Photographs courtesy of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay
BOSTON – On Saturday, June 10th, 2023 Save the Harbor/Save the Bay awarded $37,000 to several East Boston organizations to fund free beach events as part of Save the Harbor’s Better Beaches program partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation. This year’s Eastie grant recipients include the East Boston YMCA, The Harborkeepers, Piers Park Sailing Centers, Mutual Aid Eastie, and the New Leaders Council Boston.
Save the Harbor Executive Director Chris Mancini, Donnie Todd from JetBlue, and Better Beaches Grant Recipients Triangle, Inc., The Harborkeepers, Veronica Robles Cultural Center, Piers Park Sailing Center, East Boston YMCA, Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, Mutual Aid Eastie, Massachusetts Network of Foster Care Alumni (MassNFCA), Charlestown YMCA, and New Leaders Council Boston.
Events this year will include free movie nights, DJ sets, circus performances, bike rides, Asian, Latin-American, and Afro-Arabian cultural nights, physical and mental wellness workshops, beach parties for kids and teens, beach wheelchairs, mobility mats, and grants to organizations that promote racial justice, access for people with disabilities, language accessibility, public safety and swimming safety.
“It’s going to be a terrific summer, with more free events and programs than ever before,” said Executive Director of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, Chris Mancini. “Working with our program partners, we intend to highlight the racial and cultural diversity of our region and amplify our core messages of public safety, inclusion and fun. Above all, we want our beaches to be safe and healthy places for everyone to enjoy. Diverse and welcoming programming is a key piece of that effort.”
Representatives of more than 90 area organizations received grants to fund programs on the region’s public beaches in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull
“The Better Beaches Program has been improving beach access for everyone since 2008, bringing our beaches to life, connecting kids and families from across our diverse community to each other and Boston Harbor,” said MBC Senate Co-Chair Sen. Brendan Crighton of Lynn. “I’m proud to see participation increase and become more diverse each year thanks to the efforts of Save the Harbor’s dedicated staff.”
This follows the recommendation from the recently released report by the Metropolitan Beaches Commission (MBC). “Equity, inclusion, and diversity are critically important to our communities,” said MBC House Co-Chair Rep. Adrian Madaro of East Boston. “We heard loud and clear from residents, visitors and neighbors alike that investing in free, culturally relevant programming is one of the best ways to support everyone in our community, so that’s what we’ll continue to do.”
This year’s events include Beach:Ability, the Maritime Festival, and Vamos a la Playa
“More free events that bring people of every age and race to our beaches means a safer summer for kids, teens and families who want to experience these spectacular urban natural resources that truly belong to them and their community,” said Senator Lydia Edwards, MBC Vice Chair.
Funds to support the program came from the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the annual Harpoon Shamrock Splash, which was held on March 12 at Constitution Beach.
“DCR is committed to working with our partners like Save the Harbor/Save the Bay to ensure that our beautiful beaches are welcoming and inclusive places for residents of all abilities, races, incomes, and language capabilities,” said DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo. “We are looking forward to another great summer of free events and programs for our families on our DCR beaches from Nahant to Nantasket.”
Some of the events scheduled in East Boston this summer include:
July 7th: Maritime Beach Festival
July 12th: Eastie Beach Bash
August 12th: Beach:Ability
In total, the Better Beaches Program is awarding $317,500 in grants to 92 organizations from Nahant to Nantasket.
“Thanks to all of our partners and event sponsors for making the Better Beaches Program possible, especially the DCR and the Healey/Driscoll Administration,” said Mancini. “Thanks to the Metropolitan Beaches Commission Co-Chairs Senator Brendan Crighton of Lynn, and Representative Adrian Madaro of East Boston and the legislative and community members of the Commission as well as Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ron Mariano for their support for our beaches and our communities. We couldn’t do this our sponsors JetBlue, Harpoon Brewery, FMC Ice Sports, P&G Gillette, National Grid, Coast Cannabis, the Daily Catch, Comcast, and the hundreds of people who take part in the annual JetBlue Shamrock Splash.”
To learn more about Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and the great work they do to restore, protect and Share Boston Harbor, the waterfront, islands, and the region’s public beaches with all Bostonians and the region’s residents, visit their website at www.savetheharbor.org and follow @savetheharbor on social media.