By John Lynds
In East Boston, we have one of the nation’s cleanest beaches and harbor but as a community a majority of residents rarely use it. If you ask the average East Bostonian how often they’ve gone on a canoe, kayak or row boat the majority of people would most likely answer ‘never’ or ‘very rarely’.
However, over the past three years the East Boston Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) has been changing that trend and getting more and more residents out onto the water to enjoy the summer months as they should be enjoyed.
Over the weekend NOAH has brought back for the third year in a row free community kayaking at Constitution Beach.
The program will run until August 27 on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“There will be professionals available for lessons, so no experience is needed,” said NOAH’s Community Engagement Coordinator Colin McGinnis. “All are welcome to attend, and no prior registration is required, but those who are under 18 must have a permission slip signed by a parent or guardian.”
McGinnis said children ages 10 to 14 may kayak alone if accompanied on the water by an adult in another kayak. Children under age 10 may paddle if accompanied on a boat by a parent or legal guardian.
“NOAH expects another very successful kayaking program in the third year of the program, looking to serve over 2,000 residents this summer,” said McGinnis.
In 2016, the kayaking program run by NOAH’s Youth Leadership Crew served over 3,000 participants.
“With over 15 miles of coastline, Eastie’s waterfront is a little-known beauty of Massachusetts,” said McGinnis.
McGinnis added that kayaking is so easy to do that just about anybody can handle it. NOAH uses very stable and comfortable sit-on-top ocean kayaks, so people don’t feel confined by the boats. It literally takes no time for novice kayakers to get the hang of it on these boats.
NOAH’s kayaking program is made possible by a Save the Harbor Save the Bay Better Beaches Grant as well as support from the American Canoe Association and the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
For more information about this program, please call 617-418-8241.