Writing Contest Winners 2015-2016

Honorable Mention, Grades 3-5

Kaelen Beardsley
Grade 3, Linden S.T.E.A.M. Academy, Malden
Mrs. Smith, Teacher

Boston Harbor Success Story

Twenty five years ago sewage sludge was being dumped into the Boston Harbor. There was so much sludge and pollution that people wanted it cleaned up. On December 24, 1991 the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority started its sludge to fertilizer program, which made history. Instead of sludge going into the water, now the solid waste was being turned into something useful.

One of the bad things that sludge did was pollute the animals' environment. This was making the animals sick because they were swimming in it and drinking the dirty water. Fish like flounders got sick with tumors, skin problems and rotting fins. When they stopped the sludge the animals got better because the water was cleaner. Ocean animals now have a healthier environment to live in.

The high tides used to take the waste and wash it onto public beaches. People were not allowed to go to those beaches when this happened. If I were around then and someone said you can't go swimming there's sludge in the water, I would be very upset. Now that it is not dumped, people can swim and play in the water. I love swimming and I feel happy when I am doing it.

The sludge made the fish unsafe to eat. When the fisherman brought their catch to market they were unable to sell the contaminated fish. This caused a large number of fishermen to go further out to sea to find healthy fish. This created areas to be overfished and some species populations were depleted to
dangerous levels. Many fishermen were forced to find other fish to catch.

After many years of dumping sewage sludge into the Boston Harbor the MWRA made it illegal. They built a wastewater treatment plant on Deer Island. The clean water is pumped into the bay and the left over waste materials are turned into fertilizer. After many years the fish are finally coming back to the Boston Harbor. Today Boston is seen as a model for successful wastewater management.

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