Boston Harbor Islands Partnership Meetings

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November 17, 2020

Meeting Minutes

Virtual
3:00 - 4:30 pm

Attendance

Kathy Abbott, Boston Harbor Now
Susan Kane, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Richard McGuiness, Boston Planning and Development Agency
Marc Albert, National Park Service
Carolyn Fiore, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
Stewart Dalzell, MassPort Authority
Michael Creasey, National Park Service
Priscilla Giegis, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Fred Laskey, MA Water Resources Authority
Nick Black, The Trustees of the Reservation
Cathy Stone, Boston Harbor Now
CAPT Eric Doucette, US Coast Guard
Arthur Pearson, Thompson Island Outward Bound
Rob Moir, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*
Maureen Cavanaugh, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*
Elizabeth Solomon, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*

*Representing individual opinions only during period of advisory council suspension.

Call to Order and Introductions

Chairman Laskey called meeting to order at 3:07 pm.
Approval of minutes from September 15th, Kathy Abbot moved it and Richard McGuiness seconded.

Partnership Business

New policy regarding Special Government Employees, Fred Laskey, Chair, Massachusetts Water Resource Authority

  • National Park Service Updates on Partnership Nominations and Policies
    As of October 26, 2020, the following changes should be noted regarding nominations and policy changes related to the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership:

    Nominations:
    The Department of the Interior has determined that the Partnership can proceed in obtaining nominations to fill any vacancies or expired terms for Boston Harbor Islands Partnership.

    Policy Change:

  • Partnership members are no longer considered Special Government Employees (SGE’s). Appointees have been re-designated as “representatives” to the Partnership. Any new Partnership members will be appointed as representatives as well.
  • Partnership members will no longer be subject to the SGE requirements of completing ethics training and submitting financial disclosure forms (OGE-Form 450) on an annual basis.
  • Members are still subject to the standard ethics language: "No Partnership or subcommittee member will participate in any Partnership or subcommittee deliberations or votes relating to a specific party matter before the Department or its bureaus and offices including a lease, license, permit, contract, grant, claim, agreement, or litigation in which the member has a direct financial interest." An ethics guidebook will provide clarity on obligation.

Presentations

Coastal Resilience - Long Wharf Planning, Richard McGuiness, Boston Planning and Development Agency

PowerPoint Presentation

  • Introduction by Fred Laskey

  • City of Boston has completed four major neighborhood resilience plans

    • East Boston & Charlestown Phase 1 – October 2017

      • East Boston Greenway:

      • Last summer, the City installed a deployable flood wall across the Greenway in East Boston that would provide immediate protection to more than 4,200 residents, at least 70 businesses, transportation tunnels and critical service providers.

      • The flood wall across the Greenway under Sumner Street blocks the current 1% annual chance flood, with one foot of freeboard.

      • Cost: The total cost of the project was $125,000.

    • South Boston – October 2018

      • Fort Point Channel:

      • Although the surrounding areas of the Fort Point Channel have been spared significant damage to date, action is needed now to prevent direct physical damage and loss of use due to future flooding.

      • The City recently applied for a $10 million pre-disaster FEMA flood mitigation grant and was selected as the state’s proposal to represent the Commonwealth in the grant process.

      • Cost: $108 - $197 million for implementation, $1.6 - $3.0 million for annual maintenance

    • North End & Downtown – October 2020

      • North End:

      • At Langone Park and Puopolo Playground, a 4.5 acre open space area located along Boston Harbor in the North End, the City of Boston is implementing innovative open space climate resilience design.

      • This is the first project within the Boston Parks and Recreation system to integrate the standards set forth by the City’s Climate Resilient Design Standards and Guidelines.

      • This project is a significant first in the implementation of open space as climate resilience design.

    • Dorchester – October 2020

      • Moakley Park:

      • The City recently developed a Vision Plan for the future of the park to protect it from future flood events, retain and enhance key active recreational amenities, and create an equitable access to the waterfront.

      • This is an huge opportunity to build a destination park in Boston and can be compared to the scale of Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City.

      • Cost: Phase one is approximately $60 million, total cost is estimated at $350 million

    • Solutions include:

      • Elevated mechanical systems, solar panels & district microgrids, elevated first floor, resilient building design, green infrastructure bioswale, small business preparedness program, adaption as a tool for economic development, climate-ready zoning, education/engagement initiative, temporary flood barrier, expanded maintained urban tree canopy, protective & floodable waterfront park, district scale flood protection, potential harbor barrier

  • Long Wharf

    • Private owners play a critical role

      • The City’s recent report found that properties located around Long Wharf are among the most vulnerable in the neighborhood to the impacts of climate change.

      • Given the complexity of property ownership around the waterfront, the City is encouraging the development of a stakeholder group for Long Wharf.

      • In addition to work the City is already doing to protect areas along the waterfront, the group will be tasked to work together to make decisions about potential near-term actions that property owners can take to help build a resilient Boston waterfront together.

    • It’s risky today

      • Areas like Long Wharf represent a major flood entry point in Boston. It could experience a major flooding event today, under certain conditions, like King Tides.

      • We are committed to working with all stakeholders to urgently explore all feasible options to reduce risk in Downtown Boston.

    • It’s complicated

      • We need new levels of public-private coordination, alongside collaboration among private owners, in order to achieve a world-class, resilient waterfront.

      • With effective engagement from and with private stakeholders, the waterfront will remain a destination for residents and visitors generations to come.

      • 17th Century structure that is low lying

      • How to integrate flood barriers along piers and wharves and private property owners

    • It’s urgent

      • Public-private coordination can take time - and Boston knows that infrastructure projects do, too. Climate change is not waiting.

      • We must work together to obtain a continuous line of protection in the district in a timely and cost-effective manner, given the expectation of new and growing flood risks within the next decade.

  • North End and Downtown Key Takeaways

    • Understanding flood risk

    • All hands on deck approach

    • Water transportation & activation

    • Strategic open space paired with layered approach

  • North End

    • Reconstructing T-wharf

    • Integrating open space

    • Water transportation and activation

  • Planning Process

    • Technical Analysis

      • Boston Harbor flood risk model

    • Community Engagement

      • North End and Downtown residents

      • Downtown employees

    • Design Scenario Planning

      • Evaluation Criteria:

        • Effectiveness

        • Feasibility

        • Design life and adaptability

        • Environment & public health benefits

        • Social equity & quality of life

        • Value creation

  • Major flood entry point for Downtown

    • Downtown areas have several high-risk flood entry points, with flood risk today expanding significantly by 2030

    • Current flooding level floods Long Wharf, which the report identifies a near-term catalytic project as part of a broader strategy for the district

    • 9” sea level rise (2030) would go past Faneuil Hall and significant areas around the wharves would experience elevated risks of flooding

    • 40” sea level rise (2070) would expand further into the Financial District and the areas around North Station and Bulfinch Triangle

  • The City is considering several approaches

    • A mix of spines, open spaces, Harborwalk enhancements, and offshore elements make up the city’s preferred option

  • There are significant trade-offs between options

    • High levels of coordination between City and private owners - and among private owners themselves - are required

    • Strategies at the water’s edge uses both City-owned and privately owned land as flood protection

    • Strategies on public land uses the City-owned right-of-way along Commercial Street and Atlantic Avenues as flood protection

    • The City’s preferred option is not guaranteed as it presents many challenges, including cost, complexity of collaboration, and engineering & design

  • Target Elevations of Flood barriers

    • 4-9.5 feet above grade in order to deter flooding in Callahan Tunnel and New Charles River Dam

  • In some cases, a layered approach may provide the most safety

    • Alignment inland, lower edge with access

    • Adapted bulkheads and Harborwalk

    • Outboard action

    • Elevated roadway

  • Downtown & Wharf District Design Options

    • Creating new green and blue spaces

    • Creating soft shorelines and wetlands

    • Reconfiguration of marinas to reduce the bottlenecking around Long Wharf and T-Wharf

    • Elevated Harborwalk

  • Cost estimates

    • Up to $125 million for Downtown

    • About $100 million would be needed for preferred option, while about $50 million would be needed for the fallback option

    • 10% city capital will not cover the cost of this

    • FEMA has a $50 million-dollar matching grant

  • Timeline

    • We need to have protection in place before 2030. And given the urgency, we need to work more closely together to achieve this timeline for protecting the district

    • Catalytic Action: Downtown & Wharf district (Long Wharf/Central Wharf/Harbor Towers/Christopher Columbus Park) (2022-2030)

    • Near-Term Actions: Langone Park & Puopolo Playground (2019-2022); North End Waterfront (Commercial Wharf/Lewis Wharf/Sargents Wharf/Union Wharf) (2022-2030); West End – North End (Lovejoy waterfront, Beverly St & Causeway St, DCR park on the South embankment of the dam) (2030-2040)

    • Mid-Term Actions: West End – North End (waterfront from North Washington Bridge to Langone Park and Puopolo Playground) (2040-2050)

    • Long-Term Actions: Downtown & Wharf District (waterfront from Rowes Wharf to Northern Avenue Bridge) (2050-2070); North End Waterfront (Burroughs Wharf/Battery Wharf) (2050-2070); USCG Properties (2050-2070); Adapted Langone and Puopolo Park Phase II (2050-2070)

  • What’s Next?

    • Citywide Heat Resilience Strategies: Strategies to address the impacts of exposure to extreme heat

    • East Boston Resilient Design Options: Design solutions to address two near-term critical flood entry points

    • East Boston & Charlestown Phase II: Identifying coastal resilience solutions for remaining segments of both neighborhoods

    • Coastal Flood Resilience Overlay District: Integrating resiliency into City zoning to implement resilient design guidelines

  • Point of Contact: Sanjay Seth, City of Boston Climate Resilience Program Manager, sanjay.seth@boston.gov

Question and Answers

(Q) What about the Blue Line?
(A) Forming a stakeholders group, which includes MBTA. They are planning to spend $1.7 million to protect their assets.

(Q) What is the timeline?

(A) Looked at impact of greenhouse gas emissions. We are predicting 40” sea level rise by 2070

(Q) You are only predicting until 2070. What happens after that?

(A) Hoping to have more regulations and consensus by then. Also have flexibility to have an additional 1 or 2 feet.

Anniversaries Committee, Michael Creasey, National Park Service, Priscilla Geigis, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Cathie Barner, Red Bridge GroupPowerpoint Presentation

  • Overview from Partnership Meeting Virtual Brainstorm Workshop:

    • What would you like to see that would make for a meaningful anniversary celebration and/or commemoration?

    • What outcomes do you imagine would come from the anniversary year?

  • General Theme

    • Awareness and Advocacy of/for BHI National & State Park

    • Programming

      • Examples: Videos and podcasts

    • Engagement/Visitor Reach (Boston Area and Beyond)

    • Commemorative Items

      • Examples: Coin or t-shirts which could help raise funds

    • Special Events

      • Example: Re-commitment ceremony

    • Looking Back to Move Forward

      • Examples: Sharing stories via StoryCorps format, engaging past employees, sharing indigenous and military history

  • Moving forward:

    • It is something that we need to do to commemorate all our hard work.

    • Wanted to seek support on how to do commemorate these anniversaries. So we are bringing on Cathie Barner who helped BHI in the beginning to help. She now lives in SF and has worked with Golden Gate Partnership

    • Cathie Barner and Red Bridge Group

      • Alicia Leuba has joined Red Bridge Group as Executive Vice President

  • Cathie has history of working on NPS projects and was able to build support for the creation of BHI Partnership park

  • Building on what you have accomplished and moving forward

  • She helped with 75th Anniversary of Golden Gate Bridge

  • She recommended things like a city pride partnership where the Red Sox could have a Harbor Islands night

  • She said there is a need to develop mechanism on how to support this event and a need to bring different communities in.

  • Committee will be meeting to discuss things soon to keep thing moving forward

Thompson Islands Conservation Restriction, Marc Albert, NPS, Felicia Bakaj and Thomas LaRose MA DCR

  • Introduction by Fred Laskey

    • As a follow-up to the issues that were brought regarding the Conservation Restriction (CR) at the July 21 and Sept. 15th Partnership meetings, I requested that DCR and NPS meet on island with TIOBEC to discuss the issues that were brought forward to the Partnership.

    • Want to make it clear that the "Partnership" acts as a convener and facilitator among the agencies and island owners - not a regulator. Both DCR and NPS hold the responsibility for upholding the CR – not the Partnership.

    • Thanked the agency head and their staff for taking the time to travel to Thompson Island and specifically looked at the issues raised by the public including: signage, public access - both escorted and unescorted, access to the island from the spit and communications.

    • What we discussed and agreed to:

  • Partners recognized that this year was unique and challenging for public programming and public access due to Covid-19. It limited all access to Thompson as it did for all the public islands in the park.

  • The partners agreed to look at signage and develop appropriate language that allows the public to better understand the CR intent and rules for public access. The “No Trespassing” signs were installed due to vandalism that had occurred this year to the gardens, a stolen bicycle and tools and people were found trespassing within buildings within the defined building envelope and education areas. TIOBEC has limited staff during the pandemic and they had concerns for their staff’s safety and resources.

  • Discussed how we can ensure that TIOBEC staff are aware of the CR and proper messaging to visitors.

  • Discussed how the partners communicate the CR and its opportunities it provides for youth and educational programming as well as public access to designated areas. Agreed to post the CR on the NPS website and share with DCR and TIOBEC. Discussed the opportunity to provide greater communication through the Park Newspaper and other park programming communications (website, brochures, etc.)

  • The partners visited the spit and clarified that the CR specifically states that "No Unescorted Public Access shall be allowed over the so-called spit from Squantum at any time."

  • The partners agreed to meet at a future date to further review the CR and provide input on the issues presented.

  • The Boston Harbor Islands were designated as a unit of the National Park Service in 1996

    • Included all the islands in BHI State Park, and numerous other islands and peninsulas, including Thompson Island.

    • Created the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership

  • Thompson Island was the last "unprotected" Boston Harbor Island

    • Continuous educational campus for >160 years

    • Serves thousands of youth annually

    • Part of the BHI National Register Archeological District

    • Diversity of habitats, species, and glacial features

  • History of Thompson Island CR

    • CR was purchased for $4 million in June 2002 by the National Park Service and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

    • $2 million from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund

    • $2 million from the 1996 Massachusetts Open Space Bond Bill

    • Federal, state and non-profit partners

    • The Trust for Public Land helped negotiate transaction and ensure that it is in the public interest

    • "The permanent conservation of Thompson Island is the crowning achievement in the decades-long effort to clean up the harbor and return it to the people of Boston.” Whitney Hatch, the Trust for Public Land

    • “This project completes the permanent protection of all of the Boston Harbor Islands… This marks the final puzzle piece needed to ensure the overall conservation of these historic and natural resources” Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs Robert Durand

  • What are Conservation Restrictions?

    • Legal agreement between a landowner (Grantor - TIOBEC) and a qualified holding organization (Grantee – DCR + NPS)

    • Permanent interest in a property, recorded at the Registry of Deeds, that protects the important natural resources and conservation values of a property through all subsequent changes in property ownership

    • Allows the landowner to continue to own, use and manage their land but restricts actions that would harm the conservation value of the land

    • Because every property is distinct and individual landowners have different goals for the conservation of their property, each Restriction contains unique terms

    • CR stewardship includes: monitoring properties to look for any natural or human-made changesand enforcing the terms of the CR when necessary

  • Conservation Restriction purposes:

    • To further the purposes of the Omnibus Park and Public Land Management Act of 1996 establishing the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area;

    • To maintain the significant scenic landscape;

    • To provide important opportunities for public access and recreation;

    • To further the development of educational programs;

    • To protect archaeological resources;

    • To protect important habitats on the Island;

    • To retain the Conservation Area predominantly in its natural, scenic & open condition.

