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Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

Honorable Mention Grades 9-12
Kalli MacKinnon, Grade 11
Tahonto Middle High School, Boylston

Alice Apostolou, teacher
Carol Bryngelson, principal

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A Clean Harbor Starts Here

Over the years, Boston Harbor has seen plenty of phenomenal new programs and efforts come and go, in hopes to continue the beauty, presence and the significance of the harbor itself. Although there are many ways to keep Boston Harbor clean, the process must start somewhere. So, getting the harbor clean is much like anything in life; there may be one hundred ways to do it, but without the proper knowledge of how to do it, one is often left accomplishing nothing.

A clean Boston Harbor starts with the education effort. The general public must be educated and made aware of the problems with their harbor in order to be able to aid in the effort. Most importantly, the children living on and around the harbor need to be made aware, through education, of how their actions affect the harbor as well. This clean harbor project would be unmistakably impossible without a basis of education among all who participate in it.

Home to 30 different islands, on 180 miles of shoreline, Boston Harbor is surely a breathtaking sight to see. Yet, keeping it that way is not a one-man task. Taking care of such a vast area of land takes teamwork and commitment from all. Some of them are responsible for organizing great educational classes and programs for people of all ages. Some of these organizations, which include the Boston Harbor Association (TBHA), the Save the Harbor/Save the Bay Program, and the Marine Debris Cleanup Program, have taken the initiative to educate people about the importance of a clean Boston Harbor. Not only to preserve the beauty and presence of the harbor but also to ensure the preservation of the wildlife that call the harbor home. The cleanup efforts would not be possible unless the people were educated on how to clean up, and these organizations offer that knowledge to them.

The Boston Harbor Association offers free youth education programs such as Harbor Bound. Harbor Bound is targeted to inner-city high school children and each year close to 1,200 children take free classes on water quality and waste management. They also offer a Harbor Mini-Camp to youth programs such as the Boys and Girls Clubs. Keeping these children educated on the world around them will help them to gain an appreciation for Boston Harbor. One of their other programs in the Public Info effort. Quarterly columns for bankers and tradesmen help to raise awareness of how they too can help keep Boston Harbor clean, addressing such issues as waste management and the effects of water runoff and drainage problems.

The Save the Harbor/Save the Bay Program also prides itself in offering on-line activities for children and adults, as well as fun fact sheets on what one can do to protect Boston Harbor. Another great program is the Marine Debris Cleanup, which has removed more than130 tons of debris from the Boston Harbor area. Hundreds of people were educated on the effects that trash and debris can have on the harbor, and have been coming out to help for the past six years. The people remove wood, plastics, trash and sometimes even an appliance or two. The removal of such debris keeps the waterways clear, the harbor clean and the animals safe.

Boston Harbor has come a long way from once housing livestock to the now gorgeous landmark of Boston. Yet the harbor would never have made such progress without the education effort. The education effort, therefore, gives way to a long lasting, well-preserved and beautiful Boston Harbor.

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