Special to the Transcript
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) are now seeking Better Beaches Program grant proposals from organizations to support free beach events and activities on the regionâ€™s public beaches in Nahant, Lynn, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy, and Hull this summer.
Last year, Save the Harbor awarded $28,500 in Better Beaches grants to local organizations like Triangle, Inc, Northshore Juneteenth Association, Piers Park Sailing Center, A Trike Called Funk, Boston Circus Guild and others. This money was used to put on the Beats on the Beach Block Party, Diversity Matters Festival, Beach:Ability accessible beach day, the Maritime Festival, a Teen Beach Bash, bike rides, movie nights, wellness workshops, beach yoga, concerts, and more.
This year, Better Beaches state funding has increased. Save the Harbor we will be awarding more than $300,000 in 2023 Better Beaches grants for even more events free to the public.
If you or your organization has a great idea for a free beach event or program, visit the following website: https://www.savetheharbor.org/better-beaches
â€œI’m just so delighted that the Better Beaches grant exists,â€ said Magdalena Ayed, Founder and Executive Director of the Harborkeepers, a Better Beaches grantee. â€œThis grant allows us to provide a platform to learn about what’s happening on the ocean and how we as the Community can be advocates to improve it. It’s a fantastic opportunity.â€
â€œSave the Harborâ€™s grant program has done so much good for local businesses, individuals, and so many others. Beats on the Beach and the Block Party wouldnâ€™t be the same without their help,â€ said Rilla Force, creator of and performer at the Beats on the Beach Block Party.
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 â€” Save the Harbor has brought millions of community members to the region’s beaches with over 1,000 free events since 2008.
Grant applicants can come from any community as long as their idea centers one of our regionâ€™s public beaches. Better Beaches funds will be awarded to organizations, programs, individuals, and creatives who empower, amplify and invest in community members of color, people with disabilities, people whoâ€™s first language is not English and members of the Queer community. The event must be free and open to the public, be executed in Summer 2023, and comply with DCRâ€™s restrictions on what’s allowed on the beaches.
A Trike Called Funk, a Better Beaches grantee, used their funds to perform at events on multiple beaches and host their own event series, Bike to the Beach and Boogie. â€œNone of this would have been possible had it not been for the support of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and the Better Beaches initiative,â€ said A.a.ron Myers, Co-Founder of A Trike Called Funk. â€œWe are happy to amplify Save the Harbor and celebrate what theyâ€™re doing to bring people together and to appreciate, but also become stewards of, these beautiful blue and green spaces in and around Boston.â€
Information about the events and programs that were supported last year can be found in Save the Harborâ€™s 2023 Impact Report, which is available at https://www.savetheharbor.org/publications.
You can apply for a Better Beaches grant at https://www.savetheharbor.org/better-beaches. You will be notified of the result of your application in April. If you have any questions about the Better Beaches Program, please contact Maya Smith at [email protected].
Funds to support the program come from the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Baker/Polito Administration, and from the Harpoon Shamrock Splash, which will take place on March 12th, 2023. To register for the Splash, visithttps://savetheharbor.securesweet.com/default.asp.
Save the Harborâ€™s success would not be possible without our program partners and event sponsors, including Arctic Chill, FMC Ice Sports, Bay State Cruise Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, The Blue Sky Collaborative, Boston & Maine Webcams, The Boston Foundation, BostonHarbor.com, Boston Properties, Coast Cannabis, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Comcast, Cronin Group, Constellation Generation, Comcast Foundation, the Daily Catch, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Eastern Salt Company, Inc, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Harpoon, IR+M Charitable Fund, JetBlue, John Hancock Financial Services, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Massport, P&G Gillette, Mix 104.1, National Grid, 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 take part in the Shamrock Splash for their support.