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MWRA Writing Contest Winners 2004-2005
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

Honorable Mention , Grades 6-8
by Rachel White, Grade 7
Derby Academy, Hingham

Ginger Winslow, teacher
Edward Foley, headmaster

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The Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant

I think that the greatest contributing factor in the revitalization of Boston Harbor was the building of the Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant. Before this plant was built, many beaches on Boston Harbor were frequently closed because of pollution. Thanks to the plant on Deer Island, I can safely go swimming on Nantasket Beach without worrying about encountering dangerous pollutants. I have always lived on or near Boston Harbor, and without this plant, the life I have lived wouldn't be anywhere as exciting as it has been.

The Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant treats wastewater so that it can be re-released into the environment. By treating the water before releasing it into the marine ecosystem, the number of bacteria is greatly lessened; this is not only good for the water, but it is beneficial for the fish and other organisms living in the water. Before the plant was built, fish died because of pollutants in the water, and fishermen couldn't catch as much. For the past four years, I have lived on Spinnaker Island in Boston Harbor. Every morning, I see commercial fishermen taking their boats out to get the day's catch. What would my mornings be like without healthy fish for the fishermen to catch?

My father grew up on Cape Cod, and my grandparents still live there. Every summer, I go down there and I spend a majority of the days on the water in Lewis Bay. Without clean water, my summers on Cape Cod would be so different. I would have to be careful every time I went swimming, I wouldn't be able to go fishing for dinner without worrying about getting sick from the fish, and the beautiful beach that I go to would be disgusting. There would be all sorts of trash and other pollutants littering the beach and making it an ugly place to visit. Who would want to get a tan on a polluted beach? Not me, that's for sure. I am glad that the beaches in Boston Harbor are now as clean as those on the south side of Cape Cod.

The final reason that I am glad for the Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant is that it has enabled people to see a completely different side of the beautiful sites in Boston Harbor that many people don't know about. For example, when I first moved to Spinnaker Island, I had never heard of any of the surrounding islands. Thanks to the clean harbor, I'm now able to go rowing with my crew team from the Hull Lifesaving Museum's boathouse across to Peddock's Island and George's Island and others of the many islands in this harbor. Many people who come to visit Boston don't realize that there are so many islands. But thanks to the boats that go around the harbor, more and more people are becoming aware of these beautiful drumlins.

Without this sewage treatment plant, my life would be completely different, as would those of the many other people I encounter on a daily basis. The above-mentioned reasons, as well as many others, lead me to believe that the establishment of the Deer Island Sewage Treatment plant is the biggest contributing factor to the revitalization of the spectacular place that is Boston Harbor.

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