Doing Business With The Park
Congress established a funding model for Boston Harbor Islands that requires a more entrepreneurial approach to programming than that employed in traditional parks. The Island Alliance is charged by the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership with generating private revenue to support the park. Overall policy coordination and priorities are set by the Partnership.
The Partnership supports the Island Alliance's initiative in developing an economic plan for the park in concert with the National Park Service. It is recognized, however, that revenue generation builds over time and that in the early years, the park is nearly completely dependent on public funds and private donations.
Revenue is expected from sales in visitor centers and gateway areas, rentals of equipment for interpretation or recreation, boat excursions with interpreters, food sales, and events such as concerts. Additional sources of funds might be available through contributions of private developers with onshore developments that exceed permitted limits, by having mitigation, or "offsets," directed to, for example, subsidies for water transportation or other island-related improvements.
When revenues are being generated on the islands, each island owner uses revenue first to maintain its own island-related operations. "Excess" revenues are pooled in a parkwide fund for the Partnership to be administered by the Island Alliance acting as the fiscal agent. Legislation at the state level is necessary to enable the creation and retention of fees by state and local agencies as well as for the opportunity for long-term leases to attract private investment.
The following criteria are used to evaluate proposed revenue generating activities on the islands. They inform decisions regarding mainland proposals.