and how biodiversity is threatened by environmental degradation. We came face-to-face with invasive Asian Shore crabs, beautiful bumblebees, historic forts and lighthouses, berry bushes and skates! I had my first hike on the islands, and watched a brave camper get swatted by thorns. She calmly pulled the vines out of her way, and we talked about plant defenses that occur in nature. I saw similar courage in my JPA Ivan and LHE Mark when they pulled a tricky hook out of a skate's mouth. I learned that my JPAs are expert chess players. I learned about Pokemon and roller coasters (mostly from 10-year-olds.) I learned from the campers at CHV, from the counselors and sailers, and from my own JPAs- and that is what will really stick with me from this summer. I have spent every moment, up to the last minute,  discovering Boston and the treasures of its harbor. It has been one of the fastest and most enjoyable summers of my life. Thanks for being a part of the discovery, CHV!

Until next time,

Teaching Steph and Jess about wildflowers and pollinators! 

Last days

Hi all,

This week was a shortened week for me. Monday we had staff day, and Friday our site was cancelled due to rain. Despite this, I had a really nice three days. I'm really going to miss working here. I love seeing the kids everyday and being by the ocean. Truly, that is one of the best parts about working for Save the Harbor. When I'm cooped up inside of a classroom come September, I know I'm going to be looking out the window and thinking about the harbor. I'll think about the excited kids who run up to our touch tank, and laughing with the other staff. I am going to do all I can to enjoy my last couple days with Save the Harbor.


Staffle day

Staff day was so much fun. Honestly, we played kick ball and the boys played football. We had Bruce, patty, and sue's company feeding us and then most of us hit the beach. Kick ball was so much fun because one, I haven't played it in forever, and two it was a great experience playing with most of staff that I don't see everyday. The weather was perfectttt!  Even though it was very hot the ocean water was freezing cold. After a while in the water I got out because my toes were getting numb and I wanted to dry off! Overall, it was really nice spending the day with people I've worked with all summer, and since we're coming to an end soon it was really great!

Fun in the sun

 Everbody knows that being in the hot heat with water as a companion  to cool off is the best feeling. Whether it's 70 or 90 degrees, it's the best because when you want to be in the sun everything falls into place when you're on the water, near the water, in the water, and drinking water! Well, being at piers park was one of the best sites I went to. Even though I was only there for two days I loved it completely! All the kids love to play games, get wet, play in the park and sail. Honestly, there is literally so much to do except for when you're caught in the rain. Ironically, each day I  came it rained and poured but for the most part is didn't stop us from our activities because it would clear up–– just for us I guess!

 sailing with our harbor explorers
 kayaking with lisa

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Staff Day

Hi all,

Staff day was so much fun! This was definitely one of my best experiences with Save the Harbor. We started out with a wonderful ferry ride where I got to see my favorite view in the entire city: Boston receding into the distance as a boat carries me away to an island. I've taken a fair amount of trips to the Harbor Islands, and the beauty of that view is never lost on me. I savor it because during most of my week, or my month I don't get to see it.

Once we arrived, we had cheese and crackers on Bruce's boat. He and Patty were very gracious. They not only provided a morning snack, they gave us lunch too. More than that though, were their words. They thanked us for doing such a great job this summer and told us how much it has meant to them. Bruce invited everyone there back for next summer, and asked us all to attend events during the year. He went so far as to offer us both professional and personal help whenever we need it. I have never had superiors like Bruce and Patty. When they speak to us, I'm reminded continually why our jobs are so important, and that we're not just working for a non-profit, we're working for Boston Harbor; we're working for those wonderful islands and that beautiful view; we're serving the city of Boston. They remind us that this is our mission.

In the morning, I took a hike with a few other people. Carolyn showed Ian how to find four leaf clovers and me and Nikita soaked in the sun (a mistake on my part). I really enjoy their personalities, and I'm glad I could spend time with them before leaving Save the Harbor.

The day closed with lunch on Bruce's boat and swimming on the beach. It was the second time I had swum in the Harbor all summer, and it was marvelous. How lucky are we, Boston, to have a harbor to cool us on these hot days. We went home tired from a good day, sunbaked and relaxed.


