Making Waves Since 1986
212 Northern Avenue - Suite 304 West Boston, MA 02210 Phone 617-451-2860

Save the Harbor / Save the Bay
Chief Executive Officer
Position Description


Save the Harbor/Save the Bay is a non-profit, public interest harbor advocacy organization made up of thousands of citizens as well as civic, corporate, cultural and community leaders and scientists. The mission of the organization is to restore and protect Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Bay, and the marine environment and share them with the public for all to enjoy.

Save the Harbor was founded in 1986 by the attorney who initiated the Boston Harbor Case, the judge who first heard it, the reporter who covered the case for the Boston Globe and a passionate advocate who wanted to make Boston Harbor clean enough for her children to enjoy.

Today Save the Harbor is the region's leading voice for clean water and continued public investment in Boston Harbor, the region's public beaches, the Boston Harbor Islands and serves as the Boston Harbor Connection for a generation of young people and their families. In 2018, our free youth environmental education and family programs connected nearly 30,000 underserved young people and their families to Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands. 

Save the Harbor Programs:

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's current programs are designed to restore and protect Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay, and share and reconnect all Bostonians, the region's residents, and especially underserved youth and teens and low-income families to the harbor, waterfront, beaches and islands we have worked so hard to restore and protect.

Restore and Protect
Thanks to Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's tenacious and effective advocacy, 43 cities and towns have ended the daily discharge of more than 250 million gallons of untreated sewage into Boston Harbor.

Working together with the region's residents, other advocates and opinion leaders, and our many allies in government, the business community and the media, Save the Harbor has revitalized Boston's waterfront neighborhoods, strengthened the region's beachfront communities, restored the region's public beaches, and created the Boston Harbor Islands National Park.
However, despite the many successes of the Boston Harbor cleanup, 2 out of 9 of the Boston Harbor region’s public beaches continue to face frequent closures due to persistent pollution problems caused by storm water and old infrastructure, which we are committed to help them address.

Today Save the Harbor’s environmental advocacy efforts focus on the health of Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay, and improving management, maintenance, water quality and beach flagging accuracy on the Boston Harbor region’s public beaches, while the organization’s public policy work focuses on securing modest additional resources from both government and the private sector that are required to put Boston Harbor, the waterfront, the Boston Harbor Islands and the region's public beaches to work as civic, educational, recreational and economic assets for all Bostonians and the region's residents.

Share and Reconnect
As the success of the Boston Harbor cleanup became increasingly clear, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay pioneered a new strategy based on the organization’s theory of change: The best way to “Save the Harbor” was to “Share the Harbor” with the public through free youth and family programs that would connect our communities and residents to the Harbor, the waterfront, public beaches and the harbor islands.

Save the Harbor believes this strategy has been critical to its success. Since 2002, the organization’s free youth environmental education programs have connected more than 100,000 youth, teens and their families to Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands. As a result, Save the Harbor has created a new generation of Boston Harbor stewards in every neighborhood in the City of Boston and in the region’s beachfront communities from Nahant on the North Shore to Nantasket on the South Shore.
Working with the region’s civic, corporate, cultural and community leaders, state and local elected officials, other advocates, regulators, experts and scientists and with thousands of citizens from more than 120 youth and community organizations, Save the Harbor has built a remarkable regional network to support its work. These diverse individuals, institutions and organizations share a common commitment to clean water, better beaches and improved public access to Boston Harbor, the waterfront and the Boston Harbor Islands.
Together Save the Harbor has begun to integrate the harbor into the life of our city and our citizens, and transformed Boston Harbor from a “harbor of shame” into an extraordinary civic, recreational, and educational asset for the region’s residents, that has become an important engine for economic growth in the City of Boston and the region’s coastal communities.

Today, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay:

Leads and manages the Metropolitan Beaches Commission for the Massachusetts Legislature. The MBC is charged with making findings and recommendations on how to improve the Boston Harbor Region’s public beaches in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quncy and Hull.

Convenes and manages our Beaches Science Advisory Committee, a panel of independent experts and scientists chaired by Save the Harbor board member Dr. Judith Pederson of MIT Sea Grant. Each year our BSAC issues a report card on water quality and flagging accuracy on the Boston Harbor Region’s urban beaches.

Hosts or sponsors more than 30 free events and programs on the region’s public beaches from Nahant on the North Shore to Nantasket on the South Shore each summer. Since 2008, the Better Beaches program has raised and invested more than $205,000 in small grants to beaches friends’ groups in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull. They in turn have leveraged Save the Harbor funds with additional cash and in-kind support for a total investment of $1,020,722 to fund nearly 214 free events and programs.

Serves as the Boston Harbor Connection for more than 100,000 underserved youth, teens and their families who have taken part in our free youth environmental education programs since we began them in 2002. These include All Access Boston Harbor, the Boston Harbor Explorers,
and our free Marine Mammal Safaris and Treasures of Spectacle Island Cruises, which connected more than 30,000 underserved young people and their families to Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands in 2018.


After 20 years as Save the Harbor’s CEO, Patty Foley will retire from her position at year’s end.  Under Patty’s leadership, Save the Harbor has flourished.  Patty grew Save the Harbor into one of the region’s leading nonprofit and environmental organizations in the region.  Her track record is impressive.  The successes in advocacy and program delivery have left a lasting legacy on metropolitan Boston, the harbor and bordering land, and the many people who have benefited from Save the Harbor’s work and programs.


Numerous important priorities await the new Chief Executive Officer, including:


Save the Harbor seeks a community or business leader who brings unrivaled passion for Save the Harbor’s mission, its commitment to the beaches and waterways, and its dedication to enriching the lives of low income families throughout the region by maintaining their connection to the waterfront.

Save the Harbor seeks a strong leader with an outstanding track record of external affairs, including nonprofit fundraising and management and deep relationships with the region’s political leadership.  The ideal candidate must possess excellence in relationship management, with an ability to inspire and develop board and staff leaders, and a demonstrated strength in interpersonal, team-building and communication skills.

Save the Harbor’s board seeks a Chief Executive Officer who will bring the following skills and experiences:

Additional required qualifications:


The Chief Executive Officer has responsibility for the direction, administration, funding and supervision of all of the activities at Save the Harbor, for the purpose of realizing the organization’s mission and vision and carrying out the goals and objectives of the Board of Directors.  With direct responsibility to the Board, the Chief Executive Officer is the liaison between Board and staff, interprets Board policies for the agency, and insures their application and implementation.  The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for ensuring Save the Harbor raises sustainable financial resources through earned income, philanthropy and government sources.  The CEO is also responsible for achieving and maintaining the quality and reputation of Save the Harbor and its programs and the organization and functions of the agency, including delivery of quality services, evaluation of programs, budget management, and planning and implementation of new programs.  The Chief Executive Officer serves as the organization’s chief external affairs officer and serves as the liaison to community groups, other agencies and funding sources, both public and private.


Financial Resource Development

Communications, Public Relations and Community Awareness

Board Development:

Staff and Administrative Management:


Interested candidates should submit cover letter and resume to

All submissions are confidential.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
Salary is commensurate with experience.

The above job description and qualifications are not meant to be all-inclusive.
Additional qualifications may be added at any time by the Board of Directors.
Save the Harbor is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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