  • Reserved Rights/Permitted Uses

    • Reserved rights are the activities and uses that the landowner (TIOBEC) is permitted to carry out under the terms of the CR

    • These rights are reserved for the landowner and whoever they wish to grant them to

    • Permitted uses come with different levels of oversight by the Grantees (DCR & NPS):

      • Allowed with no further requirements

      • Allowed with prior notice

      • Allowed with prior approval

    • The Building Envelope and Conservation Area have different permitted uses with different levels of oversight

  • Wetland and Archaeological Protection

    • Thompson Island CR does not add any new wetland compliance requirements: all city, state and federal protections remain.

    • Archaeological resources are further protected by the Thompson Island CR:

    • Prior to undertaking any construction that involves excavation or other ground disturbance, TIOBEC must consult with the State Archeologist at the Massachusetts Historical Commission

  • Permitted Uses: Building Envelope

    • Permitted:

      • Maintain and replace existing structures and facilities

      • Repair, rehabilitate and restore the exterior of the Hughes (now Salah) and Lewis Gardner buildings in conformance with Secretary of the Interior’s Standards of Rehabilitations

      • Maintain, construct & install wells, septic systems, and utilities

    • With Notice:

      • Construct new buildings and structures

  • Permitted Uses: Entire CR

    • Permitted Uses:

      • Maintenance, modification and repair of underground utility lines

      • Maintenance, modification, repair and replacement of educational structures

      • Construction of one major additional educational structure, such as a climbing tower or ropes course

      • Construction & maintenance of trails, signs/kiosks consistent with Park Area standards, and other minor education and recreation structures

      • Historical agricultural and horticultural uses

      • Selective pruning, cutting or replanting of vegetation for safety or maintenance

      • Temporary composting of stumps, tree & brush limbs

      • Management of Conservation Area for benefit of wildlife

    • With Notice:

      • Construction of up to 4 additional tent platforms, lean-to’s or other similar temporary education structures

    • With Approval

      • Relocation or installation of new underground utility lines

      • Reconstruction of the root cellar, and the weather station

      • Installation of a wind turbine for alternative energy purposes

      • Conducting archaeological investigations

      • Installation of erosion control measures on the steep shoreline bluff in northern portion of Island

  • Three types Public Access defined by the CR

    • “Unescorted Public Access” (UPA)- Members of the public can have access to the Conservation Area, shoreline and beaches for low-impact, non-motorized, non-commercial outdoor recreational use as defined in the Access Plan under the following conditions:

      • they have UPA Reservations (reservation on a specific day on which UPA is authorized)

      • they enter the Premises from a scheduled UPA Ferry (boat authorized by Thompson to drop off and pick up UPA visitors)

      • they receive orientation from Thompson staff upon arrival and acknowledge agreement to follow applicable rules and practices

    • “Beach Access”- Access by members of the public from individually owned private boats to, and only to, the beaches at the perimeter to the Premises (no access to uplands).

    • “Escorted Public Access”- organized groups of members of the public that are actively supervised during their stay on the Island as approved by TIOBEC

  • Public Access and Access Plan

    • The terms of public access to the island are further defined in a Public Access Plan (CR Exhibit B).

    • The Access Plan can be modified by mutual agreement

    • The island remains private property; owners have a right to protect their property and staff

    • The owners have the right to close the island to the public in the case of health and safety concerns

  • Public Access from the “Spit”

    • The CR states that there is no allowable Unescorted Public Access to the island from the spit that connects the island to Squantum at low tides;

    • Beach Access includes the spit (i.e. access by private boat, to the beach only)

    • Public Trust Rights/Colonial Ordinances are separate from the CR and not administered by the Grantees (DCR & NPS)

  • CR Stewardship

    • DCR & NPS formally monitored the property in 2005, 2012, 2016 and 2019

    • An ad hoc site visit was made in September 2020 among DCR, NPS, the BHIP chairperson, and TIOBEC due to recent concerns about public access

    • We collectively resolved to:

      • Make the signage on the island perimeter more welcoming and informative, with information about the CR, how the public can access the island, visitor amenities and the rules for public visitors

      • Make sure the CR and public access information is more readily available

      • The CR is now available on the NPS website: https://www.nps.gov/boha/learn/management/conservation-restriction.htm

        (Q) Arthur Pearson wanted to thank Marc and Felicia for their work. TIOBEC respects the CR and wants to help support public access. The primary role within the CR is TIOBEC’s role is education and public access fits as part of that. Seeks to protect the safety of those students who come to Thompson Island

(Q) Why is there unrestricted access to boat owners only? And not those walking across the spit?
(A) None of the folks who wrote the CR are here today. The concern is that during high-tide those without a boat could get stuck on island. The Spit is basically available for about an hour or two.

Public Comment

Joan Delaney from Quincy, MA

(Q) I don’t have questions. There were about 19,000 visitors to island in 2002, now there are far fewer. Quincy residents will be out there taking photos and birding. Public access is an environmental justice issue.

(A) Thanks for getting our attention and bringing this to our attention. All members of the CR will be working together on this.

Suzanne Gall Marsh, Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands

(Q) Can TIOBEC post the CR on their Website?
(A) We can work with Arthur at TIOBEC to see if that is possible. Additionally, the CR is now posted on the Boston Harbor Islands’ NPS site.
(Q) Did I hear that Alicia Leuba is no longer at TTOR?
(A) Nick Black from TTOR noted that he will fill in for Alicia until someone is nominated. Anne Smith White also filling in.

Roundtable Report-outs

Boston Harbor Now, Kathy Abbott

  • Stone Living Lab
  • Peddocks Island plan
  • Long Wharf projects
  • Board meeting this week.

MassPort Authority, Stewart Dalzell

  • Piers Park 3 work
  • Boston Harbor Dredging still going on
  • Renovation of Commonwealth Pier, which will include a new public plaza

National Park Service, Michael Creasey

  • Congrats to Rebecca Shoer on her new job as the Stone Living Lab education coordinator

Thompson Islands Outward Bound Education Center, Arthur Pearson

  • Shared video link to McKay School who came out in October 2019. https://www.edutopia.org/video/bringing-core-content-life-outdoor-education

Adjournment

Fred Lasky requested a motion to adjourn the meeting. Michael Creasey made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Kathy Abbott. Motion passed unanimously and meeting adjourned at 4:43 pm.

September 15, 2020

Meeting Minutes

Virtual
3:00-4:30 pm

Attendance

Kathy Abbott, Boston Harbor Now
Susan Kane, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Marc Albert, National Park Service
Carolyn Fiore, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
Stewart Dalzell, MassPort Authority
Michael Creasey, National Park Service
Priscilla Giegis, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Fred Laskey, MA Water Resources Authority
Jim Montgomery, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Alicia Leuba, The Trustees of the Reservation
Cathy Stone, Boston Harbor Now
Chris Cook, City of Boston
Elizabeth Solomon, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*

*Representing individual opinions only during period of advisory council suspension.

Call to Order and Introductions

Chairman Laskey called meeting to order at 3:02 pm.
Approval of minutes from July 21, Michael Creasey moved it and Marc Albert seconded.

Partnership Business

Review of Bylaws, Michael Creasey, National Parks of Boston

  • Electronic Meetings:
    • Because of COVID-19, wanted to add into bylaws an amendment that the Partnership could hold electronic meetings.
    • Proposal: The Chairman may authorize Partnership meetings be held in an electronic format whereby any or all Partnership members may participate in a meeting of the Partnership, or a committee of the Partnership, by means of a telephone or video conference or by any means of communication by which all persons participating in the meeting are able to communicate with one another, and such participation shall constitute presence at the meeting.
  • Ethics Compliance:
    • All Partnership members are special gvernment employees, as such must sign certificate of receipt of ethics training.
    • Already a requirement, but wanted t add into bylaws as an amendment.
    • Proposal: As part of the member’s appointment by the Secretary of the Interior, all Partnership members are required to meet all regulatory standards of a Special Government Employee. It is the responsibility of all Partnership members to maintain familiarity with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 C.F.R. Part 2635. Partnership members are required to file a “certificate of receipt of ethics training” and submit to the Chairman.
  • Both amendments moved, seconded, and approved

Questions and Answers

(Q) Elizabeth Solomon: What is written into the bylaws now? Are these in addition or editing of bylaws?
(A) Fred stated these are in addition to the current bylaws. There was nothing in the bylaws about electronic meetings or ethics compliance. Fred then read the bylaws aloud.

(Q) Cathy Stone asked, if we need to have another vote to approve the two electronic meetings we had before the changes to the bylaw?
(A) Fred stated the bylaws do not state we cannot have them electronically, but we want to now put it in the bylaws to make sure.
(A) Michael noted it is a clarification to meet our current necessity about how we conduct meetings right now.

(Q) Elizabeth would like to propose the electronic meeting amendment should note that meetings if possible be held in person and that under certain circumstances that they be help electronically.
(A) Motion put forward by Elizabeth Solomon and seconded by Michael Creasey. Motion passed unanimously.

Presentations

Peddocks Island Master Plan, Alice Brown, Boston Harbor Now (BHN), Cheri Ruane, Weston Samson

PowerPoint Presentation

  • Introduction by Kathy Abbott

  • Vision Plan

    • Honor history and prepare for a changing future

    • Revitalize and activate historic buildings

    • Increase access with improvements to the overall island experience

    • Build a framework for increasing financial sustainability

    • Develop projects, programs, and park infrastructure that capture the essence of Peddocks

  • Transformative Project Types

    • Discovery and Research Island Ecology

      • Research Partnerships

        • Partner with Academic Institutions

        • Support Agriculture and Aquaculture Pilots

      • Educational Programs and Field Classes

        • Educator Opportunities

        • Stone Living Lab Exhibit

        • Summer Science Learning

      • Support Facilities for Science Learning

        • Innovation Campus

        • Field Science Stations

        • Small Classroom / Lab Space

        • Passive Buildings

    • Explore the Island’s Cultural Landscape

      • Improved Arrival Sequence

      • Vegetation Management

      • Wayfinding

      • Boardwalks

      • Highlight the Island’s Cultural History

        • Highlight Indigenous History

        • Interpret Colonial History

        • Protect and Showcase Military Remains

        • Share the Cottage Story Over Time

      • Create Curated Views

    • Unique Programs to Experience

      • Expanded Indoor and Outdoor Venues

      • Arts Engagement

        • Temporary Exhibitions and Interactive Collections

        • Full Arts Masterplan

      • Expanded Recreation Options

        • Boating and Water Sport Opportunities

        • Better Fishing Amenities

        • On-Land Adventure Opportunities

    • Lots of Great Ways to Spend the Night

      • Expand Modular Accommodations

        • Additional Yurt Amenities

        • Add modular Accommodations

      • Sleep in a Renovated Historic Fort Building

        • Bunk House or Hostel

        • Retreat Center or Inn

      • Expand Camping Amenities

        • Transportation

        • Expand Individual and Group Tent Sites

        • Shower Facilities / Dish Station

        • Lockable Kiosk

  • Infrastructure Investments

    • Enhance Transportation and Access to the Islands

      • Ferries

      • Additional Moorings & Launch System

      • Seasonal Docks & Piers

      • Dedicated Island Ramping Facilities

    • Improve On-Island Operations and Logistics Systems

      • Maintenance Facilities

        • Maintenance and Storage Hub

        • Maintenance Storage Container Outposts

        • Office and Utility Working Space

      • Apartment-Style Accommodations

      • Commercial Kitchen

      • Reservation Systems

  • The Physical Report

    • It will be printed and bound. It will have an accompanying folder with fold-outs with project info and map for each of the four Transformative Projects.

  • Phasing Plan

    • Phase 1: This first round of projects focuses on partnerships and programs that are already in place or those that would require minimal infrastructural investments, making them relatively quick and simple to accomplish.

      • Expand individual and group tents

      • Vegetation management

      • Better fishing amenities

      • Highlight indigenous history

      • Additional moorings

      • Maintenance storage container outposts

      • Support agriculture and aquaculture pilots

      • Field science stations

      • Wayfinding

    • Phase 2: This second phase of projects is another round of relatively finite projects, though these efforts will require additional investments of design thinking to ensure completion. These efforts either build upon existing partnerships, such as those with DCR staff or SCA project teams, require direct purchase orders, or new partnerships to be put in place.

      • Expand existing yurt amenities

      • Improved arrival sequence

      • Shower facilities/Dish station

      • Create curated views

      • Expanded outdoor venues

      • Temporary exhibitions

      • Lockable kiosk

      • Interpret colonial history

      • On-island visitor transportation

      • Reservation systems

      • Stone Living Lab exhibit

      • Ferries

      • Boating and watersport hub and rentals

      • Seasonal docks

    • Phase 3: The third phase of projects focuses more on built structures, from stabilizing existing infrastructure, to creating new partnerships, to constructing new buildings outright. Many of these projects lay the groundwork to increase island capacity for future growth and visitorship in novel arenas.

      • Add modular accommodations

      • Boardwalks

      • Commercial kitchen

      • Maintenance and storage hub

      • Partner with academic institutions

      • Summer science learning

    • Phase 4: The fourth phase of projects are similar to those in phase three of scale but focus on more long-range planning efforts. Several of these projects require strategic partnering with non-profit organizations or partial to full renovations of existing buildings.

      • Dedicated island ramping facilities

      • Expanded indoor venues

      • Interactive collections

      • Launch service

      • Full arts master plan

      • Share cottage history

      • Educator opportunities

      • Small classroom/lab space

      • Apartment-style accommodations

    • Phase 5: Phase five turns towards whole-scale infrastructure stabilization, significant build structures, and retrofitting historic buildings to stand more in line with current pedagogy and initiatives at Peddocks.

      • Bunk house or hostel

      • On-land adventure opportunities

      • Protect and showcase military remains

      • Passive buildings

    • Phase 6: This final phase is the most visionary in nature, looking towards eventual possibilities for a fully transformed Peddocks Island with widespread visitor opportunities. These projects would require substantial investments but would yield game changing results. Though more far-sighted in nature, stakeholders can still begin planning for these projects earlier on in the phasing plan. Third party operators, designs, spatial allocations, and more can all be worked out in advance of actual fundraising efforts. These projects are aspirational and require forethought to become a reality. By keeping an eye towards the future, these projects become more tangible and help Peddocks continually work towards a future founded on financial sustainability, guest experiences, and innovative practices.

      • Office and utility working space

      • Innovation campus

      • Retreat center or inn

    • Short Term Priorities

      • Island Wide: Stabilize all windows and roofs of Fort Andrew buildings

      • Discover and Learn the Island Environment Priority Areas:

        • Individual learning experiences can occur through DCR Ranger-led programs

        • By using Peddocks as an outdoor classroom, students in grades K through 12 can participate in hands-on learning.

        • College, university, and institutional instruction can be expanded beyond a campus and include on-site research and long-term monitoring for accurate data generation.

      • Cultural Landscape Priority Areas:

        • Improve wayfinding signage and mapping across the island.

        • Build strategic overlooks with shade shelters and seating amenities.

        • Remove invasive species across the island and replace with a more biodiverse plant palette.

        • Plant more native shade trees.

        • Facilitate the production of a cultural landscape report to guide future development on the island.

      • Unique Programming Priority Areas:

        • Create the framework to support a series of temporary art and history exhibitions on the island.

        • Pilot the kayak, canoe, and paddle board rental and training pavilion with a third-party partner during a summer season.

        • Outfit the existing pier with fishing amenities to offer expanded recreational opportunities for park-goers.