Staff Day

Hey guys!
I was born and raised in Boston but I've always joked around about how I'm a tourist in my own city so it's no surprise that Monday was the first time I went to Spectacle Island. As a group the entire Save the Harbor Save the Bay staff took a staff day to the harbor island and enjoyed a day off. The day began with a relaxing ferry ride to the island, and we began games of football and kickball. We were then treated to lunch. After being in the sun all morning hotdogs tasted so good! Most ended the day by going for a swim but I ended it by hanging out with some coworkers I never had the opportunity to speak to. The staff day was a definite success and if given the opportunity I would make the trip back to Spectacle or any of the Harbor Islands. 

Beach Bash & Splash

Friday the annual Beach Bash and Splash took place. Camps from all over Massachusetts came to participate and it was well worth the trip! We set up multiple stations for the kids. This included fish prints, face painting, fishing, clamming, sports and a touch tank station. The best aspect of the whole event had to be the splash part. The kids from all the camps lined up right outside the water and when the time came they all ran in! That had to be one of the funniest moments I've seen. It was just save the harbor staff in the water and then a stampede of children went running, jumping and screaming into the water. None of us remained dry once the kids came remotely close to us. I hope I can participate in this event again!

Staff Dayyyyyyyyyy

Hey guys,
So Monday was STAFF DAY!!!!!!!!! It started with a nice cheese and cracker brunch at the dock of Bruce and Patty's Boat. Yum. Then, as we headed up the field of Spectacle, the boys started a game of football and the girls set up for a game of kickball. As the guys finished their football game, all staff went in on the kickball game. It was All Access Staff Vs. None All Access Staff.

As the game of kickball proceeded, things got intense. There were some tumbles, so elbowing, and some miss footing from the ball. Through it all we pushed through and all access won, but you know it was just a great day having just us staff getting that game and having fun with each other. As the day ended we had some lunch thanks to Bruce and Patty and Staff Day was just the best day for us.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Count Down Begins

As the summer is winding down I finally caught my first fish! And guess what? It was the second biggest fish in the tournament. To be honest I was expecting to catch anything; maybe one skate if I was lucky.  But not a huge Striped Bass! Well this just shows you, "don't under estimate yourself, always expect big things for yourself". I know that's a cliché, but who cares? I went from being a quiet kid to "didn't you win the fishing tournament?!"  That just gives me a reason to be known, and more confidence to continue doing bigger and better things in life. Thank you Bruce for all the advice, I was beginning to give up on myself.

I'm not a very social person, but Lindsay Phenix was probably the first friend I made at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. She helped me become more social, and that's very important since everyday on the boat David tells us to "DISPERSE!!" and talk to all the kids. As Bruce's favorite rapper said, "started from the bottom now I'm here", here is where I am with my All Access family. Couldn't ask for a better person than Lindsay and the rest of the AA team to show me that this is the best summer job to have. Honestly, at only 17 years old, I don't think I will ever have a better job. Save the Harbor/Save the Bay isn't just my job, everyone whose a part of it is my family, and I love every single person who is a part of it.

Only two more weeks left!
Looking forward to my last days on the islands this summer!


Last week at Piers Park.......

                                                        LAST WEEK AT PIERS PARK

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Luke and Zack
      Hey everybody! It's me Carlos again, I just want to talk about my last week at Piers Park not sure if am going back but it was a great week for me and I had fun working at the site at Piers Park Sailing Center. I love working at Piers Park because I never heard about this park in East Boston. It was the cleanest park I've seen. My favorite part of my job at Piers Park was working on the kayaks and sailing with the kids, some of the kids I go with on sailing are loud but some of them are calm and couple of them are funny too. If you guys and ladies don't know what sailing is I got a picture of sail boat on Photo Bucket. I'll post a picture of a sail boat the day I had fun with the kids. On the sail boat is our captain named Zack. He is our number one captain, the kids love going with him on the sail boat because he does lot's of trick on the sail boat that other don't know. Zack been working at Piers Park for 11 years I think, I can't remember but he is better than the other people at Piers Park. I went after Luke on sailing. 

