Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, DCR Seek Grant Proposals for Better Beaches Program

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) are now seeking Better Beaches Program grant proposals from organizations in Nahant, Lynn, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy, and Hull to support free beach events and activities on the region’s public beaches this year.

In 2021, Save the Harbor’s Better Beaches Program invested nearly $300,000 in the program, supporting 67 organizations in nine waterfront communities from Nahant to Nantasket. In turn, those organizations ran 188 events, including festivals, movie nights, concerts, beach parties, fitness classes, sailing and kayaking sessions, speaker series and summer programs.

“Free events and programs like these are particularly important for kids and families this year, as we put the pandemic behind us and return to the beach,” said newly elected State Senator Lydia Edwards. “Thanks to Save the Harbor/Save the Bay for making it happen.”

This year, the public is invited to participate in the process and help choose some of this year’s events. Cast your vote here or follow this link https://tinyurl.com/2022BeachBallot

The Better Beaches program puts resources in the hands of local beach lovers, supporting and empowering them to execute events for their communities. The impact is clear — in 2021, these events connected more than 1 million people to the water at 13 different beaches and waterfront parks.

This summer, Save the Harbor has chosen to center community voices by reserving $25,000 of Better Beaches funds to be distributed by participatory budgeting.

From December 2021 to February 2022, individuals from local schools and community centers submitted their ideas for free events and programs to activate the region’s beaches in the warmer months. You can cast your vote here or follow this link https://tinyurl.com/2022BeachBallot

Better Beaches funds will be intentionally awarded to organizations, programs, individuals, and creatives who empower, amplify and invest in community members of color, members of the Queer community, and people with disabilities. “Save the Harbor has recommitted ourselves to equity and anti-racism in our programs and on our beaches. We are excited to see the creative ways organizations and individuals will be activating our beaches this summer!” said Save the Harbor’s Executive Director Chris Mancini.

Funds to support the program come from the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Baker/Polito Administration, and from the Harpoon Shamrock Splash, which was held on March 6, 2022 at Constitution Beach in East Boston. As a result, Save the Harbor will be able to invest nearly $250,000 to support free beach events and programs. These programs will activate beaches in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.

“The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is committed to ensuring that all Massachusetts residents who visit our properties have the opportunity to partake in recreational activities – something we know is paramount to everyone’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being,” said Acting DCR Commissioner Stephanie Cooper. “We are especially proud to again partner with Save the Harbor/Save on our Better Beaches Program and are looking forward to another great season of free beach programs from Nahant to Nantasket.” 

“The Better Beaches Program events are as diverse as the communities that host them,” said Metropolitan Beaches Commission Co-Chair, Senator Brendan Crighton of Lynn, “But one thing they all have in common is that they bring communities together to enjoy our region’s public beaches. Thank you to Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and DCR for working together to strengthen our beachfront communities and waterfront neighborhoods.”

Save the Harbor’s success would not be possible without our program partners and event sponsors, including Arctic Chill and Harpoon Brewery, JetBlue, FMC Ice Sports, P&G Gillette, National Grid, Coast Cannabis, the Daily Catch, Comcast, Mix 104.1, The Blue Sky Collaborative, Boston & Maine Webcams, BostonHarbor.com, The Boston Foundation, and The Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. 

In addition, Save the Harbor recognizes the Metropolitan Beaches Commission Co-Chairs Senator Brendan Crighton of Lynn, and Representative Adrian Madaro of East Boston and the legislative and community members of the Commission as well as Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ron Mariano for their support for our beaches and our communities. We also thank the Baker-Polito Administration, the Massachusetts Legislature, Save the Harbor’s partners at the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Boston Centers for Youth & Families, the YMCA of Greater Boston, and the hundreds of people who took part in the Shamrock Splash for their support.

Better Beaches Program grants range from $1,500-$5,000 with a typical grant of $2,500, and in some cases Save the Harbor may consider larger grants. Information about the events and programs that were supported last year can be found in Save the Harbor’s 2021 Impact Report, which is available at  https://www.savetheharbor.org/publications

To apply for a grant or ask any questions about the Better Beaches Program, please contact Maya Smith at [email protected] Applications are due by April 22, 2022, after which Save the Harbor’s Better Beaches Grants Committee will review the proposals. They will present the checks at their annual Better Beaches Award Reception, which all grant recipients are expected to attend, on June 11, 2022 at 10:00 AM at Boston’s Fish Pier. 

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