      • Overnight Accommodation Priority Areas:

        • Expand single and group tent sites.

        • Build additional yurts on East and Middle Heads.

        • Construct shower facilities in the Welcome Center.

        • Pilot a lockable kiosk with supplies for day trippers and campers.

Question and Answers

(Q) Concerned about priorities as the use of islands for recreation from the indigenous community instead of using it as a natural and passive area.
(A) Will be done in a respectful way as possible. Since it is one of the largest island in the system, it has always been identified for recreational use. The indigenous community voice is important

(Q) Can you talk about the state curatorship happening on Islands?
(A) In exchange for a long-term lease (30-40 years), a curator is then responsible for the capital repair of the structure. There are opportunities for public benefit. Accept bids and look for the best proposal for public benefit. When state does not have capital to improve facilities, this program allows a public private partnership to improve facilities.

(Q) How long ago was stabilization done on islands?
(A) It was done in 2011-2012. It should be good for ten years.

(Q) How about water and wastewater?
(A) It is tied to the Town of Hull. Utilities are capped off around the dock area. Would love to extend to at least East Head.

Celebrating Park Anniversary, Michael Creasey, National Park Service
Breakout Sessions Highlights:

  • Recommitment to the partnership. Should we add an additional property or additional partner?

  • It is not always a celebration for everyone. Need to have ceremonial acknowledgement of the indigenous community.

  • Need to tell complicated history and address racial and social inequity

  • Increase awareness of the impact of the Partnership. Talk about how far we have come.

  • Thank MWRA users for supporting the park

  • Capture oral histories and create commemorative

  • Need to include youth in the celebration

  • Invite all Partners and strengthen Partnership

  • Put a stake in the ground for the educational role the Islands play

  • Increased engagement and increase visitation

  • Have the harbor be seen as the center of our city

  • Transportation needs to be affordable by creating public subsidy

  • Think of outcomes of Stone Living Lab

  • Benefit of reach of being digital during these times

  • Intentionally working with indigenous communities and the land

  • Sponsor a historian fellow

  • History tour of a specific year

  • Free access or 25 days at 1996 prices

  • Collecting stories of those who worked at the park

  • Contest to create commemorative items such as T-shirts

  • Revisit General Management Plan. What has been done, what is planned for the future?

  • Need to plan for a digital presence

Nominations for a Commemorations Committee

  • Those interested should contact David Santucci

Public Comment

Has been past comments about public access on Thompson Island in relation to the Conservation Restriction. Those at the Partnership have been working with Arthur Pearson at TIOBEC to address the comments. He wants to stay in compliance. DCR, NPS, Fred, and Arthur Pearson met recently on this. Roughly every two years there is an official inspection regarding the Conservation Restriction. Mr. Pearson mentioned some serious issues regarding crime and vandalism on island for those walking to the island. We will continue to work on this assessment and will share at the next Partnership meeting.

(Q) Joan Delany from Quincy, MA: October 10th leading beach cleanup at Squaw Rock. Thompson Island should be open to the public, not just private rich boat owners. We should have access to the island and public ferry service.
(A) We would like to finish assessment to determine what parts of the Conservation Restriction they are following. We will get to the bottom of it. At the next meeting or a separate meeting, we will discuss this more at length.

Adjournment

Fred Laskey requested a motion to adjourn the meeting. Michael Creasey made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Kathy Abbott. Motion passed unanimously and meeting adjourned at 4:45 pm.

July 21, 2020

Meeting Minutes

Virtual
3:00-4:30 pm

Attendance

Kathy Abbott, Boston Harbor Now
Susan Kane, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Marc Albert, National Park Service
Richard McGuinness, Boston Planning and Development Agency
CAPT Eric Doucette, United States Coast Guard
Carolyn Fiore, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
Chris Busch, Boston Planning and Development Agency
Stewart Dalzell, MassPort Authority
Michael Creasey, National Park Service
Priscilla Giegis, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Fred Laskey, MA Water Resources Authority
Jim Montgomery, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Andy Gallagher, The Trustees of the Reservation
Cathy Stone, Boston Harbor Now
Rob Moir, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*

*Representing individual opinions only during period of advisory council suspension.

Call to Order and Introductions

Chairman Laskey called meeting to order at 3:02 pm.Approval of minutes from May 20 and January, Kathy moved it and Jim Montgomery seconded

Presentations

Tracking COVID-19 Through Wastewater-MIT Partnership, Fred Laskey and Steve Rhode, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA)
PowerPoint Presentation

  • Analyzing Wastewater to detect COVID-19
  • Biobot Analytics, a company that spun-off of MIT
  • The company started a pro bono wastewater-testing program in March to help cities assess the local prevalence of the coronavirus.
  • Biobot assesses viral RNA levels, not infectious virus, in wastewater.
  • To date, MWRA and a limited number of other MA utilities (10) have signed up with Biobot. Nationwide, 400 facilities in 42 states have participated.
  • Timeline of Biobot Deer Island Study
    • Started in January with 2 samples as negative controls with no COVID present
    • Follow up included samples from Deer Island twice weekly through February, and daily samples for early March, and one to two weekly samples through April
    • Working now with Boston Water and Sewer Commission to analyze neighborhood results
    • Biobot has now requested daily samples since May 18th to correlate to the Governor’s Reopening Plan to see if there is any change in the trend line
      • Paper posted online, and submitted to Journal of Science
  • Groups around the world are racing to use wastewater as a predictor of COVID
    • International Utilities/Research Groups
      • Miami, Detroit, Portland OR
      • Paris, Netherlands, Australia
    • MWRA has provided samples to:
      • Biobot Analytics
      • Stanford/UMichigan/Tufts national study
      • Northeastern
      • ActiveSignal
    • MWRA has also provided technical guidance to Biobot and has been asked to co-author a second study
  • Yale Study: COVID signal shows up 7 days before confirmed cases
    • City of New Haven sludge parallels hospital admissions and precedes confirmed cases by about 7 days
  • Paris, France Example
    • Results show similar results of signal from wastewater precedes hospital admissions
    • Virus concentrations in wastewater must be correlated with a health response
    • Collaboration is needed between water utilities and local, state, and national health professionals
  • Timeline of MWRA/Biobot data to date
    • Wastewater signal not detected until early March and fits with the daily new cases in the area
    • Rapid increase paralleled with rapid case growth
    • Signal flattened fairly quickly with increased distancing
  • Calibrating the viral signal is difficult
    • Fecal shedding by patients can range from 100 copies/g to 100,000,000 copies/g
    • This complicates the conversion from how much viral RNA is present to how many people that signal represents, along with other variables at treatment plants (like rainfall)
  • Uses of data
    • Trends/Changes in Occurrence
      • Signal needs to be dominated by newly affected cases
      • Can’t tell how many people are affected
      • Tracking the impact of medical and social interventions
    • Assessment of Community Infection
      • Tracking disease prevalence in the community
      • Identification of areas of concern
    • Risk Assessment
      • Risk to utility workers and those exposed to raw sewage, though safety practices already in place
    • Viral Evolution
      • Source tracking of the virus
  • Latest Data from Deer Island
    • Data points are averages of daily sample
    • Smooth out data by 3-day and 7-day averages
    • Drop off of signal in May
    • Some up and done since June
    • Includes samples of re-opening and large demonstrations in Boston
      • Did not see any spikes during that time
  • Sole Source Contract
    • Proposed pilot program:
      • Samples 3 times per week from Deer Island
      • Through December 2020
      • Up to 40 upstream samples if necessary
      • Only pay for the samples we submit
    • Six month contract not to exceed $200,000
    • Provides continuity during the ongoing emergency
    • Competitive procurement in fall to allow overlap/comparison of data
    • Value is people don’t see symptoms for 14 days
      • Shedding can signal when virus is present
  • Q&A – No responses

Harbor Islands Ferry Contract, Jack Murray, Boston Harbor Now (BHN)
PowerPoint Presentation

  • Thanks to Susan Kane and Michael Creasey for their representation on the Partnership through this contract process.
  • This Agreement was entered into by the authority of the Partnership via the 1996 federal legislation that created the park. BHN’s predecessor, Island Alliance, was designated as agent of the Partnership to manage ferry service to the Islands.
  • The contract we have been operating under has been in place has been in place for almost 15 years
    • The original contract signed, March 22nd, 2005 and issued to Harbor Islands LLC which may have been Harbor Express, Boston Best Cruises managed the contract for several years and it was eventually assigned to Boston Harbor Cruises (BHC) in 2014.
    • One year after BHC took the contract, more than 125,000 visitors to the Islands, but visitation leveled off to 100,000 in recent years.
  • In the summer of 2018, worked with transportation consulting firm SDG to issue RFI to gauge interest by other vendors to inform RFP Process.
    • Received interest form two firms
      • Entertainment Cruises, Chicago
      • Hornblower, Bay Area
        • Within 12 months, Hornblower acquired Entertainment and Entertainment acquired BHC. That contract was re-assigned last year.
    • In 2019, the issued RFP only had interest from one operator, BHC.
    • Entered discussions with BHC in January and signed a 3-year with BHC on June 30, 2020 with two successive options to renew for 1 year. For a total of 5 years.
  • Changes includes Schedules, Fares, Data collection
    • Schedules:
      • Eliminated access to Bumpkin and Grape from South Shore.
        • It was not cost effective to run that route.
        • Fares collected system wide were subsidizing those trips to those islands by almost $60 a ticket for the thousand or so people who ride that route.
        • In the Fall, will work with partners to look for viable option such as on-call service from Hingham to those Islands.
      • Schedules to Georges, Spectacle, and Inter-island remain un-changed.
    • Fares
      • BHC has been losing money on this service and new owners were reluctant to take on a service product line that was running in the red.
      • New rates: Adults $24.95, Children $17.95, Military and Seniors $22.95, Children under 3 Free
      • 5 ride pass $100
      • 10 ride pass $180
      • Season pass $300
      • BHC continued commitment to free and reduced access
        • 5,500 free tickets
        • 10,000 2-for-1 Library Pass Vouchers
        • BHN with their sponsors purchases more that 10,000 tickets to underserved communities and camp groups.
        • 3 Free Ferry Days annually is about another 10,000 free tickets to Islands.
    • Data Collection
      • BHC will continue to market the Islands with their other product lines
      • It has been hard to determine where visitors are from using surveys.
      • BHC will update their POS systems which will allow us to know where people are coming from.
      • This data will be helpful in data analysis and future marketing strategies.
      • BHC is offering opt-in donation at POS, which will go directly back into the Islands to offset the cost of programming, operations, and other costs associated with management of the resource.
      • Commend Susan, Michael, Allison Nolan with their help in this process

Questions and Answers
Fred thanked the folks who pulled this off even during COVID

(Q) When will MBTA Trips to Georges Islands return?
(A) MBTA access will return after COVID-19. Service from Hingham to Spectacle is not easy for the Catboats

(Q) Suzanne Gall Marsh, Friends of Boston Harbor Islands: You mentioned BHN will be funding 10,000 tickets. Is that the same as the Island Pass Process?
(A) Three are 5,500 free tickets a year through DCR via Island Pass Program. BHN purchases 10,000 a year to distribute to underserved communities. And the 2-for-1 ticket option needs to be expanded.

(Q) Libraries are closed, how to access free tickets without seeing the posters in library from the Friends?
(A) We all need to share out via websites, blogs, social media, and though the Friends

(Q) How do we say the islands are affordable?
(A) Kathy Abbott stated they have to find a source of public subsidy. The Partnership did 45,000 free visits last year. BHN raised $160,000 to subsidize free trips.

(Q) Will the Interisland Ferry schedules include Fall drop offs to Peddocks Island?
(A) Jack stated he believe so, but he did not have the ferry schedule directly in front of him.

Stone Living Lab, Marc Albert, National Park Service (NPS), Sonja Plesset, James M. & Cathleen D. Stone Foundation, and Jack Murray, Boston Harbor Now (BHN)
PowerPoint Presentation

  • A Living Lab bring research out of the lab into the real world by creating a user-centered, open, innovative ecosystem that engages scientists and the community in collaborative design and exploration.

  • Vision of Stone Living Lab

    • Create a future where people work with nature to make coastal regions resilient and adaptive to climate change while enhancing natural and built environments.

  • The Approach of Stone Living Lab

    • Major new research and educational initiative within the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park to provide opportunities to test and evaluate a range of experiments aimed at improving methods of addressing climate change

    • Innovation hub that will combine elements of scientific research and experimentation with public engagement, education, resource management and policy development.

    • A creative model for advancing the necessary changes to regulations, design, and the development of adaptive solutions to climate change.

  • Memorandum of Understanding with UMass Boston School for the Environment, BNH, NPS, and City of Boston signed this Spring

    • $6 million from Stone Foundation, $375,000 from Cabot Corporation for education

  • Draft Governance and Committee Structure

    • Meeting now: Steering Committee (25 people), Lab Director (Paul Kirshen), and Coordination and Support Team (Under direction of BHN currently)

    • Being formed

      • Advisory Board (invited representatives from 40 different organizations)

      • Scientific Advisory Committee (meets a few times a year)

        • Coastal Engineering –Bret Webb, University of South Alabama

        • Marine Ecology –Louise Firth, University of Plymouth, UK

        • Geomorphology and Coastal Oceanography –TBD

        • Coastal and Wetland Ecology and Engineering –Bregjevan Wesenbeeck, Deltares

        • Education –Vikki Spruill, New England Aquarium

        • Policy –Shannon Cunniff, Consultant (formerly EDF)

    • Ad Hoc Committees: Website, Monitoring, Policy, Education, Permitting

  • Launch Strategy

    • Late summer/early fall

    • Denterlein spearheading effort

    • Coordinating with City of Boston

    • Likely to include press event, live event, and virtual tour

    • Online Presence with a website, landing page, and social media

  • Monitoring Network

    • Rainsford Island - pilot island because of unique ecosystem and willingness from City of Boston

    • Real-time sensors

    • Oversample to observe unpredicted impacts

    • Physical, chemical, and biological baseline data to support multiple studies

    • E.g. Pre/post storm events

  • Types of Experiments

    • Natural/Observational – Primarily observational, minimal disturbance

    • Manipulative – Movement of material

    • Transformational – Tiered systems

  • Permitting Process

    • Joint MEPA/NEPA Review

      • Trigger Mandatory EIR/EIS due to size

      • Request Special Review Procedure with MEPA

      • File ENF & NOI early with initial design to obtain scope for EIR/EIS

      • Prepare EIR/EIS (Draft as Final)

      • Coordinate streamlined review per new DOI Order 3355

    • Conservation Commission Order of Conditions

    • DEP WQ and Chapter 91 License/Permit

    • CZM Consistency Determination

    • US Army Corps of Engineers Individual Permit

    • Mass Historical Commission and Section 106 Reviews

  • Public Education and Engagement

    • Cabot grant boosts Stone funding to create:

      • A hub for citizen-science and place-based science education programs

      • Increased environmental and ocean literacy

      • Ladders of opportunity and job training for Boston area youth

      • Network of researchers, educators and park managers

    • Next Steps:

      • Aligning partners to craft goals

      • Hiring a project manager

Celebrating Park Anniversary, Michael Creasey, National Park Service

  • State Park 50th Anniversary is this year, and 25th of National Park is the following year

  • How do we want to celebrate this?

  • Too important not to recognize

  • Kathy Abbott noted they need a party planning committee

    • Jim Montgomery nominated Susan Kane and Priscilla Geigis

    • Michael Creasey is on board

    • Kathy Abbott noted BHN is on board to help

  • How to engage federal delegation and state delegation?