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Zack teaching about safety on sailing
      The kayak was going great, kids love going with me because I go fast and we be saying jokes that entertained us on the kayak. Also, we had a water fight on the kayaks, the kids and I would saying we are the battleship, it's time to attack our enemies on the other kayak. We all out wet and was like wait our eyes are burning, so we stop for a break and started the war again. I still remember that couple of us was falling of the dock, the first person that fell in the dock was Mauricio because he was sitting on the edge and something happened but let me say it was funny. The second person that fell was a kid, we told them one at a time and the kayak was moving but the kids were in a rush and she fell in. The third person was a boy and he was in a rush too and jump down to sit on the kayak and fell in the water it was funny but at the same time he was laughing to but we had to make sure that everybody don't make the same mistake. So the next day we sat down as a group and play little game about sailing and that game was brain storming about what we should and should not do when using the kayaks and sail boats.

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I helping and Need a haircut LOL!
       At the end of the day at Piers Park we were making a net that they could catch Plankton. During that kids were dancing so we told them once we finish building the nets they could have the dancing tournament. The kids were dancing crazy. The music they wanted to  dance to was "Watch me whip Watch me nay-nay" by Silento. It was going great for me but to my next site for Save The Harbor Save The Bay.
To Be CONTINUED..........

Sincerely, Carlos Garcia

Staff Day at Spectacle

The Day we have all been working tirelessly towards is finally here, STAFF DAY! A day of stress-free relaxing, swimming, and of course a little friendly competition in the form of All Access v. No Access kickball.

Even the boats in Boston have a Boston accent
The day began with the Save the Harbor staff meeting Bruce Berman and his Wife/ President of Save the Harbor Patty Foley on their boat, the Verandah. Parked on the dock of beautiful Spectacle Island, we crowded around the Verandah and enjoyed a quick appetizer spread of cheese, crackers, and grapes that were fit for a Roman feast! Combating the intense heat with layers of sunscreen and as much coverage as possible, we tracked up the hill to the battlefield... the kickball field. It is a yearly tradition that the staff members from All Access Boston Harbor challenge the members from the remaining summer program sites to a "friendly" game of kickball. I put friendly in quotations because this game is taken as seriously as a professional sport. 

Action shot courtesy of Kelly Randall  

Friendships were put to the test, harsh words were exchanged, and unfortunately for me, those who are not so coordinated are put on display for everyone to heckle. This year the No Access team, led by myself, came to play. For what seemed like hours (but in reality was about 30 minutes) our teams dueled it out under the intense summer heat. Fighting off exhaustion and sunburns, we played our hearts out, but sadly came up just two runs short in the last inning. I couldn't have asked more of my team in such grueling conditions, and all I can say is the All Access team better watch their backs next summer!

After that intense kickball game we made a mad rush for the showers to cool off before lunch. Armed with a single grill, Bruce was able to prepare enough hot dogs to feed an army, or in this case, a hungry group of camp counselors. After downing a few hot dogs and some cookies, I was ready to spend the rest of the day relaxing and of course swimming on Spectacle's spectacular beach (pun intended). 

Lunch with a view!

Although it was almost unbearably hot out, I could not have asked for a more beautiful day. Finally getting a day to not worry about kids or programming was a well earned relief. Since we are all distributed through the different sites all summer, it was fun to be able to have everyone at the same place at the same time. Now we're in the home stretch of summer programming, and its a bittersweet end. I'm going to make the most of the next week and a half we have left, and squeeze every last drop of fun and excitement out of what has already been an amazing summer. 

Until next time, keep on exploring!

