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, we have revitalized Boston’s waterfront neighborhoods, strengthened our region’s beachfront communities, restored our region’s public beaches, and created the Boston Harbor Islands National Park.

However, despite the many successes of the Boston Harbor cleanup, 3 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 our 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 our public policy work focuses on finding new ways to put Boston Harbor, the waterfront, the Boston Harbor Islands and our 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 our 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.
  • We believe this strategy has been critical to our success. Since 2002, our 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, we have 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 we have built a remarkable regional network to support our 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 we have 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 co-chaired by Save the Harbor board members Dr. Judith Pederson of MIT Sea Grant and Dr. James Shine of the Harvard School of Public Health. 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, our 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 our 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 18,123 underserved young people and their families to Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands in 2014.