    • Should law makers make some sort of proclamation?

    • Fred Laskey noted that Kathy Abbott mentioned finding other sources of revenue

    • Press strategy

    • Events

    • Political events

    • Put together a subcommittee to advance this

      • Keep Partnership of DCR, NPS, BHN together on this

      • Michael Creasey will lead this and report out in future meetings

Roundtable Report-Outs

Department of Conservation and Recreation, presented by Susan Kane

  • Island operations is very modified

  • Going really well

  • Opened Spectacle, Wednesday-Sunday

    • 4 trips daily

    • Visitor Center closed; bathrooms open

    • Unguarded waterfront

      • Water testing and buoy lines maintained

      • Trying to reopen water showers

      • Nice opportunity to socially distance compared to other beaches

    • Mooring Program

      • Really hitting its stride

      • Could use more staff

      • Sold out every mooring on all islands before the weekend for the first time ever

        • Shocked by popularity of Peddocks Island with recreational boaters

      • Islands not receiving Ferry Service are open, but only by recreational boaters

        • Saw 30-40 boats on the backside of Lovells

        • Staff have been focused on island maintenance and trail maintenance

        • Overnight staff on Peddocks, Georges, and Spectacle to preserve assets out there

      • Getting a lot of good support from harbor masters and state police

United States Coast Guard Command Sector Boston, presented by CAPT Eric Doucette

  • In the midst of personnel transfer season

  • CDR Lam last day was last Friday, CDR Garrity coming on board soon

  • Admiral Allan has replaced Admiral Tiongson

  • Hard to have folks move across the country during COVID

  • 1/3 of staff rotates every year

  • Lots of people out in the harbor

    • Very busy with the increase in recreational boaters

  • Q&A

(Q) Who will replace Commander Petta?
(A) LCDR Beth Nakagawa

(Q) Will we need to do an environmental assessment of Little Brewster?
(A) A full environmental assessment can take months. Transfer of government property is a process. Though a lot of documentation is already in place as USCG has good records as opposed to other lighthouses because of their presence out there. Civil Engineering in Providence working with GSA on this process.

Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council, presented by Rob Moir

  • Not been able to go out to sea as boat engine being replaced

  • Thanks for putting fishing dock at Deer Island

National Park Service, presented by Marc Albert

  • DCR and NPS working together to re-open islands safely

  • Ferries to Spectacle Island launched July 1; four trips/day running Wednesday – Sunday. Island activation is supported by a new "Know Before You Go" feature on the Boston Harbor Islands website. In the next few weeks will be integrating videos to build visitor confidence, help visitors prepare for their trip, and share ranger tips for things to do on island.

  • BHN, DCR, and NPS collaborating to develop a series of downloadable materials and on-island signage to support self-directed experiences on Spectacle Island: family-friendly scavenger hunt, Junior Ranger exploration, fitness challenge. Will alert people to these options and what to expect on their island visit via online video.

  • The NPS Natural Resource team has finished installing a second round of native plants and controlling invasive plants on habitat management sites at both Thompson and Grape Islands in coordination with TIOBEC and DCR. The delayed planting and hot, dry weather means lots of manual watering but so far, so good!

  • Harbor Discovery Camps start today. This year, park rangers and Hill to Harbor Youth Conservation Corps employees will be engaging remotely with campers from all 8 Boston YMCAs and the Leahy/Holloran BCYF. Camp programming was developed in collaboration with BHN and DCR and will include both live, group activities and self-guided, independent options.

  • The VIP Program will be launching remote engagement sessions for volunteers:

    • Virtual Information Session - We will be hosting a virtual information session Friday, July 24th at 12PM. This session will be hosted online and will last about an hour. We will discuss current park operations, give a quick overview of some of the COVID-19 precautions and share information about helping to create virtual programming we are developing.

    • History of the Boston Harbor Clean Up - We have also scheduled a session on the Boston Harbor Clean Up, which will be presented by Stewardship Volunteer and former MWRA employee, Mike Delaney. This will take place on Friday, July 31st at 1:30PM. We hope this will be the first in a series of presentations about the park sites for volunteers.

  • TIOBEC received $25,000 grant from the National Park Trust to pilot a Green Ambassador youth development school year program.

  • Introducing Dave Santucci, the new Management Support Specialist for the Office of the Superintendent.

  • Thanks to BHN for hosting zoom.

Boston Harbor Now, presented by Kathy Abbott

  • BHN $275K was on track to spend on access program

  • Communications team update

    • Ad campaign running ads on the MBTA

    • Really hits those front-line employees as they are the one’s riding the T

    • BHC-Hornblower ad is also on TV

MassPort Authority, presented by Stewart Dalzell

  • The port is struggling with the new normal

  • Harbor dredging moving along well

    • 10 million cubic yards done

Boston Planning and Development Agency, presented by Rich McGuinness

  • Seawall stabilization project of Long Wharf under way

  • Rent deferment and license fee abatement has been extended

    • Probably 100% credit for this year

  • Climate Ready Downtown will be released soon

The Trustees of Reservations, presented by Andy Gallagher

  • Worlds End has been using timed entry

    • Enhanced parking and no back up on the access road

  • Restarting some programming

    • Kayaking, geology walks

  • Looking into front-line workers days, to get free access to Trustees sites

  • Start construction in the fall of new Visitor Center

  • Site designation for Piers Park in East Boston finalized

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, presented by Carolyn Fiore

  • Public Access to Deer Island

    • Very Busy

    • Opened up large parking along the access road

    • Fishing Pier will open in about a month. Waiting on rough paving, which is about 3-4 weeks away

  • Issued design contract to repair seawall

Public Comment

(Q) Joan Delaney from Quincy, MA: Concerned with the limited public access to Thompson Island. Also concerned with how TIOBEC is addressing the conservation restriction in place on the island and the effect laying the water line has had on the island and at Squaw Rock park.
(A) Marc Albert and Michael Creasey: Regarding the conservation restriction, there is an annual assessment with DCR and NPS. There is a score card that goes to TIOBEC an historically TIOBEC has done a good job with conservation. Though this assessment does not address public access.
(A) Marc Albert: He takes this comment to heart and will investigate further.
(A) Fred Laskey: He wants to see the information and will follow up. He asked Ms. Delaney to share what she has with the Partnership.

(Q) Suzanne Gall Marsh, Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands: Regarding the park anniversary, she recommends reaching out to past members of the BHI Advisory Council.

Adjournment

Fred Laskey requested a motion to adjourn the meeting. Michael Creasey made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Kathy Abbott. Motion passed unanimously and meeting adjourned at 4:47 pm.

May 12, 2020

Meeting Minutes

15 State Street, Boston, MA
3:00-4:30 pm

Attendance

Elizabeth Solomon, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*
Kathy Abbott, Boston Harbor Now
Arthur Pearson, Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center
Susan Kane, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Marc Albert, National Park Service
Richard McGuinness, Boston Planning and Development Agency
CAPT Eric Doucette, United States Coast Guard
Carolyn Fiore, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
Chris Busch, Boston Planning and Development Agency
Maureen Cavanaugh, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*
Stewart Dalzell, MassPort Authority
Michael Creasey, National Park Service
Priscilla Giegis, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Fred Laskey, MA Water Resources Authority
Andrew Hargens, MassPort Authority
*Representing individual opinions only during period of advisory council suspension.

Call to Order and Introductions

Chairman Laskey called meeting to order at 3:02 pm.
Minutes from previous meeting have not yet been distributed. Approval of minutes will be tabled until next meeting.

Presentations

Travel and Tourism, Martha Sheridan, Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GBCVB)
Powerpoint Presentation

  • 32 Partners make up GBCVB.

    • Operate Visitor Center on Greenway.

  • Impacts of COVID-19 on Tourism Industry:

    • GBCVB became conduit between government and partner businesses.

    • Helping partners prepare for reopening when appropriate.

    • GBCVB is direct communication link with Mayors and Governor.

      • Town Hall in April allowed time to ask questions.

    • Regular sector calls within tourism industry.

    • Developed several promotions to help businesses to get revenue.

      • Restaurant take-out program (virtual dining experience and Dine-in Boston).

      • Love from Boston campaign.

        • Hotels and large buildings to show love for essential workers by lighting up windows in shape of heart.

    • Presented to governors reopening task force:

      • STR report shows how hotels and industries are faring.

      • Over 15 thousand rooms of 20000 are closed right now.

      • Occupancy is 30% of capacity, all attractions are closed.

      • MassPort at 52% capacity, 27 cancelled conventions in Boston in 2020.

      • Essentially 95% of hotel rooms are empty. Only essential workers are allowed in hotels right now in Boston.

      • Boston and Cambridge hotel related tax revenue in 2019 was $286mil, projecting to be down to $124mil in 2020.

    • What does it look like for travelers to be ready to travel again?

      • Safety in hotels, safety visiting parks, etc. is essential.

      • People are feeling more confident in travelling and getting out growing by the week.

    • Barriers to opening:

      • No specific guidelines to follow.

      • Limited access to PPE.

      • No testing kits.

      • Motivation of front-line workers to return may be low.

    • Looking for outdoor activities to promote.

      • Need an ease in permitting use of outdoor spaces before this push.

      • Looking at increasing the closure of streets to create a safe outdoor atmosphere and increase social distancing spaces where tourism can rebound.

      • GBCVB is interested in assisting the development of protocols to ensure safety for tourists.

    • Some confidence that local/regional travel and tourism will rebound and make up some losses later this year.

    • No tourism-related businesses are generating revenue right now anywhere in city or region.

      • Freedom Trail and open space recreation will be the first part of this industry that lifts the tourism industry out of this hole.

      • Challenge specific to the BHIP however in just getting people to islands safely aboard boats.

Mystic Reliability Wind Link, Stephen Conant, Partner/ Project Manager Anbaric Development Partners
Powerpoint Presentation

  • Proposal to Independent System Operator – New England for undersea cable from Plymouth to Everett.
  • Will be key to renewable energy transmission in Massachusetts.

  • Think of Boston as a city that gets powered 100% by renewable wind energy.

    • This is the goal of the Mystic Reliability Wind Link.

  • Anbaric is an independent non-regulated utility.

    • Funded through private equity and Ontario Teachers Pension Plan.

    • Specializes in Submarine cable transmission of electricity.

  • Mystic PowerStation (currently fossil fuel powered) scheduled to close by June 2025.

  • Grid operator, Independent System Operator – New England pays Mystic Plant $200mil to keep it on for emergencies only (taxpayer dollars).

  • On-shore infrastructure upgrades are prohibitively expensive and slow.

  • Cable will be undersea and deep underground through outer harbor and prefer to go under Revere beach to Everett.

Questions & Answers:
(Q) Marc Albert asked what considerations are being made to protect sea floor habitats?
(A) Cable buried 6ft beneath seabed. Working with CZM and DMF to avoid sensitive habitats (Fish, whales, complex seas beds, etc).

(Q) Attendee asked about how this project will handle climate change and sea level rise?
(A) Substations in Plymouth and Everett are above projected sea level rise projections.

(Q) Attendee asked about public access and M.G.L. Chapter 91 related to this project?
(A) Ch.91 and impact to public access will be considered at all steps.

Little Brewster Update, CAPT Eric Doucette, United States Coast Guard

  • Press release forthcoming from USCG announcing a stewardship transfer of Little Brewster and Boston Light.
  • Pursuing transfer of real property to a new steward who can best preserve its history condition and public access.
    • USCG would maintain the light as navigational aid in perpetuity.
  • Reason: USCG cares for history of Boston Light but are not equipped to curate historic sites or public access and another steward can do a better job.
  • Using the NHLPA (National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act), the USCG, Government Services Administration (GSA), and NPS (Washington office) will manage the process; finding a steward and transferring ownership.
  • This process will likely take 2 to 5 years.

Questions & Answers
(Q) Kathy Abbott asked about involvement of the USCG after transfer?
(A) The USCG may or may not remain active role but would like retain role in BHIP.

(Q) Fred Laskey asked what will happen if an appropriate steward cannot be found?
(A) GSA will ensure that the property is properly transferred. Of the 100 lighthouses that have gone through the process only one had to be repossessed by the government after going to an unsatisfactory steward after which the process started over and the lighthouse was transferred to a new steward. Protections will be built into the legal documents of the transfer to ensure historic preservation and public access of Boston Light

(Q) Kathy Abbott asked if USCG will be making repairs prior to transfer or will it be an “as-is” transfer?
(A) Repairs in 2016 made significant improvements. 2018 damage harmed access and funding is being sought through competitive process to finish repairs. Repowering the island is new project that will be pursued regardless of new steward and will move forward during the NHLPA process.

(Q) Fred Laskey ask what role will public, elected officials and this body (BHIP) play in the transfer process?
(A) The new steward will work closely with BHIP and public access will be retained. The transactional documents will have to create protections for public access regardless of the ownership entity.

(Q) Arthur Pearson stated that in his experience in Maine the public and non-profits played a big role in the process to advocate for the transfer of several lighthouses to desirable new stewards; all of which were done successfully.

(Q) Michael Creasey stated the partnership would appreciate GSA and NPS folks to give the BHIP a better vision or presentation as the process gets underway. He asked that if this process takes a long time and the BHIP wants to be involved in activation for visitors when its safe to re-enter the island.
(A) USCG will make sure that everyone in the BHIP is made aware and the process is transparent. USCG will need help and advocacy from leaders in the BHIP when this process is made public to dispel rumors and to advocate for transparency and for selection of an appropriate steward. The best interest of the light will be maintained. GSA Fact sheet will be shared to help all partners understand the transfer process.

Roundtable Report-Outs

National Park Service, presented by Michael Creasey

  • Shout out to BHN (Alankrita Narang and Christian Merfeld) getting the BHIP Meeting setup on Zoom and Angela Allison for facilitating.

  • Celebrating Kathy Abbot’s article in the Boston Globe “An opportunity to reimagine Boston’s open spaces.”

  • National Parks of Boston have been teleworking since March 13 except for a small maintenance staff and law enforcement.

  • NPS is grateful to and impressed with the scenario planning work being done closely with DCR and BHN. Thanks for your leadership!

  • NPS had to give up partnership with SCA Historic Preservation Public Lands Corp (10 mo fellowship) as a result of COVID-19, releasing all the SCA Fellows from their commitment.

  • Sadly, the NPS defunded a significant portion of the Green Ambassadors that is co-managed with TIOBEC, however alternative funding sources have been sought to make it a virtual online experience later this summer.

  • All Education programs with BPS have been cancelled.

  • Stewardship Saturdays have been on hold since mid-March.

  • New addition to staff!

    • Jill Staurowsky new lead ranger at Boston Harbor Islands (came to us from Grand Canyon). Please Welcome Jill!

    • Hoping to have seasonal staff on by June 7.

  • $250k to repair boathouse on Little Brewster is being pursued.

  • Working closely with DCR on preservation of Fort Warren (splitting funding 50-50).

  • Grant received to work with UMass to study coastal areas of park and understand potential impacts of sea level rise and climate change.

  • Impressed with innovations from Stone Living Lab to bring partners together and look at challenges of climate change and sea level rise. Credit to Cathy Stone and Sonya Plesset for all your hard work.

Boston Harbor Now, presented by Kathy Abbott

  • Working with DCR and NPS on contingency planning as we look to open the park later this summer.

  • Water transportation contract is almost completed.

    • Safety and capacity this season will be key and is being negotiated.

  • Food concessioners are still interested in contract and we will be ready to review proposals when we know the park will be open.

  • Stone Living Lab still looking at Rainsford for preliminary monitoring and research.

  • Programming shifted to online (HARBOR AT HOME) and Virtual Spectacle Island 5k.

