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 we are 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 serve as the Boston Harbor Connection for a generation of young people and their families. In 2013, our free youth environmental education and family programs connected nearly 16,000 underserved young people and their families to Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands. You can learn more about our free youth environmental education and family programs on our blog Harbor Current at blog.savetheharbor.org

Since 1986, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay:

  • Successfully advocated for the completion of the Boston Harbor cleanup, transforming Boston Harbor from a national disgrace into a source of recreational, educational and economic opportunity and civic pride.
  • Led the effort to create the Boston Harbor Islands National Park, transforming 34 neglected islands into a remarkable destination for the region’s residents and visitors alike.
  • Led the effort to virtually eliminate both combined sewer overflows and storm water discharges into North Dorchester Bay, transforming the South Boston beaches into some of the cleanest urban beaches in America.
  • Continues to lead critical efforts to increase our understanding of our marine environment and improve water quality and beach flagging accuracy in Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Bay, and on our public beaches from Nahant on the North Shore to Nantasket on the South Shore.
  • 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, Quincy and Hull.
  • Strengthens Boston’s waterfront neighborhoods and the region’s beachfront communities by hosting and sponsoring scores of free events and programs on the region’s public beaches from Nahant to Nantasket.

We are particularly proud to say that Save the Harbor/Save the Bay has become the Boston Harbor Connection for the region’s underserved youth and families with free programs that have connected 100,000 youth and teens to Boston Harbor and the Harbor Islands since we began them in 2002. 

In 2014, our free youth environmental education and family programs All Access Boston Harbor, the Boston Harbor Explorers, and our free Marine Mammal Safaris and Treasures of Spectacle Island Cruises connected over 18,000 youth, teens and their families to Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands National Park.