Seafood Festival..........


 photo IMG_0667_zpscozm7x1j.jpg      On a Sunday morning, I knew it was going to be a great day because I was waiting to go to work and after work go to the Puerto Rican Festival with friends and family. At the seafood festival there were a lot of people visiting and volunteering at the pier, but mostly what Save The Harbor Save The Bay and the people that were there was enjoy the talent shows on the pier. We had a lot of kids coming to us for a fish print, it was exciting because we were teaching the kids how to paint their fish and make their fish print on the paper. It's awesome to work as a team and think of an idea what colors to use on the fish.
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      My favorite part of the seafood festival was the little talent shows. At the talent show the most funniest part and awesome part was the guy dancing. He said that he was on America's Got Talent. It was cool because his dancing part was crazy. He jumped over four people but I thought it was going to be five because there was a kid in the middle but the guy told him it was to dangerous for so he returned to his parents.

Sincerely, Carlos Garcia

Children's Museum......

                                                                Children's Museum

      Hey everyone! Two weeks ago I had a crazy week, I'll talk about what sites I was in and they were Piers Park, Carson Beach, and Children Museum. At the Children Museum, I had a good day because we had lot's of kids coming to us to learn how to catch crabs and what kind of crabs they were. For Example, if the crabs were male and female and if they were a green crab or rock crabs. Also, they wanted to learn how to fish for some Striped Bass and Perches. Bella, Marco, Mark, and I had a good day. We caught lots of perches, the kids were so excited to see the fish but they were stressing them out because they wanted to catch it with a net. Some of the kids caught some crabs at Children Museum so they named the crabs as their pets. Once the day was ending we were asking the kids if they wanted to do a crabs race, so Mark told me to count them before we toast them back so I was like ok, so I start toasting them back to the water, Bella was like we are "Save the Harbor/Save the Bay" we don't toast them we drop them.
Perch Fish
Sincerely, Carlos Garcia              

Monday, August 17, 2015

Fan Pier Fishing

Hello again fellow adventurers!

This past Thursday was perhaps the highlight of my amazing summer with Save the Harbor, the Fan Pier Fishing Tournament!

After a brief introduction and some friendly bantering from the fishing teams, we all shoved off and sped (hopefully) toward the stripers. We saw some beautiful sights along the way, like the massive Deer Island treatment facility from what Save the Harbor has made the tip of the spear of our harbor cleanup. We decided to make a pitstop to fish quickly next to Deer Island when we spotted a school of stripers jumping out of the water at a bait trail behind a barge. We found success quickly, landing a 25 inch striper which was unfortunately too small to keep, but it kept us in high spirits and hopefully would lead to a successful fishing trip. After the trail went dry we decided to track on down the harbor.

Our journey led us to the calm waters off the shore of Hull High School. We took in the surrounding sights of Peddocks island, the giant wind turbine that shadows the high school, and took some fishing tips from some of the locals fishing off the pier. Then we were back on our hunt for the stripers. After a few hours of only landing one more striper that was too small to keep, we returned to the dock. We may not have won any awards, we still held our heads high because catching any fish is better than not catching any at all!

When we returned to the dock, we were treated to a feast fit for a king... or at least a bunch of hungry fisherman. With boxes on top of boxes of delicious pizza, I was overwhelmed with such a beautiful sight. I only averted my eyes from such an amazing sight because I had noticed that former Bruin Shawn Thornton and Kiss 108's Billy Costa were now on the scene.

Day officially made 

After getting an autograph and of course a photo of me "punching" him in the face, my day and possibly my summer had been made. Although he's not the biggest celebrity in the world he certainly has become a household name in Boston, and he hasn't let the fame go to his head. He was extremely down to earth and could not have been more approachable, for being one of the most intimidating people I have ever seen play a sport. 

Billy attempting to give the fish a smooch 

The day was capped off with Billy,  Shawn, and Mike Fallon taking a group picture with the prize winning fish, caught by our very own Danny O'Hara. After working tirelessly through the first three quarters of the summer, it was an amazing relief to spend a day relaxing on a boat and fishing. There aren't too many things better than that.

Until next time, keep on exploring!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Great Splash!

Welcome to Carson Beach, friends of Save the Harbor!
Welcome to our Beach Bash and Splash!

We could not have had more spectacular weather for last Friday's Beach Bash and Splash! Hundreds of kids and hotdogs later, the beach was still buzzing in the hot summer sun, and the Save the Harbor crew had more fun than we could have imagined!

