Vivien Li, Executive Director of The Boston Harbor Association provides an update on TBHA including upcoming New Year’s Eve events. The update is shown below.

Ms. Li also writes in this week’s Banker & Tradesman about rising sea levels with estimates in harbor levels to increase another 2 1/2 feet to 6 feet by the end of this century. She discusses Boston’s mitigation techniques and goals including, (1) 30% fewer greenhouse emissions from Boston transportation sources in Boston by 2020 through more mass transit, water transportation, Zipcars and fewer parking spaces per development, (2) “raising the heat” through less air conditioning in public spaces, hotels, etc., and (3) raising the ground floor of waterfront buildings.

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Dear Friend of The Boston Harbor Association:

As 2010 draws to a close, I want to invite you to join us New Year’s Eve on Boston Harbor, as well as to share with you highlights from the past year.

Experience Boston’s Working Port during the day on New Year’s Eve
From 12 – 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, the Boston Harbor Pilot Association’s CHELSEA and a U.S. Coast Guard vessel will be docked at the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse at the Fan Pier and open for public tours. This is a unique opportunity to view these vessels close up. Free. Offered in partnership with First Night Boston.

View New Year’s Eve fireworks on Boston Harbor
Greet the New Year on Boston Harbor viewing the midnight fireworks. The free cruise will leave Boston’s waterfront at 11:30 p.m. and return shortly after the fireworks display.  Boarding begins at 11 p.m., Gate C, Rowes Wharf (behind the Boston Harbor Hotel), with space for the first 300 guests. Free. Sponsored by The Boston Harbor Association and Mass Bay Lines, with support from the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

With your support, TBHA looks forward to continuing its work in the following areas in the coming year:

Working towards a “green” Boston Harbor:  TBHA actively promotes a “green” Boston Harbor.  and in 2009 and 2010 sponsored the first-ever public tours of waterfront facilities working to reduce their carbon footprint as well as the debut of the first all-electric, “green” water taxi in Boston Harbor.

Last month, with support from the Barr Foundation, TBHA organized the first “Boston Harbor Sea Level Rise Forum” to examine the impacts of sea level rise and climate change on Boston’s waterfront and neighborhoods.  More than 500 people attended the Forum and community meetings, and extensive follow up is planned in the coming year.

Promoting greater public access along Boston Harbor:
  The Boston Harbor Association is the primary advocacy organization working with property owners and governmental agencies to ensure access for the general public to Boston’s waterfront.  Approximately 84% of the HarborWalk public access system is now completed, with these new segments added in the past year:
•    First-ever HarborWalk at Liberty Wharf (site of the former Jimmy’s Harborside Restaurant) next to the Fish Pier;
•    Enhanced open spaces next to the Atlantic Wharf HarborWalk, Fort Point Channel;
•    New HarborWalk around the Marine Mammal facility at the New England Aquarium;
•     Enhanced HarborWalk and Public Green open space on the Fan Pier;
•     New HarborWalk at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Dorchester.

Enhancing Water Transportation and Boating Opportunities: Thanks to TBHA’s advocacy, a new water transportation waiting facility was built at Battery Wharf, a new boat docking facility will open next year with Boston Properties’ opening of Atlantic Wharf, and a boat dock with related parking spaces for boaters will be completed in 2011 along the Gillette Company’s property on the Fort Point Channel.  In addition, TBHA continues to advocate for additional support of scheduled water transportation service within Boston Harbor.

Engaging the Next Generation of Harbor Stewards: TBHA’s Young Professionals program is engaging and educating the next generation of Harbor Stewards through a lively series of educational and recreational opportunities. Be sure to check TBHA’s web site for upcoming 2011 activities.

Keeping Boston Harbor clean:  Our “Back to the Beaches’ campaign, designed to encourage greater usage and enjoyment of Boston Harbor beaches, has been successful, with more than 90% of Boston Harbor beaches swimmable more than 90% of the time.  TBHA is supportive of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and the Boston Water and Sewer Commission’s on-going efforts to eliminate combined sewer overflows, which will result in even more days of safe swimming.

During summer, 2010, TBHA’s interns surveyed and stenciled “Don’t Dump: Drains to Boston Harbor” signage next to more than 700 storm drains in an effort to discourage the public from dumping chemicals and other wastes into these drains which go into the Harbor. During the summer, TBHA’s Marine Debris Prevention and Removal Program removed more than 15 tons of floating debris from the harbor.  An environmental sustainability component was also added, recycling as much of the floating debris as possible, and TBHA worked with boaters and property owners to prevent additional debris from entering Boston Harbor.

TBHA continues to be the leading organization promoting a clean, alive, and accessible Boston Harbor and the harbor is cleaner and more vibrant than ever, with numerous opportunities for enjoying the waterfront along the HarborWalk, at clean beaches from Winthrop to Quincy, and on Boston’s harbor islands.

Your continued support is important to us and we encourage you to go to our web site to find additional information and make a secure donation (www.tbha.org).

Many thanks and all best wishes for the holiday season.

Sincerely,

Vivien Li
Executive Director

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