    • Videos created by vendors and program staff and curated by BHN.

  • Harbor Use Forum, May 27 (online public policy forum).

    • Topic: Moakley Park.

  • Harbor for All Summit, June 4.

    • National and local leaders on panels, tours, and discussions.

MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, presented by Susan Kane

  • Focusing on parks that are open and heavily visited (more than ever).

  • Visitor centers and restrooms are closed.

  • There are a lot of first-time visitors to parks now and we assume same will be true on islands when open this summer.

  • At present, Islands are closed to public allowing staff to work on trail systems, facilities maintenance. The park is in great shape!

  • All DCR boats are in the water, inspected, and operational.

  • Working with BHN and NPS to imagine what islands might be open this year.

  • Focusing planning effort on for opening one island; what would that look like?

  • More scenarios considered in a safe phased approached.

  • Want to attract new visitors that we’re seeing at all the landside parks.

  • 2020 Summer is going to be different than other years and we expect more private boaters than ever even if ferry trips are reduced.

  • Fred Laskey noted that Middlesex Fells is very busy daily.

  • Jim Montgomery noted every day in landside parks are receiving visitors as if it were July 4.

United States Coast Guard Command Sector Boston, presented by CAPT Eric Doucette

  • Boat inspections happening for vessels across the harbor.

  • Working with Boston Harbormaster to phase re-opening for recreational boat companies like whale watches and pleasure cruises.

  • Regent Cruise Lines asked to anchor ships offshore with USCG assistance.

  • Unsure if these vessels will be anchored because there is a no sail order in Boston Harbor now.

  • Other Cruise companies asking similar questions.

  • Port of Boston still has container ships, barges, etc. entering daily and hasn’t stop during pandemic and USCG is keeping the waterways open, moving, and safe.

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, presented by Fred Laskey

  • Deer and Nut Island have been packed with people. Deer island is “closed” yet people are parking at a distance and walking in

  • Fish pier construction is on hold

  • Engineering contract is now open for bids to evaluate the sea walls around the water treatment plant

City of Boston, presented by Chris Cook

  • No updates.

Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center, presented by Arthur Pearson

  • Great reason for optimism if you look at a 2 to 5 year time frame.

  • Kids are social learners and social isolation is not conducive to their education.

  • Significant closures throughout this year across whole youth development and education sector.

  • Budget cut by 50% or more and will take years to recover.

  • Remaining TIOBEC staff are working with BPS to serve food to families in need.

  • On island staff continue to maintain facilities and oversea the installation of new water main.

  • Good news: Water main repair is so far on schedule and successful.

  • Patience is the key to our success right now.

Boston Planning and Development Agency, presented by Chris Busch

  • No updates.

  • Wind link project is important and we should support it to get carbon neutral by 2050.

Massachusetts Port Authority, presented by Conor LeBlanc

  • Echoing others; huge drop off in travelers.

  • Cruise industry is impacted significantly.

  • Keeping operations functioning at Cobbs Terminal.

  • Hotel tenants and restaurants rely on tourism and are heavily impacted just like everywhere else.

The Trustees of Reservations, presented by Alicia Leuba

  • Worlds End tried to stay open but became overwhelmed by visitors by April. Worlds End is planned to reopen on May 19 by time-ticketing only via the Trustees website.

  • In the absence of visitors, staff have regraded miles of roadways and drainage infrastructure.

  • Waterfront parks are still closed but optimistic about reopening.

Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council, presented by Elisabeth Solomon

  • No updates.

Public Comment

(Q) Suzanne Gall Marsh, Friends of Boston Harbor Islands: There will be an onslaught of boaters if there is no ferry service. What will DCR do to staff islands to keep them safe and protect resources?
(A) Susan Kane: Planning is underway with that in mind and seasonal staff will be on this summer to ensure safety and protection. Signage, staff, law enforcement, and harbormasters will all assist in this effort.
(A) Fred Laskey: There may be more boaters, but in his experience in getting his own boat back in the water given back-up of boats in dry dock may deter boaters.

(Q) Will the new steward of Boston Light become part of the partnership?
(A) Eric Doucette: USCG will still be part of the partnership, because it is in statute.
(A) Michael Creasey: Confirmed.

(Q) Will lighthouse keeper be on board an on island during the transfer?
(A) Eric Doucette: Dr. Sally Snowman wants to stay with USCG until the transfer is complete. Hope is to keep her involved after the transfer as well, to promote safety and history.

(Q) Can GSA come to a partnership meeting to provide info on the stewardship transfer process?
(A) Eric Doucette: Yes.

Adjournment

Fred Laskey requested a motion to adjourn the meeting. Michael Creasey made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Kathy Abbott. Motion passed unanimously and meeting adjourned at 5:10 pm.

January 21, 2020

Meeting Minutes

15 State Street, Boston, MA
3:00-4:30 pm

Attendance

Rob Moir, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*
Kathy Abbott, Boston Harbor Now
CDR Taylor Lam, United States Coast Guard
CAPT Eric Doucette, United States Coast Guard
Michael Creasey, National Park Service
Marc Albert, National Park Service
Carolyn Fiore, MA Water Resources Authority
Fred Laskey, MA Water Resources Authority
Andrew Hargens, MassPort Authority
Priscilla Giegis, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Susan Kane, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Alicia Leuba, The Trustees of Reservations
Chris Busch, Boston Planning and Development Agency
Chris Cook, City of Boston

*Representing individual opinions only during period of advisory council suspension.

Call to Order and Introductions

Chairman Laskey called meeting to order at 3:06 pm.

Minutes from previous meeting were distributed. Noted that the footnote asterisk in the Advisory Council was not paired with a note. Motion from Kathy Abbott to approve the minutes with recommended revision. Motion seconded by Michael Creasey. Motion to adopt minutes with recommended revision was approved unanimously.

Chairman Laskey noted that financial disclosures and ethics forms are required for all BHI Partnership members. All appointees are strongly requested to contact e-mail us to complete requirements.

Presentations

Massport Marketing, presented by Conor LeBlanc

  • Focused on promoting the island system as a whole and highlight some of the values of specific islands.
  • MassPort’s team is drafting plans now & should have another update at the March meeting.
  • Planning to kick off marketing efforts in late Spring & continue through the summer.

(Q) Michael Creasey acknowledged appreciation for Massport’s efforts to put together island marketing.

(Q) Kathy Abbott added that Massport was critical in the launch of the park and great to have them back in the forefront.

Boston Harbor Now Marketing, presented by Christian Merfeld
Powerpoint presentation
(Q) Rob Moir suggested that key chains be provided as take away items for the upcoming boat show.

Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, presented by Dave O’Donnell
Powerpoint presentation
(Q) Kathy Abbott noted that we do not typically include things outdoors in Boston-based marketing efforts, but we compete with places that have terrific proximity to outdoor recreation.
(A) Dave O’Donnell agreed with Kathy’s assessment and noted that the convention and visitors bureau is working to highlight more outdoor spaces. Dave added that Boston has access to canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, cycle boating, and biking tours. Dave noted that he thinks of tourists sitting on Spectacle Island and looking at a tier 1 destination city.

(Q) Rob Moir asked that Dave let everyone know how they can help promote outdoor recreation and recommended showing pictures of South Boston with Thompson Island behind it; noting that all imagery of Boston should include the harbor and islands.
(A) Dave appreciated the comment and said he would love to show the partnership their image gallery, noting that the visitors bureau wants visitors to think of themselves as actors in their own story.

(Q) Michael Creasey inquired how the harbor and islands can be more connected into public tours, adding that the 2020 Boston neighborhood ambassadors initiative doesn’t draw in the islands. Michael asked if the islands could be a neighborhood in this campaign.
(A) Dave replied that the islands would be an important testimonial and could be part of a separate campaign.(Q) Michael Creasey asked if there is an appetite for new venues, noting that the harbor islands have some pretty spectacular venues that could host interesting events.
(A) Dave replied that the convention is looking for curated events that are different and unique and that the Harbor Islands could offer some opportunities.

(Q) Chris Cook asked if there is a strain on the traditional venues, highlighting that the City Hall Plaza and Esplanade are almost fully booked. Chris added that it is remarkable here to have presentations from three different organizations dedicated to highlighting the full vibrancy of our city.

Roundtable Report-Outs

United States Coast Guard Command Sector Boston, presented by CAPT Eric Doucette

  • New iron steps have been forged for Boston Light.
  • Dr. Sally Snowman is working with NPS and BHN to plan on-water tours around Boston Light in 2020.
  • Highlighted that there are 60 large cruise ships and many small ships coming into the Harbor and that we could think of ways for them to anchor with tender services to capture that market. Many smaller ships with their own kayaks and other vessels are using areas to our north and south.

The Trustees of Reservations, presented by Alicia Leuba

  • Visitor hut at Worlds End has been named the Wakemen O’Donnell Center. This marks the third phase of improving visitor experience. Recently had over 2,000 visitors on a January weekend, seeing the payoff of the improved amenities.
  • Appreciation for NPS partnership on the winter Stewardship Saturday volunteer program
  • Planning for listening sessions in the North End and other communities to consider another Trustees waterfront site.

Boston Planning and Development Agency, presented by Chris Busch

  • Bringing on a consultant for zoning flood overlay district to be paired with climate resilient design guidelines.
  • Planning FEMA pre-disaster mitigation grants for berm along Ft. Point Channel and elevating portions of Lewis Mall in East Boston. Also considering alignment of border streets in East Boston.

Boston Harbor Now, presented by Kathy Abbott and Cathy Stone

  • Introduced Aaron Toffler, new Director of Policy.
  • Three Requests for Proposals in process:
    • Activate Welcome Center along Rose Kennedy Greenway;
    • Concessions in the park; and
    • Water transportation for the park.
  • Stone Living Lab updates:
    • Continuing concept testing with stakeholders.
    • Met with funders to further ideas.

National Park Service, presented by Michael Creasey

  • Stone Living Lab is helping focus education, citizen science, and outreach efforts; and providing a way to talk about issues around sea level rise.
  • NPS and BHN are looking to update the annual BHI Partnership Financial Contributions report. The report’s 2006 numbers showed $203M in support for the islands. Angela will be reaching out to partners to pull numbers together.
  • Nesting bird population studies are starting with DCR and Mass Audubon.
  • Another year of Student Conservation Association Historic Preservation Corps is starting, in partnership with BHN and DCR. This program will bring a crew from around the country for a 10.5 month residential career-building opportunity to make improvements throughout the park and other DCR and NPS sites.
  • PLACE fellowships are kicking off shortly for 15-18-year-old students.
  • Outreach to Boston Public Schools and charter schools is ramping up with a goal to get 500 students and teachers to Spectacle Island this Spring.
  • A new Youth Volunteer Ambassador has joined our partnership team.

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, presented by Fred Laskey

  • Fishing Pier at Deer Island is coming along with a ribbon cutting ceremony slated for April.
  • Had a wedding recently on Deer Island public access area.

MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, presented by Susan Kane

  • Historic Preservation in Public Lands Corps has been reengaging long term DCR staff. A new crew is starting in February. Much work is planned for Peddocks Island, which has made significant improvements to basic infrastructure as redevelopment planning has moved along.
  • Operations crew is focusing on the camping islands, storm clean up, opening trails, and improving campsites.
  • The Georges Island backup generator fuel tank was able to be refueled in late December. The solar system was struck by lightening last summer and is now operating at 30%. Will be working on this.
  • Working with NPS and BHN to update the event tent space on Georges Island before the 2020 season.
  • Seasonal staffing roster is set.
  • Got a plow for Spectacle, which will be a huge upgrade, and approval for a small packer truck on Spectacle.
  • Have been working on Peddocks Master Planning and ferry planning.

City of Bostin, presented by Chris Cook

  • Vision setting for the resilient Boston Harbor continues.
  • Climate Ready Dorchester is being activated.
    • Thank you to DCR for allowing both of those initiatives to continue.
  • NAACP conference is coming to Boston, this will be an opportunity to explore the complete history of our city and help write the future vision.

Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council, presented by Rob Moir

  • Suspended status continues.
  • Individual members continue to speak out to promote the harbor and islands outside of their official capacity.

Public Comment

Suzanne Gall Marsh, Friends of Boston Harbor Islands, shared that the Patriot Ledge did a nice story on the New Years Day trip to Thompson Island, which had 120 visitors.

Fred Laskey suggested holding all future meetings in NPS offices as a convenient location.

Adjournment

Fred Laskey requested a motion to adjourn the meeting. Michael Creasey made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Kathy Abbott. Motion passed unanimously and meeting adjourned at 4:30 pm.

November 19, 2019

Meeting Minutes

Wilmer Hale Offices, State Street, Boston, MA

3:00-4:30 pm

Attendance

Kathy Abbott, Boston Harbor Now
CDR Taylor Lam, United States Coast Guard
CAPT Eric Doucette, United States Coast Guard
Marc Albert, National Park Service
Carolyn Fiore, MA Water Resources Authority
Fred Laskey, MA Water Resources Authority
Andrew Hargens, MassPort Authority
Priscilla Geigis, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Susan Kane, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Alicia Leuba, The Trustees of Reservations
Richard McGuinness, Boston Planning and Development Agency
Arthur Pearson, Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center
Chris Cook, City of Boston
Maureen Cavanaugh, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*
Rob Moir, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*
Elizabeth Solomon, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*

*Representing personal opinions only during time period of advisory council

Call to Order and Introductions

Chairman Laskey called meeting to order at 3:06 pm.

Minutes from previous meeting were distributed. Motion from Kathy Abbott to approve the minutes as distributed. Motion seconded by Marc Albert. Motion to adopt minutes as distributed was approved unanimously.

Chairman Laskey welcomed Jim Montgomery, the new Interim Director for MA Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Presentation & Public Input

Partnership members each presented their organization’s 2019 accomplishments that support the mission of the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership.

The meeting was open for public input after each partner’s presentation. Below is a record of all public input.

Massachusetts Port Authority, presented by Andrew Hargens

No Public Input

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, presented by Susan Kane

(Q) Elizabeth Solomon requested that information on archeology work for the electrification project be shared.

(Q) Elizabeth Solomon requested that data on gender and race of participants in the Historic Preservation Corps be shared.

(Q) Susanne Gall Marsh requested that Partnership be updated on Gallops Island.

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, presented by Carolyn Fiore

(Q) Elizabeth Solomon expressed concerns that the new Irish memorial at Deer Island was placed on a site that is significant to Native American communities, in addition to Irish American immigrants. Further concern was expressed that the memorial was placed on top of a bench that had been funded and installed by the Nipmuc, which is the only memorial in place for Native Americans on the island.

(A) Fred Laskey responded to concerns and shared that the memorial was placed without knowledge of any existing memorialization. Shared that MWRA is currently working to develop funds for a Native American memorial at Deer Island and has requested assistance from NPS.

Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center, presented by Arthur Pearson

No Public Input

United States Coast Guard Command Sector Boston, presented by CAPT Eric Doucette

(Q) Arthur Pearson inquired if USCG is synchronized with Boston Police Department (BPD) for incidents like active shooters.

(A) CAPT Doucette confirmed close coordination between USCG and BPD and shared an example of a recent well-coordinated response.

(Q) Maureen Cavanaugh shared everyone’s appreciation of last meeting’s tour of the Command Sector Boston.

(Q) Suzanne Gall Marsh inquired about future public access to Little Brewster Island.

(A) CAPT Doucette responded that recent storms have delivered huge blows to the island and presented significant challenges to providing things like electricity, heat, oil, sewage removal, and water. Shared that the island is currently uninhabitable, but is checked by USCG staff bi-weekly. Furthered that a lot of preservation work has been complete while the island has been closed but that public access is still years away.

