(BOSTON, June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/) -- On Tuesday June 3, 2014 the Metropolitan Beaches Commission (MBC) released its report "Waves of Change" on the Boston Harbor region's 15 public beaches in Nahant, Lynn, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull owned by the Commonwealth and managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
"The investments we have made on these beaches strengthen our communities and the economy, improve people's lives and demonstrate that government can work," said Senator Tom McGee of Lynn, who Co-Chairs the Commission.
The report identifies a number of continuing challenges and opportunities that need to be addressed to move these beaches from good to great. These include staffing levels at the beaches, which increased after 2007, but declined in recent years to the point where the Commission believes "that the beaches will inevitably reenter a cycle of decline, undermining the progress that has been made and failing to meet public expectations, as was the case before 2007."
"The Commonwealth's investments in the Boston Harbor cleanup, the Boston Harbor Islands and our region's public beaches have already resulted in dramatic improvements in the quality of life for residents in Boston and the region's coastal communities," said MBC Commissioner Paul Grogan, President and CEO of The Boston Foundation. "To protect those investments we must continue to find ways to fund the incremental changes that are necessary to further improve our beaches."
Other key challenges and opportunities identified in the report include: water quality and beach flagging, coastal resiliency and sea level rise, water transportation, improved information technology and management systems, parking and public safety, dog management and piping plover nesting areas. The Commission also called for DCR to invest additional funds to support free events and programs that are so important enhancing the public's enjoyment of the beaches.
"Local friends groups and Save the Harbor have helped jump-start free events on these beaches, but government has a responsibility to provide direct financial support of these volunteer efforts to make them sustainable,"
said David Spillane of Goody Clancy, an award winning Boston-based architecture, planning and preservation firm, who helped Save the Harbor manage the hearings and produce the report.
According to Bruce Berman of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, the non-profit who helped lead and manage the inquiry and author the report, "These beaches contribute directly to the competitiveness of our region, making our cities and beachfront communities better places to live and work. Moreover, the combined economic impact of millions of residents enjoying these beaches also makes them important economic engines for the region's waterfront neighborhoods and beachfront communities, creating new jobs and economic
"The region's public beaches, like Constitution Beach in East Boston, are much more than a great place to spend the day," said Representative Carlo Basile of East Boston, who Co-Chairs the Commission. "They are portals to the environment, remarkable recreational resources with the potential to improve the quality of life for all our residents."
The Commission would like to thank the nearly 1,000 people who took part in the hearings and helped to shape the findings and recommendations contained in their report. Copies of the Commission's report "Waves of Change" and the hearing minutes, public comments, the budget analysis
and other technical reports and appendices on which the report is based
are available online at www.savetheharbor.org/MBC2014.
For more information, visit www.savetheharbor.org or follow us on Twitter @MetroBeaches.
SOURCE Metropolitan Beaches Commission; Metropolitan Beaches Commission Releases Report On Boston Harbor Region's Beaches -- BOSTON, June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --