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The environmental advocacy organization Save the Harbor/Save the Bay released their annual Beach Water Quality Report Card on the Metropolitan Region’s public beaches on Friday, May 26, 2017 – just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

The report card is based on water quality data collected during the 2016 beach season on 15 public beaches in 10 communities, including Lynn, Swampscott, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.

Here is a snapshot of the results.

2017

 “This year’s report card contains good news for many of our beaches,” said Save the Harbor’s spokesman Bruce Berman. “However 2016 was a very dry year, with just 5.3 inches of rain and one large storm with over one inch of rain compared to the 10.2 inches we had in 2015 and the 13 inches of precipitation we expect in a typical beach season. Though the annual results are important, an analysis of all the data we have collected since 2011 tells a more complete story.”

2011-2017

As you can see from the chart, two beaches in South Boston consistently top the list, with perfect scores of 100%, while five area beaches, in South Boston, Winthrop, and Revere receive grades of 95% or better. Six area beaches consistently earned scores in the low 90’s or high 80’s, while King’s Beach in Lynn and Swampscott and Tenean Beach in Dorchester are consistently at the bottom of the list.

“Despite their low scores, there is good news for King’s Beach and Tenean Beach this year” said Berman. “Our preliminary analysis suggests that recent investments by Boston Water and Sewer and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority have begun to reduce pollution at Tenean Beach, which is good news for Dorchester beach goers.”

Moreover, said Berman, with the support of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), the advice of the King’s Beach Science Advisory Committee (BSAC) and the cooperation of the City of Lynn and the Town of Swampscott, Save the Harbor has installed rain gauges and flow meters at King’s Beach to help those communities evaluate and address the persistent pollution problems that close that beach nearly one in five days in a typical year.

Later this year, the BSAC will issue a report to pave the way for capital investments by the Commonwealth to help these communities accelerate the pace of planned improvements.

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay would like to thank EEA Secretary Matthew A. Beaton for his support of this project, and Dr. Judy Pederson and Dr. Jim Shine, Co- Chairs of our Beaches Science Advisory Committee for their guidance in developing the methodology we use in this report. We would also like to thank David Wu of the MWRA, DCR’s Dennis Fitzgerald, Kelly Coughlin of Stony Brook Partners, Ben Wetherill of Coastal Sensors, and Save the Harbor policy intern Alicia Zhao and Data Analyst Diana Acosta for their help with this report.

Thanks as well to Metropolitan Beaches Commission Co-Chairs Senator Thomas M. McGee of Lynn and Rep. RoseLee Vincent of Revere and each of the legislative and community members of the Commission for their commitment to clean water and the region’s public beaches from Nahant to Nantasket.

For more information about Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's 2017 Report Card or the EEA/SHSB Beaches Science Advisory Committee please contact Bruce Berman by email at bruce@bostonharbor.com or on his cell at 617-293-6243.

Download the 2016 Beach Water Quality Report Card

Download an Excel spreadsheet of the data on which it is based

Download a copy of Save the Harbor / Save the Bay's 2015 Beach Water Quality Report Card
for the Boston Harbor Region's public beaches from Nahant to Nantasket.

Download an Excel file of the data on which it is based.

Download a copy of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's Urban Beach Study study comparing the South Boston Beaches with iconic urban beaches in New York, Virginia, Florida, Californian and Hawaii.

 

The methodology we used to prepare the report card was presented at
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's Beaches Science Advisory Committee meeting
at the Exchange Conference Center on Boston's Fish Pier on Wednesday, May 30 2012.

MWRA Presentation (Background and Water Quality Testing Methods)
EPA Presentation (Past and Future Water Quality Criteria)
EPA Presentation (Rapid Testing Methods)
Save the Harbor / Save the Bay's Report (Beach Safety ad Flagging Accuracy)

Here are two useful papers - on Antecedent Rain and
an analysis of posting based on the Previous Day's Results.

View Save the Harbor's television commercial about beach flagging.

For insight into our values, view our short video "Water Power" or visit our webpage at www.savetheharbor.org

Splash!

Download a copy of Save the Harbor / Save the Bay's 2014 Beach Water Quality Report Card
for the Boston Harbor Region's public beaches from Nahant to Nantasket.

Download an Excel file of the data on which the report was based.

Download a copy of Save the Harbor / Save the Bay's 2013 Beach Water Quality Report Card
for the Boston Harbor Region's public beaches from Nahant to Nantasket.

Download the Executive Summary of the water quality and flagging accuracy data
for DCR beaches in Nahant, Lynn and Swampscott, Revere, Winthrop,
East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.

Download an Excel file of the data on which the report was based.

Download a copy of our 2012 Beach Water Quality Report Card
for the Boston Harbor Region's public beaches from Nahant to Nantasket.

Here is an Executive Summary of the results.
Here is the Data on which the report was based.
You can find a Press Release about the report here.

If you have any questions, please contact Bruce Berman at
bruce@bostonharbor.com
or by phone at 617-293-6243
2016 Report Card