Face painting, fishing, sand-raking, fish printing... you name it, we had it! I think I painted 50 rainbows onto kids on Friday! We had a touch tank under the same tent, and kids could not get enough of Larry the Lobster! Thank goodness for organization, or the sheer volume of activity would have lead to chaos. We planned and we executed- take a look below at what happened when all of the kids splashed into the water at noon!

Ready, set...

After a morning of fun and an afternoon splash, it was blue shirts to the rescue! Here you can see Andrea putting ketchup on a hotdog- we had lunch ready to go as soon as the kids were out of the water! Our JPAs carried crates of water around for kids and counselors who had retreated to the shade with their hotdogs and snacks- hydration matters!

Go, Andrea, go!
 Finding a calm space in the aftermath of the splash, professional storyteller Norah Dooley enchanted a group with pirate tales. It's not hard to fall under the spell- I have been there myself- of one of Norah's stories. Dressed as Mary the Pirate, she really captivates her audience!
The captivating Nora Dooley!
 Need more evidence? This second photo is my favorite of the day. Perched at the end of the line of yellow shirts is our own Save the Harbor president- Patricia Foley! Ms. Foley's kind smile and calm demeanor make her a welcome presence at these events. She always offers our staff encouragement, and I absolutely love seeing her out and about- she gives this organization everything she's got, and we are so lucky to have her!
Patricia Foley, everyone!

I'll end this with a shout-out to the amazing members of the Save the Harbor staff. Thanks for splashing around in those blue shirts and letting everyone know that the beaches of Boston belong to them. You guys build community, and that matters. Also, Lindsay's shorts tan stands unrivaled.

Until next time, rockstars!
Blue shirts, Lindsay's shorts tan

Bye Bye Blacks Creek, See You Soon, Courageous!

Crab-trap catch!
 Hello again, friends!

Summer has never ended so quickly! I cannot believe that this past week we finished programming at two of my sites!

The end of our time at Courageous Sailing was incredible. We were able to help out with parents and kids last week- it was incredible to have over 60 people attend our program in a single afternoon! Our crab traps never fail to amaze, but we caught a surprising number of fish, including a small flounder that Jayda, one of our JPAs, was able to get into our tank! Jayda wants to be a vet, and I trust her with everything fish-related, she's a true expert! Our last days were spent with fishing rods and smiles, and I can't wait for next year!

I will miss the amazing Courageous staff- thanks for everything, Courageous! You have been exciting to work with, helpful at every opportunity, and you have brought energy to our days!

One of our last fisherman!
Em Gaylord, being incredibly helpful and managing our banner!

Getting parents and teachers involved at Courageous!

 I am also sad to say that we finished programming at Blacks Creek this week! I could not have enjoyed working with Quincy Rec more- they invited us to their lovely Nautical Day celebration, and we caught our third eel! One parent approached me and said that according to her (7-year-old) son, our programming was "the best thing that had ever happened to him!" He was one of our regular kids; he kept a journal at home and was always ready for more adventure. I will miss kids who brought spunk to my mornings, like he always did!
Abdi chatting with his buddies!

Intense sand-castle building in our last week at Blacks Creek!

 I am happy to say that we were able to use some of the low-tide clay from the previous week to make everyone a small figurine to remember Blacks Creek. I made the seals, but the kids helped out with the hearts, sea-stars, and stingrays featured below. These two helpers suggested some kids bring home extra clay figures for their siblings and parents, and helped me make that possible! Thanks for showing me how caring you are in Quincy, folks!
I chose all of these photos because they are real highlights of my last week in Quincy and Charlestown. Each one makes me smile, and that's something that matters to me. This summer left me wishing school would never start- even through the heat wave. I could not have had this much fun without the support of my incredible JPAs- thank you so much to Daynaja, Danny, Abdi, Jayda, Bella, Luke, Andy, Preston and Ruth for all of the help and guidance you gave me and the kids!

Until next summer, keep smiling, Quincy and Charlestown!