by Rick Winterson


“Save the Harbor/Save the Bay” (SH/SB) is a 32-year-old organization, founded in 1986.  Its name is self-explanatory.  You have almost certainly seen the results of SH/SB’s efforts.   The beaches of South Boston are now A+ squeaky clean.  They pass the regular bacterial tests virtually 100% of the time.  Just go to any one of our beaches – Castle Island, Pleasure Bay, the Sugar Bowl, M Street Beach, and Carson Beach, all the way around Old Harbor to Mother’s Rest.  You’ll see what South Boston Online means, as well as what SH/SB has accomplished.

SH/SB is a key part of a superbly working public-private partnership.  The public side includes the efforts of Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, along with the watchful eye of our State Sen. Nick Collins.  Special mention must be made of the important role played by the Massachusetts DCR (the Commonwealth’s diligent Department of Conservation & Recreation).  Coupled with the SH/SB, the DCR in Boston and Vicinity – from Lynn/Nahant to Nantasket/Hull – has created one of the finest chain of beaches in the entire nation.

Patty Foley, a South Boston lady, has served as the President of SH/SB for the last several years.  Bruce Berman, a 28-year member since 1990, is now the “Grand High Everything Else” in SH/SB.  Last Saturday morning, the 9th, Bruce emceed a meeting called “2018 Better Beaches Grant Recipients” on the Fish Pier in South Boston.  This meeting included pirates, a juggler, a stunning mermaid (from the Boston Circus Guild), and lots of coffee and Dunkin’ Donuts.  Sen. Nick Collins, wearing Bermuda shorts and all, was on hand.

During the meeting, Bruce and SH/SB distributed over $200,000 worth of grants to the various privately staffed beach associations that work with public organizations in Massachusetts to maintain our beaches in topnotch condition.  Much to Sen. Nick’s delight, over $30,000 in grants went to South Boston.  These grants will support seven local organizations during the summer of 2018; they will sponsor activities that include beach soccer, paddleboarding, summer fishing, kiteboarding, youth fitness, summer concerts, family fun nights, and the Neighborhood House’s iconic “Olliepalooza”.

The motto of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay is “Making Waves Since 1986”.  Which it certainly has.  Patty and Bruce follow that slogan up by saying, ”Life’s a Beach.”  Which around South Boston, it certainly is.