East Boston Groups Receive Grants

Save The Harbor’s Better Beaches program granted over $315,000 to community and youth serving organizations for the 2024 Better Beaches Program Partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

The  focus of the program is to fund free events and connect people to Boston Harbor’s beaches, with a particular focus on breaking down barriers for people of color, people who don’t speak English as a first language, and people with disabilities.

Funds for the program come from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and from Save the Harbor’s annual JetBlue Shamrock Splash fundraiser. 

“We  are very proud to partner with DCR once again to share these spectacular urban natural resources with everyone,” said Chris Mancini,  executive director of Save The Harbor. “We  are so grateful to the Healey/Driscoll administration, the Metropolitan Beaches Commission,  JetBlue and all of our corporate partners for continuing to support this essential program, which will activate our beaches all summer long.” 

“The  way this program helps East Boston reach inland and further the connection with the rest of the city is one of the more innovative aspects of the program,” said Rep. Adrian Madaro,  Co-Chair of the Metropolitan Beaches Commission. “Improving community engagement within East Boston is always a priority, so knowing that Better Beaches brings community funding to promote efforts that further diversity and equity in the neighborhood is particularly  exciting.”  

“Not  to mention fun,” says Maya Smith, Better Beaches  Program Director. “When trying to keep public interest, exciting, lively, and community-building activations are at the core of our success.” 

And  success has been more than evident. Since the program began, Better Beaches has supported over 2,000 free events and programs and leveraged  over $7 million in state and local investment in our beachfront and waterfront communities. Meanwhile, attendance estimates this year are expected to welcome 10,000 to 15,000 local  residents across all events. 

“And  that is a conservative estimate,” Smith adds. “Really, the sheer quantities of local folks who are engaged is ultimately too many to count.

 Because all the events are free  they often see pretty huge attendance!”  

These  free events happen almost every day of the summer, right into the fall.

On East Boston’s Constitution Beach these include activations like YOUR Beach/TU Playa by the East Boston YMCA, Triangle, Inc’s Beach: Ability 2024 day of accessibility, Bigger Bodies Boston’s “Fat Beach Day,” a Community Care and Resource Fair from Mutual Aide Eastie,  and the Master Fete Experience’s Soca Fusion, among several others. 

“One of our top priorities at DCR is ensuring our beaches are welcoming and accessible to people of all backgrounds, incomes, and abilities,” said DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo. “As part of that work, we’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Save the Harbor and to make this investment in the Better Beaches Program that will help foster a sense of community at our metropolitan waterfronts by bringing free diverse and inclusive programming throughout the summer season.” 

Better  Beaches programming kicks off in June and continues through September. 

The  2024 Better Beaches grant recipients include groups and individuals that will activate East Boston local group’s beaches, including East Boston YMCA, La Colaborativa, Mutual Aid Eastie, Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, Inc (NOAH), Soca Fusion, Triangle, Inc., Edwardo Chacon, Eli Pabon, and Bigger Bodies Boston. 

The  83 groups receiving grants this year are based in all the metropolitan beachfront and waterfront communities, as  well as a dozen surrounding cities and towns. The grantees will bring free programming all summer long to 13 beaches in Nahant, Lynn, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull. 

East Boston organizations received over $39,000 in grants:

East Boston YMCA YOUR Beach/Tu Playa! $3,000

La Colaborativa Dia en la Playa $3,000

Mutual Aid Eastie Community Care and Resource Fairs / Ferias de recursos y cuidado comunitario $6,000

Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, Inc (NOAH) Boating Safety and Learn to Kayak $6,000

Soca Fusion Master Fete Experience $4,500

Triangle, Inc. Beach:Ability 2024 $5,000

Edwardo Chacon Open Decks at the Beach $3,000

Eli Pabon BombAntillana’s Bomba by the Sea // Ola de la Mar: Connecting to our Ocean, Connecting to Ancestors, Connecting to Ourselves $3,500

Bigger Bodies Boston Fat Beach Day $5,000

Piers Park Sailing Center Kayaks to Go $7,000

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