Every few weeks — or even more often, it
seems — we learn of some new, looming catastrophe for our planet because of
the combined effects of climate change and the degradation of our environment
by human activity.
Everyone agrees that the climate is
changing, and that it will have far-reaching consequences that we only can
imagine. So too, the activity by the seven billion persons with whom we share
the earth is destroying the natural world at an unprecedented and
So it was with some degree of relief that we
read the annual report by the organization Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, which
informed us that our major metropolitan beaches never have been cleaner (in
terms of water pollution) and safer for recreational swimming and other
As lifelong residents of this area, we
always are amazed that the beaches with the cleanest water every year are the M
Street Beach and the City Point Beach in South Boston — go figure — but we’re
sure there is a logical and scientific-based reason for why these two beaches
have achieved ratings of 100-percent for the past six years.
However, almost all of our metropolitan
beaches, from Nantasket Beach on the South Shore to Revere and Winthrop beaches
on the north, improved their ratings in 2018 compared to their six-year
running-average. Winthrop Beach, for example, attained a 100-percent rating in
There are many factors that contribute to a
beach’s water quality. There are natural effects, most notably the amount of
rainfall over the course of a season or over a short time period. The diligence
of government agencies at the state and local levels in assuring that sewer
connections are working as intended are a vital part of the equation.
We as individuals also play a key role in
assuring that our water stays clean by making sure we don’t dispose of our
trash and hazardous waste into our waterways, by using the pump-out services
for our boats, and by picking-up after our dogs.
The clean and healthy beaches that we enjoy
today are the product of three decades of hard work, effort, and great expense
by officials and the residents of the Boston Metro area. However, we cannot
rest on our laurels. We must commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes in the
years ahead to ensure that our region’s greatest resource — our beautiful
coastline — remains clean and useable both for ourselves and for generations
So we wish to thank Save the Harbor/Save the Bay for issuing their
annual report card on the state of our beaches — and for giving us some good
news, for a change, about our environment.
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