The Trustees of Reservations, presented by Andrew Gallagher

(Q) Elizabeth Solomon inquired if there are discussions of an archeological survey in the development plans for the entrance parking lot and education building.

(A)Alicia Leuba responded that archeological survey work is always included in planning processes and is already complete.

National Parks of Boston, presented by Marc Albert

No Public Input

Boston Harbor Now, presented by Kathy Abbott

No Public Input

Boston Planning and Development Agency, presented by Richard McGuinness

No Public Input

Suzanne Gall Marsh spoke on behalf of Friends of Boston Harbor Islands (FBHI). Shared that the recent annual meeting went well, with a tour of the Deer Island treatment plant. Invited all to attend the annual New Years Day trip to Thompson Island. Shared that in 2019, FBHI and Old South Meeting House co-presented a series on Boston Harbor Island Resilience and Change. Passed around booklets to celebrate the 40th anniversary of FBHI, asked everyone to reach out if copies are needed. Booklets are free of charge to all.

Fred Laskey implored everyone to celebrate the accomplishments of the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership over the past year; with progress made on every front, from education and youth programs to construction and preservation. Asked everyone to take pride in all that the Partnership has accomplished this year.

Adjournment

Motion to adjourn by Marc Albert. Seconded by Arthur Pearson. Motion passed unanimously. Meeting adjourned.

September 17, 2019

Meeting Minutes

USCG Command Sector Boston
3:00-3:30 pm

Attendance:

Chris Cook, City of Boston
Maureen Cavanaugh, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*
Richard McGuinness, Boston Planning and Development Agency
Priscilla Geigis, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Marc Albert, National Park Service
Fred Laskey, MA Water Resource Authority
Carolyn Fiore, MA Water Resource Authority
Arthur Pearson, Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center
CAPT Eric Doucette, United States Coast Guard
CDR Taylor Lam, United States Coast Guard
Jocelyn Forbush, Trustees of Reservations
Jack Murray, Boston Harbor Now

Call to Order and Introductions

Chairman Laskey called meeting to order at 3:02 pm.

Welcome from CAPT Doucette with a reminder that Boston is the birthplace of the United States Coast Guard; Boston Light was the first commissioned lighthouse in the country, first cutter was built in Newburyport, first lifesaving stations were built along the MA coastline.

Minutes from previous meeting were distributed. Motion from Priscilla Geigis to approve the minutes. Motion seconded by Marc Albert. Motion to adopt minutes as distributed was approved unanimously.

Report-Outs

City of Boston, presented by Chris Cook

  • Announced the kickoff to Climate Ready Dorchester planning on September 25. City will be asking all partners to come together and drive community input for the planning process.


Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council, presented by Maureen Cavanaugh*

  • Shared that Advisory Council continues to work to move out of suspended status.


Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), presented by Richard McGuinness

  • Announced that new guidelines for building retrofits to account for sea level rise have been approved. Next step is to remove zoning challenges related to definition of building.
  • Shared that BPDA has applied for a FEMA pre-disaster planning grant.


MA Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), presented by Priscilla Geigis

  • Announced retirement of Commissioner Leo Roy and extended gratitude for all of his efforts to promote the Harbor Islands.
  • Shared that upcoming projects include meeting with folks in Hull for Master Development Planning and meeting with both City of Boston and DCR officials to work on a partnership strategy to embrace Climate Ready Boston.

National Park Service (NPS), presented by Marc Albert

  • Shared that NPS hosted three conservation corps this summer. Crews built picnic tables, removed invasive plants, built trails, and more. One youth reported, “[While camping on Georges Island] I liked learning about how this place used to be important to Boston, and now we can protect it and visit it.”
  • Announced that NPS has concluded its 10th year of the Coastal Breeding Bird monitoring program with the first documented case of a great blue heron nesting within the park. The full report will come out this winter. One trend that will be noted is the decline in wading birds. NPS will be funding a two-year study to investigate this decline.
  • Shared that stewardship projects will continue through October, before shifting to World’s End for the winter season.
  • Offered congratulations to Friends of Boston Harbor Islands on the completion of a new booklet to honor the 40th anniversary of the organization.
  • Shared that the Public Archeology Lab (PAL) will be assessing the eligibility of multiple above ground sites across the Harbor Islands for a national register nomination.

MA Water Resource Authority (MWRA), presented by Fred Laskey

  • Shared that MWRA has submitted a proposal to the NPS for assistance in funding to design, create, and install a memorial for Native Americans who were interned on Deer Island during King Philip’s War.

MWRA, presented by Carolyn Fiore

  • Shared that fishing pier construction is underway on Deer Island.

Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center (TIOBEC), presented by Arthur Pearson

  • Offered gratitude to NPS for stewardship work on habitat restoration this summer.
  • Announced that TIOBEC is the recipient of the 2019 Lands End Love Learning Summer Learning Award, awarded by the National Summer Learning Association to organizations that provide safe and healthy learning environments every summer. The National Summer Learning Association has also recognized the 10th anniversary of Boston’s citywide summer learning initiative.
  • Shared that TIOBEC is working with PAL to complete archeological surveys related to work along the water main. PAL will be converting a 1990s-era survey into a shareable form to be used in youth education in conjunction with oral history developed with assistance from Kristen Wymen. This work will help acknowledge the education that has been taking place on Thompson Island long before TIOBEC existed.

United Stated Coast Guard (USCG), presented by CAPT Eric Doucette

• Reminded all of the marine accident that took place at Long Island last month. Shared that USCG is a
resource for all Partners, from evacuations to any emergency needs.
• Announced that CDR Lam has been selected as Captain and has been admitted to Harvard University
for a National Security Fellowship.
Jocelyn Forbush, Trustees of Reservations (TTOR)
• Shared that TTOR will be raising funds for a new welcome center to accommodate a significant
increase in visitation at Worlds End.
• Announced that a new waterfront initiative will be focusing on waterfront parks, with potential
opportunities in east Boston and in the North End; more information to follow in next few months.
Jack Murray, Boston Harbor Now (BHN)
• Shared data with thoughts on analysis from this season’s visitation:

o Almost 400 public program on Islands;
o Visitation increase of 12.5% ;
o Visitation trended down in previous few years and is starting to come back up this year;
o Increase likely due to BHN’s investments in marketing.

• Provided an update that the Peddocks Island draft report will likely be complete in December.
• Shared that BHN, City of Boston, NPS, and University of Massachusetts Boston are working together
to form a Living Lab. MOA is currently in draft stages. Next step will be to put together a funding
proposal to develop methodologies to study sea level rise and storm surge data.
• Provided an update on BHN Requests for Proposal (RFP):

o Transportation RFP will be coming out mid-October;
o Greenway pavilion activation RFP has closed, BHN is reviewing proposals now.

• Announced the 35th anniversary of Harbor Walk this year. BHN will be helping to commemorate with a special speaker forum to include former elected officials and original members of the Boston Harborwalk Advisory Committee.


Massachusetts Port Authority (MassPort), presented by Connor LeBlanc

• Announced that the World Trade Center commonwealth pier revitalization project has been approved. Still working through the permitting process, but once complete, investments will be
made in water transportation infrastructure.
• Shared that the Institute for Contemporary Art in the East Boston shipyard has completed its second
successful season.
• Shared that MassPort will be meeting with BHN and NPS to explore ways to promote the parts of the
Harbor Islands that are within MassPort’s jurisdiction.

Public Comment

  • Paul Federico, Friends of Boston Harbor Islands Board of Directors, shared that 40th anniversary booklets are available today for all Partnership members.

Adjournment

Motion to adjourn meeting by Priscilla Geigis, seconded by Marc Albert. Motion to adjourn approved unanimously. Meeting was adjourned at 3:30 pm and all attendees enjoyed a tour led by USCG.

July 16, 2019

Meeting Minutes

Onboard the MVAbigail and on Peddocks Island
1:45-5:00 pm

Attendance:

Fred Laskey, MA Water Resource Authority
Michael Creasey, National Park Service
CAPT Eric Doucette, United States Coast Guard
CDR Taylor Lam, United States Coast Guard
Leo Roy, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Priscilla Geigis, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Richard McGuinness, Boston Planning and Development Agency
Kathy Abbott, Boston Harbor NOW
Maureen Cavanaugh, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*
*Representing personal opinions only during time period of advisory council suspension.

Call to Order and Introductions

Chairman Laskey called meeting to order at 2:12 pm onboard the MV Abigail.

Minutes from previous meeting were distributed. Request from CDR Taylor Lam to modify meeting minutes from “eel cutter” to “eagle cutter.” Motion from Leo Roy to approve the minutes with CDR Lam’s modification. Motion seconded by Kathy Abbott. Minutes approved unanimously as amended.

Report-Outs

Boston Planning and Development Agency, presented by Richard McGuiness

  • Announced a workshop at BSA tonight at 6:00 pm to discuss climate change on the North End.


Boston Harbor Now, presented by Kathy Abbott

Announced:

  • Ads for the islands are up on public transit lines.
  • Spectacle on Spectacle had a record year for fundraising with almost 500 attendees.
  • BHN is releasing an RFI for Greenway activation on Thursday.
  • A draft RFP for the concessions contract on Spectacle and Georges Island and an RFI for a Peddocks pilot opportunity will follow.
  • The new trip planning website has reached 1.2 million views.

MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, presented by Leo Roy

  • Shared that moorings are in, totaling 75 new moorings with 35-40 planned to go in in the future.


Massachusetts Water Resource Authority, presented by Fred Laskey

  • Announced that construction on the fishing pier at Deer Island started today.

National Parks of Boston, presented by Michael Creasey

Reported:

  • All Hands on Deck Day of Stewardship on Peddocks Island was a huge success. Thanks to DCR for hosting.
  • Forty-eight Youth Conservation Corps employees are active in the parks facilitating camp experiences, building story-telling skills, running pop-up programming, and caring for park resources.
  • Harbor Discovery Camps start this week. Campers from Yawkee Boys and Girls Club will be on Georges today, Peddocks tomorrow, and Spectacle on Thursday.
  • Place-Based Boston summer teacher institute is next week, 7/22-26.
  • Stewardship Thursday and Saturday programs continue to connect volunteers directly to public lands through hands-on work on multiple islands.
  • Interns from UMass Boston and Brandeis are providing tremendous support for science, managing key habitats, and running our community volunteer programs.
  • We continue to work with BHN, Stone Foundation, UMass Boston, and other partners on the proposed Stone Living Lab at Boston Harbor Islands. Trip to NYC to learn about Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay was helpful.
  • Volunteers and the SCA Historic Preservation Crew have successfully planted 3,800 native plants from 8 species around the freshwater marsh areas on Grape and Thompson Islands. Deer fencing has been erected on Grape and staff is now working on keeping plants watered and the sites weeded as they get established.
  • Two years of monthly seal inventories have been funded by Mass Environmental Trust and are being led by Stephanie Wood at UMass Boston in partnership with NPS.
  • Long term monitoring of key species and habitats is ongoing throughout the islands: Coastal breeding birds, rocky intertidal communities, and small mammals are highlights.

Update on the Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council:

  • On June 14, an executive order was signed to reduce the number of federal advisory councils by ⅓ by September 30.
  • NPS was asked to provide information regarding the efficacy and functionality of the Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council.
  • NPS submitted a justification and is awaiting response.

Presentations

Peddocks Island Planning Update

Jack Murray and Alice Brown, Boston Harbor Now
Cassie Bethoney, Weston and Sampson Design Studio

  • Jack provided an overview of the Peddocks Vision Planning and public engagement process.
  • Alice shared concept boards that will now remain at Peddocks Island for visiting members of the public to see each planning scenario and provide input.
  • Alice shared that all (3) open houses are now complete.
  • Each open house had a drop-in style with substantial public involvement.
  • An addition venue for comment is available through an online survey, which remains open and can be found on the BHN website.
  • Cassie shared results from the open houses.
Top 4 categories, 1600 total votes:

Category

Total Votes

Most Popular Ideas

Education 345 Guided Walks/ Interpretive Signage (82 votes)
Sustainability 313 Renewable Energy (Solar/ Wind/ Hydro) (66 votes)
Recreation 286 Accessible Waterfront Camping (60 votes)
Site Amenities 281 Elevated Boardwalks near Marsh (94 votes)


Questions & Answers
(Q) Rich McGuinness: Asked if open houses shared concepts that have been successful on other islands to provide examples to participants.
(Q) Suzanne Gall Marsh: Agreed that examples would be helpful and suggested adding a question to ask participants what they like about other islands they have visited.
(Q) Michael Creasey: Asked if there were any ideas on how to activate the buildings.
(A) Cassie Bethoney: Responded that participants have shared a wide range of ideas.
(A) Alice Brown: Responded that the pilot Request for Information (RFI) will also generate different ideas.
(Q) Suzanne Gall Marsh: Requested additional information on the pilot RFI.
(A) Alice Brown: Responded that the pilot RFI will capture wide interest on projects that could move forward. Shared that the RFI is delayed and ideas will likely need to focus on next summer.
(A) Cassie Bethoney: Shared that they are currently following up on many leads from public meetings.
(Q) Suzanne Gall Marsh: Asked if the RFI includes building use or is more focused on programming.
(A) Alice Brown: Explained that an RFI was chosen instead of a Request for Proposals (RFP) since this is still an idea generating phase. Elaborated that anything requiring building use would likely be more long term in nature.
(A) Jack Murray: Shared that buildings on island are currently under lease agreements and will generally need more time to develop ideas for their use and require a larger investment. Explained that the necessary legal mechanisms for building use are not yet in place.
(Q) Kathy Abbott: Inquired if ideas could drive the need for legal mechanisms to be implemented.
(A) Susan Kane: Explained that only two buildings are currently open so DCR would need to really look at the different ideas generated.
(Q) Michael Creasey: Asked if access will be included in the RFI.
(Q) Kathy Abbott: Added that access remains to be the greatest challenge for all islands.
(A) Jack Murray: Explained that BHI and partners have discussed many different options.

Partnership Meeting then broke to tour Peddocks Islands.
Following the tour, all attendees returned to the MV Abigail and the meeting was opened for further questions or public comment. There were no further questions or public comment.

Adjournment


Leo Roy made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Kathy Abbott seconded the motion. Motion to adjourn was approved unanimously. Meeting was adjourned a 4:54 pm.



May 21, 2019

Meeting Minutes

EPA Building, 5 Post Office Square, Boston, MA; Leighton Room

3:00- 4:30pm

Attendance:

Normal Mael, Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center Richard McGuinness, City of Boston
Priscilla Geigis, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Leo Roy, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Carolyn Fiore, MA Water Resource Authority
Fred Laskey, MA Water Resource Authority
Michael Creasey, National Park Service
CDR Taylor Lam, United States Coast Guard
Kathy Abbott, Boston Harbor Now
Stewart Dalzell, Mass Port Authority
Maureen Cavanaugh, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*
Heather Deschenes, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*
*Representing personal opinions only during time period of advisory council suspension.

Call to Order and Introductions

Chairman Laskey called meeting to order at 3:08 pm.

Motion made by Michael Creasey to approve the minutes from the previous meeting, seconded by Carolyn Fiore. Minutes unanimously approved as distributed.

Presentations

A Vision for Moakley Park

Allison Perlman, Boston Parks and Recreation Department (PowerPoint presentation)

  • Moakley Park has 60 acres of open space located off Dorchester Bay in South Boston.

  • Space is currently being permitted for field use, but has very few permit requests despite its proximity to many neighborhoods.

  • Local area population around Moakley Park is expected to double in next ten years.

