• Lush vegetation on the top of Spectacle Island's North drumlin dominates the foreground. Boston's skyline can be seen in the distance.  The park's logo with tag line minutes away, worlds apart empashises the stark contrast between the city and islands.

    Boston Harbor Islands

    National Recreation Area Massachusetts

Water Quality

A Water Resources Scoping Report was prepared by the National Park Service Water Resources Division in 2002 in order to assist the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership in identifying and understanding water-related issues relevant to the management of the national park area. It describes the hydrologic environment of the park and discusses water-related management issues. The report was accepted and the recommendations endorsed by unanimous vote of the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership on December 17, 2002.

» Water Resources Scoping Report: Boston Harbor Islands – A National Park Area, Massachusetts (Technical Report NPS/NRWRD/NRTR-2002/300).

The final section of the report (Considerations for Future Actions) provides the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership with suggestions for future action:

  • endorse and support Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s (MWRA) harbor-wide water quality monitoring efforts and support collaboration with the pending NPS “vital signs” monitoring program;
  • endorse further erosion research and monitoring and the development of potential mitigation alternatives;
  • consider additional intertidal zone inventory and research activities;
  • enhance water and wastewater infrastructure planning;
  • continue Mass. Department of Conservation & Recreation recreational water quality monitoring within the Boston Harbor Islands national park area;
  • assess needs and establish priorities to complete necessary environmental audits;
  • endorse The Trustees Of Reservations wetlands restoration activities / support actions to identify other potential restoration activities;
  • enhance awareness of invasive species issues and concerns;
  • facilitate the exchange of additional sensitive resource information for incorporation into spill contingency planning activities;
  • commission a study to evaluate maintenance needs of sea walls and rip-rap and to determine the impact of these structures on geomorphic processes;
  • incorporate water-related recommendations into the Boston Harbor Islands national park area strategic plan.

Did You Know?

Milkweed Beetle

Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area has undertaken an All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) in order to catalogue and research all life in the park, starting with the invertebrates that make the islands their home. More...