Welcome Beachgoers

DCR partners with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay to roll out new multilingual beach signage   

Special to the Times-Free Press

As part of its ongoing work to ensure the state’s 81 waterfronts are safe and welcoming to everyone, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has partnered with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and the Metropolitan Beaches Commission (MBC) to roll out  new multilingual signage at agency beaches across the state. 

Visitors to DCR’s inland and coastal beaches will be greeted in nine different languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole, Mandarin, Traditional Chinese, Cape Verdean Creole, Russian and Arabic. DCR has added new “welcome” decals to visitor  signs to the state’s 15 metropolitan beaches — Pleasure Bay, City Point, Nantasket, M Street, Carson, Revere, Short, Constitution, Winthrop, Nahant, Wollaston, Savin Hill, Malibu, Tenean, and Kings. These decals will be expanded to the agency’s inland and  coastal beaches. The new signage, created in partnership with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, is part of the agency’s continued effort to promote access and inclusivity to its properties – especially waterfronts in environmental justice communities.  These decals  will be expanded to the agency’s inland and coastal beaches. The new signage, created in partnership with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, is part of the agency’s continued effort to promote access and inclusivity to its properties – especially waterfronts in  environmental justice communities.  

“As our summers get hotter, it’s critical that all of our residents and families have access to and feel welcome at our waterfronts, and something as simple as signage goes a long way toward that,” said DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo. “We want everyone to be able to enjoy our beautiful beaches regardless of their spoken language. I’m thrilled with these new signs that welcome beachgoers and help ensure their safety.” 

“Multilingual signage at every beach was one of the top recommendations in the Metropolitan Beaches Commission’s 2023 ‘Breaking Barriers’ Report,” said Save the Harbor Executive Director Chris Mancini. “We feel very lucky to have great partners in Commissioner Arrigo and his team at DCR who share our values and are willing to prioritize and complete a project like this in time for the beach season.” 

DCR is enhancing beach and pool safety by installing new, easier-to-understand signs outlining the rules for agency beaches and pools. These signs, available in English and Spanish, feature logos reminding beachgoers not to  engage in certain activities for their safety, including not swimming outside of designated areas as well as not drinking alcohol or bringing dogs on the beach from April 1 through September 15. The beach rules signs will also be available in the eight other  languages via a QR code on the sign. DCR is also updating its pool rules signs for the agency’s 24  pools and the updated signs will be available at agency pools in English and Spanish and the eight other languages via a QR code. 

DCR and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay are promoting the new multilingual signage in a video posted to DCR’s social media accounts today. 

Additionally, DCR has four existing water safety signs at its beaches – no swimming, no lifeguard on duty, ring buoys, and water quality – that can be translated into nine languages via a QR code. Last summer, the agency installed  new shorebird protection panels at DCR beaches, explaining that beachgoers share  the beaches with piping plovers, which are also available in multiple languages via a QR code. 

“The MBC’s goal has always been to take an in-depth look to improve our region’s beaches,” said MBC Co-Chair, Senator Brendan Crighton. “With more people than ever turning to our beaches for health, rest, fun and recreation, it’s so important that we take steps to eliminate any barriers to access and equity in these public places.” 

“Equity, inclusion and diversity are critically important to me and my constituents in East Boston,” said MBC Co-Chair, Rep. Adrian Madaro. “Save the Harbor’s free programs have improved access for everyone, and being greeted in your native language when you arrive is essential to reinforcing those feelings of ownership and belonging we should all have for  these fantastic beaches.” 

Lifeguards play a crucial role in public safety at our state parks and beaches. This year, the agency also expanded its efforts to recruit and hire multilingual lifeguards and water safety staff to work at the agency’s waterfronts and pools. This spring and  summer, DCR ran recruitment PSAs for lifeguards and water safety staff on Spanish and Portuguese radio stations. 

DCR is continuing to hire lifeguards  at certain properties including Revere  Beach, the Vietnam  Veterans Pool in Chelsea, the Geisler  Memorial Pool and the Lt. Colonel Edward J. Higgins Pool in Lawrence for the summer season. This year, the Healey-Driscoll Administration maintained the competitive hourly rate for lifeguards of $22 an hour. Lifeguards can still earn up to $750 in retention bonuses if they commit continuing to work for the department through the end of the season. To learn more about lifeguarding opportunities, please visit the agency’s lifeguarding  webpage. 

DCR is committed to ensuring everyone can safely cool down at its beautiful waterfronts during the hot summer season. The agency opened its 81  waterfronts for the summer season on May 26, and last month, it expanded its lifeguard services to 32 designated swimming areas across the state from approximately 10:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.  On June 22, DCR opened  its 24  pools and two wading pools across the state for the summer season. DCR pools are open daily from 11:15 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. Wading pools open and close an hour earlier, and spray decks are open from 8:00 a.m.  to 8:00 p.m. Check DCR’s Park  Alerts page for any closures of swimming areas due to bacteria and the most up-to-date park hours. 

Many DCR coastal and inland beaches have beach wheelchairs and mobi mats that help provide access to the water for people of all abilities.

All DCR swimming pools have outdoor  chair lifts to provide access to the water.

Several  pools also have ramps into the water or offer zero-depth entry, and select pools and spray decks also have beach wheelchairs for use.    

DCR has prioritized making its beaches accessible to people of all backgrounds, spoken languages, incomes and abilities. Each year, DCR and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay partner to provide thousands of dollars in grant funding to organizations focused on breaking  down barriers for people of color, people who don’t speak English and people with disabilities through the Better Beaches Partnership. This year, the Partnership granted more than $315,000 to community and youth serving organizations.   

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. Led by Commissioner Brian Arrigo, the agency’s mission is to protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources for the well-being of all. To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visit www.mass.gov/dcr. Contact us at [email protected].

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