  • Park’s proximity to public housing creates opportunity to offer open space to low income residents.

  • City of Boston is committed to increasing ecological and social values through cleaner air, flood sinks, active recreation, and other community amenities that go beyond organized sports.

  • Moakley is a missing link of the Emerald Necklace.

  • Moakley Park Vision’s guiding principles:

    • Resilient Neighborhoods- Combat existing storm water flooding by developing a low laying berm and connecting an outer berm to existing land features.

    • Diverse Programs- Increase playability through materials and lighting; consider how recreation can remain dynamic and adaptable to changing community needs.

    • Accessibility for All- Stay responsive to community needs; consider who can access the park safely; connect to surrounding neighborhoods; create spaces where youth feel they belong.

  • Next Steps:

    • Coordinate with other agencies;

    • Coordinate with climate-ready South Boston, including Dorchester resilience planning;

    • Preliminary design and technical analysis;

    • Pre-permitting feasibility study;

    • RFI for partnerships in maintenance and operations; and

    • Multi-faceted community engagement strategy.

Questions and Answers

(Q) Michael Creasey: Inquired if the city is considering any activities at Moakley that lead people out to the Boston Harbor and onto the Harbor Islands.
(A) Allison Perlman: Responded that yes, the city will be considering Island access.
(Q) Michael Creasey: Asked what type of entity the city is looking for in the partnership RFI.
(A) Allison Perlman: Responded that the partnership RFI is still in planning stages, but will likely focus on operations and maintenance, in addition to programming.

Water Transportation Plan

Alice Brown, Boston Harbor Now (PowerPoint presentation)

  • Business plans were released last month.

  • Overall goal is to increase the number of people visiting the Harbor Islands.

  • Recognition that the ferry is only one way that people get to the islands, with respect to private boaters in addition to ferry riders.

  • Island access strategy has been through stakeholder workshops, best practices research (studied 6 different ferry services around the country), and an RFI process.

  • Annual visitation to Harbor Islands has fluctuated year-to-year, but overall has remained steady. Economists have reported that current fluctuations are normal, with an average of around 105,000 visitors each year.

  • Next step is to issue an RFP based on recent findings.


Peddocks Island Planning Update
Jack Murray, Boston Harbor Now

  • DCR, NPS, and BHN are working together to develop several potential planning scenarios for Peddocks Island. The planning team has heard requests to have the Partnership review scenarios and to have broader outreach and engagement with Native American communities. Today’s presentation will allow the Partnership opportunity to comment. Peddocks Planning is and will continue to be a very inclusive process.

  • Shared that today’s presentation will prototype the upcoming open houses. Easels have been placed around the room with post-its and markers so that Partnership members and the general public can interact and provide feedback on what they see.

Cheri Ruane, Weston and Sampson Design Studio (PowerPoint presentation)

  • Steps for Peddocks Planning:

    • Research, analysis, and site visits;

    • Workshops with partner agencies;

    • Infrastructure planning;

    • Public engagement- current step;

    • Pilot education program – slated for this and next summer to try out different models and learn what could work; and

    • Master plan development.

  • Plan for public engagement:

    • Open houses have been planned throughout the city.

      • June 12, 2019 at Hingham Public Library, 6 Leavitt St, Hingham from 4-8:00 pm.

      • June 22, 2019 at the Welcome Center, 191 W Atlantic Ave, Boston from 9-2:00 pm.

      • June 27, 2019 at the Pilot House, 32 Atlantic Ave, Boston from 4-8:00 pm.

    • At the top of each hour, there will be a short presentation followed by a “Gallery Walk,” in which participants look at various planning components and vote for scenarios and programming elements.

    • An online survey will allow participation outside of in-person sessions.

Questions and Answers

(Q) Maureen Cavanaugh: Inquired how surveys and open houses will be made accessible to diverse communities.
(A) Cheri Ruane: Responded that Planning Team is using DCR, NPS, and BHN email lists in addition to social media and personal outreach to different communities.
(Q) Michael Creasey: Asked Allison Perlman from City of Boston if they have learned any new strategies for diverse public engagement through the Moakley Park planning process.
(A) Allison Perlman: Responded that a certain group of people is typically reached through mailings, list serves, and all of our usual channels. The City has developed an idea of which neighborhoods are not being reached through usual channels and has identified leaders of each community. Next, City officials will go to community meetings to get information in front of community members.

Meeting broke and time was allotted to look at and engage with Peddocks planning scenarios located around the room.

Report-Outs


City of Boston, presented by Richard McGuiness

  • Shared that for more info on flood plan maps related to the Moakley presentation, check the city’s website.

  • Reported that Boston has developed some unique strategies in zoning layers for flood hazards, including looking at all building types within the floodplain to see how they could be retrofitted. A public engagement process is underway to learn more and provide comment on the overlay district.


Mass Port Authority, presented by Stewart Dalzell

  • Reported that Mass Port is staying in close contact with the Army Corps through the dredging project, with over 4 million cubic yards excavated thus far.

  • Announced that Mass Port has recently launched a public realm initiative to look at public spaces in Boston, updates coming soon.

  • Announced that Commonwealth Pier is in the permitting process for redevelopment and a large part of the building will be removed to create open space. Project is currently under public review.


Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center, presented by Norman Mael

  • Announced that on June 6th Thompson Island will host an annual education conversation with a guest speaker from Bechtel. Let Norm know if you are interested in attending.

  • Shared appreciation for everyone who has helped with water line replacement. Application is pending.


Massachusetts Water Resource Authority, presented by Carolyn Fiore and Fred Laskey

  • Announced that on May 25 there will be an opening ceremony for the Great Hunger Memorial at Deer Island. This memorial will commemorate the hundreds of Irish immigrants who were quarantined and died on the Harbor Islands.


National Parks of Boston, presented by Michael Creasey

  • Announced that ethics guides have gone out to Partnership members to meet our annual training requirement. Please read the guidelines, sign the acknowledgement form, and return it to Angela.

  • Welcomed seasonal staff that will be working out on the Islands all summer and Bob Wilbur, new Deputy Superintendent for National Parks of Boston.

  • Reviewed upcoming Partnership meeting schedule to include July 16th trip to Peddocks Island.

  • Shared NPS programming highlights:

    • 500+ Boston students are going to Spectacle for programming this spring, made possible with support from BHN, NPS, and the National Park Trust.

    • 50 high school students have been selected for youth employment and development programs this summer.

    • Historias de Boston is kicking off again this year to reach Latinx youth.

    • Hill to Harbor is also returning to connect the Dorchester Heights community to the Harbor.

    • A new trip planning site is live, congratulations to Boston Harbor Now on the web design project.

  • Shared that the NPS has some work ahead for Little Brewster Island, will be connecting with USCG.

  • Offered congratulations to Friends of Boston Harbor Islands on a successful 40th anniversary cruise!

  • Shared appreciation for Sonja Plesset of Plymouth Rock Foundation for advancing the living laboratory project with an upcoming trip to the Jamaica Bay Institute in New York to talk about resiliency.


MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, presented by Leo Roy

  • Shared congratulations to Friends of Boston Harbor Islands for the wonderful anniversary cruise.


Boston Harbor Now, presented by Kathy Abbott

  • Welcomed new summer interns at BHN.

  • Shared congratulations and appreciation for Suzanne Gall- Marsh of Friends of Boston Harbor Islands for 40 years of support.

  • Announced that this year’s opening day had the highest turnout ever and that all rangers (DCR & NPS) on island did phenomenal work to make the day special for visitors.

  • Shared that BHN is investing in marketing the Islands this year with plans for radio ads and print ads on subway and in the newspaper.

  • Announced that the park website is now live, with appreciation for an inkind donation from Jack Rabbit and NPS contribution to upgrade the site.

  • Announced that Spectacle of Spectacle is coming up on June 20th, tickets are available.


US Coast Guard, presented by CDR Taylor Lam

  • Announced that on August 9-12 a USCG eagle cutter cadet training ship will be docked in Salem. Encouraged everyone to go see it.

Public Comment


Maureen Cavanaugh: Shared appreciation for the Peddocks Planning Team postponement of public meetings to allow for today’s comment opportunity. Appreciation for NPS and DCR stepping up to capture a diverse group of public interests in light of advisory council’s suspension.

Suzanne Gall Marsh, Founder of Friends of Boston Harbor Islands: Announced that the Gallops Island Monument will find a new home in the Hingham Shipyard, appreciation for those who made this possible.

Adjournment

Motion to adjourn by Michael Creasey, seconded by Priscilla Geigis. Motion approved unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 4:36 pm.




March 19, 2019

Meeting Minutes

Wilmer Hale, 60 State Street, 26th Floor, Boston, MA

Attendance:

Alicia Leuba, The Trustees of Reservations
Arthur Pearson, Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center
Richard McGuiness, City of Boston
Priscilla Geigis, MA Department of Recreation and Conservation
Carolyn Fiore, MA Water Resource Authority
Fred Laskey, MA Water Resource Authority
Michael Creasey, National Park Service
CDR Taylor Lam, United States Coast Guard
Kathy Abbott, Boston Harbor NOW
Cathy Stone, Boston Harbor NOW
Maureen Cavanaugh, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*
Elizabeth Solomon, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*
Rob Moir, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council*
*Representing personal opinions only during time period of advisory council suspension.

Call to Order and Introductions


Chairman Laskey called meeting to order at 3:05 pm.

Motion made by Michael Creasey to approve the minutes from the previous meeting, seconded by Kathy Abbott. Minutes unanimously approved as distributed.

Presentations

Boston Harbor Islands Coastal Science & Adaptation

Marc Albert, National Park Service (PowerPoint Presentation)

Three different projects are happening around the park concurrently.

Woods Hole Group:

  • Developing a regional flood model.

Boston University:

  • Three year study of three sets of islands.
  • Developing a local flood geo-response map to predict resource and facility vulnerability.
  • Using hydrodynamic data collection to capture water level and speed.
  • Mapping site-specific coastal features, resources, and facilities.
  • Collecting bluff retreat rate at some sites.

University of Rhode Island:

  • Atmospheric study of nor'easter hazards at Cape Cod National Seashore, Acadia National Park, and Boston Harbor Islands.
  • Storm vulnerability info can be used to inform planning and decision making.

NPS is working to integrate each study and develop a common language for the way we study coastal changes and develop adaptations.
NPS is hiring a Science Communication Specialist to aid the parks in learning how to discuss climate change with the public.

Living Laboratory for Climate Innovation

Sonja Plesset, Stone Foundation (PowerPoint presentation)

Will answer two questions:

What role do the Boston Harbor Islands play in the overall resiliency of Boston Harbor?

How can we integrate the islands into the climate resiliency plan for Boston and the Massachusetts shoreline?

Progress to date:

  • Steering committee.
  • Technical study.
  • Design charrette.
  • Meetings with regulators and island owners.
  • Planning process for living lab.
  • Living laboratory would test solutions to protect coastline.
  • Focus on public engagement (education tools for K-12, kiosks, guided tours, and access to data and results).
  • Knowledge transfer would ensure that lessons learned are shared around the work, expanding a toolkit beyond MA.

Site selection process:

  • Six possible locations (Gallops/ Nixes Mate, Georges, Rainsford, Peddocks, Thompson, and Long Islands) are being assessed for logistics and broader impacts; like partnerships, education, and recreation.
  • Scientific considerations for site selection include studying high wave interaction and energy, living shoreline, water quality enhancement, diversity of ecosystems, usefulness of dredge materials, etc.
  • Each island is then rated for suitability.

Selection criteria:

  • Logistical suitability for a living lab (infrastructure, owner support, etc.).
  • Broader impacts (educational, partnership, and recreational opportunities).
  • Scientific considerations.

Next Steps:

  • Continue consulting land owners.
  • Complete matric and develop research model.
  • Create organizational structure.
  • Begin baseline conditions work.
  • Hold pre-application discussions with regulators.


Questions and Answers

Michael Creasey: Inquired about timeline of projects.
Marc Albert: Explained that each study has different timeline. Around 2020-2021, there will be some maps and products.
Michael Creasey: Inquired about the ability to apply living lab lessons on a broader scale.
Sonja Plesset: Used seawalls as an example of scale, explaining that Stone can test out different ways to work with seawalls, like how they can be built to provide ecological, recreational, and other benefits.
Then, each can be tested in a “low risk environment,” since islands don’t have critical infrastructure. Results from those tests can be shared with municipalities.
Elizabeth Solomon: Inquired what infrastructure would be necessary for a viable lab.
Sonja Plesset: Explained that partnering with UMass Boston has provided the lab space needed for the project. Infrastructure needs now just include making the island accessible for researchers with water, camping, bathrooms, ADA accessibility, etc.
Marc Albert: Added that the project also would have researchers bring students out, requiring a participatory/ meeting space.
Arthur Pearson: Asked for clarification on range of project going into Maine.
Marc Albert: Clarified that models are site specific, involving Acadia, but not the whole gulf of Maine. Fred Laskey: Asked if models could work on shorelines in addition to on islands and what permits and approvals might be involved.
Sonja Plesset: Provided that a shore-based solution is being evaluated as one option, but that islands offer better solutions due to the lack of critical infrastructure and the ecosystems found on island that don’t exist on-shore.
Marc Albert: Added that in order to attract ongoing research, location needs to be more scientifically-free to protect islands. The host island is not the extent of the research, the host provides the home-base, but the whole archipelago and harbor will be grounds for learning.
Sonja Plesset: Added that an island location gives the living lab more visibility and elevates the basis of study.
Michael Creasey: Inquired about the timeframe for use of dredge material.
Sonja Plesset: Explained that conversations are ongoing to see if rock material can be utilized. Gaining dredge material can be coordinated with Army Corps projects up and down the coast if current materials can’t be used.

Marc Albert: Addressed earlier question on permitting. Gaining approvals will be extensive and difficult, which is why landowner buy-in is so critical.
Rob Moir: Added that as an educator, going out to Deer Island with school groups has been great. Suzanne Gall Marsh: Asked how sites on Gallops and Lovells Islands that with archeological resources will be protected.
Marc Albert: Explained that those are very large areas and each dot just represents a sample site. The whole of some islands are archeological sites.
Cathy Stone: Added that in a meeting with regulators, alternative mechanisms can’t always be approved because they don’t have data, so a lot of this information leads to scaling.
Fred Laskey: Thanked the Stone Foundation for this research on behalf of BHI Partnership.

Resilient Boston Harbor Vision

Alison Brizius and Richard McGuiness, City of Boston (PowerPoint presentation)

  • Mayor Walsh has announced a new vision for a resilient Boston harbor.
  • Vision was created to unify three neighborhood-by-neighborhood analyses.
  • Goal is to create more green space, beaches, and waterfront parks- all to bring more people to the harbor; using the threat of sea level rise to create opportunity.
  • Shared maps with visions for Belle Isle Marsh, Constitution Beach, Downtown, South Boston, Seaport, and Dorchester Heights.


Questions and Answers

Arthur Pearson: Inquired about the use of berms with New Orleans as an example.
Alison Brizius: Explained that barriers can vary, but everything City is doing is still in model-phase right now.
Richard McGuiness: Further clarified that in some cases, physical modifications will include things like subtle elevation changes, parks, etc., not always physical walls and berms.
Alison Brizius: Elaborated that through the creation of green space, views may not need to be blocked. Strategic points can be targeted to block water in order to gain time before further interventions are needed. This will require all agencies working in unison to stitch parcels together and to obtain funding. Richard McGuiness: Explained that the City has applied for a federal pre-disaster mitigation grant for the former Gillette property. The grant is for design, engineering, and construction.
Kathy Abbott: Added that there will also be a need private sector investment.
Michael Creasey: Inquired if the island studies can inform some of this decision making.
Alison Brizius: Answered that City will be doing some immediate short-term interventions, but do need more studies on how to revitalize and protect ecosystems. Island studies will be helpful. The second part of the plan will focus on reducing emissions to mitigate the need for interventions.
Elizabeth Solomon: Asked what timeframe will be used to address the issue.
Alison Brizius: Explained that the planning is not based on a timeframe, but rather on a level of resilience- with planning for 40 inches of sea level rise and 1% annual chance storm, the target is around 2070s, however the overall focus is on climate-readiness.
Elizabeth Solomon: Added that planning for 50 years may not be broad enough.

Alison Brizius: Elaborated that Greater Boston Research Advisory Group continues to assess climate risk and give City new information and projects to inform the planning horizon.
Michael Creasey: Added that the Mayor’s plan to reduce emissions lends itself to a broader longer-range plan.
Alison Brizius: Furthered that implementation of the emissions reduction plan will inform the planning team if 7 feet of projected rise is enough mitigation or if planning is needed for greater rise.
Elizabeth Solomon: Asked what city is doing to encourage developers to plan for resilience, specifically in the Seaport district.
Richard Solomon: Responded that all recent development is done with resilience planning in place, gave examples of elevated floors, additional clearance, LEED certification, etc. Projects 50 SF or greater now have to demonstrate resilience in planning and design. Smart utilities planning requires projects 100,000 SF or greater need to plan for storm water onsite. All development plans for new growth are accounting for resilience. Existing and older buildings are vulnerable and will need protections individually with retrofitting. There are over 86,000 current buildings in the City that need retrofits.
Michael Creasey: Asked what planning is in place for infrastructure.
Alison Brizius: Explained that the city has planned for layered resilience with active participation with MassPort, MBTA, etc.
Richard McGuiness: Furthered that DPW has guidelines for improving sidewalks, roadways, etc. Arthur Pearson: Inquired about impacts on shipping.
Richard McGuiness: Responded that certain areas, like Marine Park, Conway Terminal, etc. need to remain open. Docking and other systems need to be integrated into planning.
Rob Moir: Commented that he is glad to see nature being used as a sponge. Added that there were challenges in the Mystic River last year with loss of fish population.

Peddocks Island Planning Update

Cheri Ruane, Weston & Sampson Design Studio

  • Have started compiling various scenarios for Peddocks.
  • Strategizing for programming and infrastructure needs to support programming.
  • Working to GPS current infrastructure on-island that is deteriorating.
  • Considering pilot projects on-island:
  • One potential is growing oysters in a protected environment that the public can see and learn from.
  • Developing governance and economic conditions analysis of the island.
  • A plan for public engagement has been developed:
  • All information will be presented through a series of open houses so that planning team can learn from the public.


Questions and Answers

Elizabeth Solomon: Inquired if potential scenarios will be presented to the Partnership prior to the open houses.
Cheri Ruane: Responded that the planning team will meet with each organization in advance of public houses, including DCR, NPS, and BHN.
Jack Murray: Elaborated that the next step will be to take draft scenarios to BHI operations committee. Explained that there are no current plans for this to go out to the Partnership as a whole before it becomes public.
Elizabeth Solomon: Clarified that not everyone typically present at Partnership meetings attend the operations committee meetings. Expressed desire for the opportunity for Partnership to review scenarios before open houses.
Rob Moir: Asked if BHN could host something after-hours for the Partnership to review scenarios. Jack Murray: Answered that a Partnership meeting could be scheduled after hours.
Elizabeth Solomon: Expressed concern that there has been no outreach to Native American communities throughout this project.
Cheri Ruane: Explained that no groups have been reached out to yet and that planning for public engagement is happening now.
Elizabeth Solomon: Noted that outreach to Native American communities should not be conflated with outreach to the general public.
Rob Moir: Commented that Native American communities are a part of the Partnership, which was the point of the advisory council.
Kristen Wyman: Added that the advisory council has always been an avenue for public input, reaching Native American communities and beyond. Commented that there does not seem to be a process in place at all for Native American engagement. Expressed that there should be a process for working with advisory council even though they are suspended, since they have historically handled public outreach. Suzanne Gall Marsh: Added that the advisory council is an ambassador to the public and that the suspension should not mean that public engagement cannot happen.
Kristen Wyman: Emphasized that Boston Harbor Islands is a public park that belongs to the American people and that there needs to be an avenue for public engagement beyond a meeting during the business week.
Fred Laskey: Requested clarification in what was being requested. Inquired if this request is for a meeting of the advisory council or for a process of Native American engagement.
Elizabeth Solomon: Responded that the request is for plans to be brought to the Partnership meeting. Added that there has been no consultation with Native American communities. Clarified that engagement is needed, as opposed to a briefing.
Fred Laskey: Asked if a meeting can be set up to consult with Native American communities and the advisory council members.
Jack Murray: Responded that this is possible, but that the project is still in its beginning phases. Emphasized that this is not a secret process and this is the third time the Partnership has been briefed. Michael Creasey: Requested clarification on if this would be a meeting of the advisory council.
Fred Laskey: Clarified that this would not be an advisory council meeting.
Jack Murray: Offered that this could be a consultation with Native American communities specifically or it could be included within the operations committee meeting which is scheduled monthly.
Michael Creasey: Suggested that operations committee meeting would be a more appropriate format. Fred Laskey: Clarified that members of the advisory council could be invited, but not in any official advisory capacity. Also suggested that Native American communities be invited.
Rob Moir: Offered that it is not desirable to include this in an operations committee meeting.
Michael Creasey: Agreed to take all suggestions under consideration. Requested concurrence with DCR staff.
Cathy Stone: Suggested that it would be inconsistent with the culture of the Partnership for Native American communities to not be included. Furthered that it was always the Partnership’s intention to include these communities and develop a greater understanding of the islands.
Marc Albert: Added that there was once a planning committee. If the operations committee is best, then that is fine, but there was once a better format for this type of meeting.
Suzanne Gall Marsh: Noted that islands are under-utilized because of the current boat schedule. Emphasized a need for weekend, fall access via inter-island shuttle service.

Report-Outs


The Trustees of Reservations, presented by Alicia Leuba

Announced that TTOR is working on:

  • Boston Waterfront Initiative.
  • Agreement with MassPort for a feasibility study.
  • Summer youth employment program through the waterfront ambassadors program.
  • Climate Ready Boston.
  • Partnering with UMass on developing coastal strategies to identify areas of high value habitat and public access that are currently unprotected.
  • Developing a state of the coast report to look at TTOR properties and how they are changing over time.
  • Coastal education work at Crane Beach on impacts of sea level rise. Considering pulling together a state-wide conference for adaptation.

Announced that World’s End parking improvements are done, landscape will now be improved. Will now begin replacing heritage trees and reinvesting in landscape to address drainage throughout property.


Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center (TIOBEC), presented by Arthur Pearson

Shared that TIOBEC is currently:

  • Scaling up current partnerships with BPS. In 5 years, the goal is to reach 2,600 kids each year.
  • Working to restore reliable water to island.
  • Preparing for kids coming back next month.

Announced that TIOBEC:

  • Is a tentative designee for a ramp and float system with BPDA.

Received a CPA grant to restore Salah Hall.


City of Boston, presented by Richard McGuiness

Announced that the City of Boston:

  • Has kicked off planning for North End waterfront to look at various sea-level rise scenarios and how we can augment shorelines, including Long and Central Wharf. Scenarios will result in concept designs, and moving quickly on FEMA grant proposals for pre-disaster mitigation.
  • Working on overlay for sea-level zoning districts for high-risk areas with guidelines to retrofit buildings.

Reminded everyone to sign up for email alerts for your neighborhood.


MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, presented by Priscilla Geigis

Shared that MA DCR is currently:

  • Working through summer seasonal hiring.
  • Preparing for leadership academy to begin next month with a focus on working together in a changing climate.
  • Training a new Student Conservation Association crew.
  • Continuing with mooring project with 69 moorings slated for installation by April 27. Phase two will add for 49 additional moorings by fall at Peddocks.


MA Water Resource Authority, presented by Fred Laskey

Announced that MWRA is currently:

  • Using revenue from fish licenses to enhance access to fishing via a new pier at Deer Island.
  • Preparing a new cable to go under the harbor.
  • Putting together a workgroup to think about water transportation.


National Parks of Boston, presented by Michael Creasey

Announced that:

  • Opening Day for public ferries is May 18th.
  • Park and partners are hosting a City Nature Challenge event as part of an international bio blitz April 26-29.
  • Volunteer citizen scientists are looking at coastal breeding in early May.
  • NPS is working with TIOBEC to recruit green ambassador youth program.
  • Beth Jackendoff is preparing for parental leave.

Shared proposed schedule and themes for future BHI Partnership meetings:

  • May 21 to focus on island access, requested ideas/input (Moakely, Pierce, Long Wharf, Charlestown shared as ideas).
  • July 16 trip to Peddocks.
  • September 17, considering inviting U.S. congressional delegation for briefing on Harbor Islands Partnership.


US Coast Guard, presented by CDR Taylor Lam

Thanked BHN for looking at funding options for a floating dock at Brewster Island.
Announced that as cruises resume, USCG is looking to address safety concerns, particularly considering the safety of potable water on island.


Boston Harbor Now, presented by Kathy Abbott

Thanked everyone for all of today’s presentations.
Shared enthusiasm and gratitude for how the City, Commonwealth, islands, and parks are all so engaged and active, with a shared sense of urgency for the changing climate.
Shared that water transportation contract loses money every year. A lot of marketing money that was once infused in the park has stopped.

Announced that BHN:

  • Will be putting substantial funding into marketing ferry access this year.
  • Will be getting two new tents on Spectacle this year funded by CPA grants.
  • Currently recruiting a volunteer manager.
  • Has selected two artists-in-residence for this summer, a poet and quilter.
  • Has scheduled Spectacle on Spectacle for June 20.

Public Comment

Tani Marinovich, new President of Save the Harbor, Save the Bay

  • Announced a Destination Boston Harbor event next Thursday night to honor Patty Foley for her accomplishments over the past 20 years. Email Tani for more info.

Suzanne Gall Marsh, Founder, Friends of Boston Harbor Islands

  • Announced a public cruise on May 5th will celebrate the 40th anniversary of FBHI. Cruise is free and open to the public. Boston Harbor Cruises has donated the boat to be used.

Kristen Wyman, member of the Nipmuc Tribe

  • Encouraged all who are thinking about resilience to consider tribes that have survived mass removal and incarceration on islands. Emphasized that we are in colonized spaces and that Nipmuc is a recognized tribe. Reminded Partnership that there are many different nations that see this as their space. Emphasized the importance of teaching youth about the history of the islands and Native spaces. Expressed concern about Long Island and bridge project with Native American communities not being considered. Encouraged Partnership to remember that you cannot begin a system of resilience starting with the Mayflower’s arrival, but need to consider historic use of places. Requested a more robust Native American engagement process, with a reminder that some communities are not federally recognized and are being left out of engagement processes with the advisory committee’s current suspension. Emphasized that the suspension should not dictate the level of Native American engagement.

Adjournment

Motion to adjourn by Richard McGuiness, seconded Kathy Stone. Motion approved unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 5:00 pm.

November 21, 2018

Meeting Minutes

Wilmer Hale, 60 State Street, 26th Floor, Boston, MA
3:00-4:30 pm

Attendance:

Elizabeth Solomon, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council
Carolyn Fiore, Massachusetts Water Resource Authority
Frederick Laskey, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
CDR Taylor Lam, United States Coast Guard
CAPT Eric Doucette, United States Coast Guard
Kathy Abbott, Boston Harbor Now
Cathy Stone, Boston Harbor Now
Michael Creasey, National Park Service
Arthur Pearson, Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center
Leo Roy, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
Priscilla Geigis, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
Susan Kane, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
Jocelyn Forbush, The Trustees of Reservations
Stewart Dalzell, Massachusetts Port Authority

Call to Order and Introductions

Chairman Fred Laskey called meeting to order at 3:03 PM.
A motion was made by Cathy Stone to approve minutes from previous meeting, seconded by Leo Roy. The minutes of the previous meeting were unanimously approved as distributed.

Presentations

Peddocks Island Master Plan

Cheri Ruane, Weston & Sampson (PowerPoint)

Weston & Sampson reflected on what they heard at the last meeting, including:

  • There are sensitive resources of the island that need to be respected and any re-programming or new elements introduced will consider all cultural sensitivities.

  • Any changes to the island will be done in coordination with DCR, NPS, BHN, and
    all stakeholders with the park’s legislation in mind.

Weston & Sampson had a two day workshop with their project team. They spent one full day at Peddocks and spent the second day visiting other islands. Other accomplishments include:

  • Working on a renewable energy audit to understand the island’s power to produce energy.
  • Reviewing archival documents from DCR to understanding both existing and previous thinking about the island.
  • Considering examples from other cities, ferry schedules, and other logistical components.
  • Have pushed forward a number of the projected scenarios (detailed at previous meeting).
    • Scenarios are being narrowed and focused.

Next steps: On December 18th, there will be a workshop with the steering committee project crew to flesh out each scenario as it relates to permitting, legislation, and financial feasibility. Following the meeting, technical memorandums will be issued and pilot programs will begin next summer.

Questions & Answers
(Q) Elizabeth Solomon- Inquired about public input process.
(A) Cheri Ruane- Public meetings will start in early spring.
(Q) Elizabeth Solomon- Concerned that public input will not be received early enough to be fully incorporated into each pilot.
(A) Cheri Ruane- Explained that the ideas for each pilot need to be fleshed out more so that public meetings will lead to a productive dialogue.
(Q) Michael Creasey- Inquired if each pilot will be more programmatic as opposed to focusing on things like infrastructure and developmental changes.
(A) Cheri Ruane- Confirmed programmatic nature of each pilot, adding that no pilot scenarios will be completely developed at the time of the public meetings. Pilots will align with permitting requirements, legislation, the mission of DCR, but won’t be fully developed until public meetings are held and comment is received.
(Q) Marc Albert- Inquired about moving master planning beyond programming to include plans for development within the context of a public engagement process.
(A) Cheri Ruane- Explained that each pilot will first be clarified (to fully understand the challenges each pilot presents) then full landscape strategies will begin to be folded in.

Thompson Island Water Line and Dock Construction Opportunities

Arthur Pearson, Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center (TIOBEC)

Two big opportunities exist for us to be better stewards of Thompson Island.

  • Opportunity #1: Create an inclusive gateway to the island for local area students.
    • Current island access begins at a dock at Berth 10 inside the seaport (built in early 1990s).
    • TIOBEC wants to upgrade this access point and share it widely.
    • Have submitted a proposal to BPDA to build a new dock system that is fully accessible.
      • Proposal would replace the dock in its current location but reduce the dock’s slope at all tidal levels to meet compliance standards.
      • If funded, TIOBEC would consider sharing dock space with any interested parties.
  • Opportunity #2: Provide running water on island for this and future generations.
    • Current water delivery system is through a pipeline (constructed in the 1950s) that connects Thompson Island with Squantum and Quincy through a narrow strip of land under water.
    • On September 23rd, water stopped flowing to Thompson Island due to a breach in the pipeline.
    • TIOBEC spent 2-3 weeks isolating the site of the leak with help from a dive team.
    • Eventually, the pipeline was patched and water came back on.
    • Without water, staff at TIOBEC successfully continued to provide programming with creative use of a barge, water trucks, and portable restrooms, which was not easy nor inexpensive.
    • A total replacement will need to be considered as the current pipeline is aged and susceptible to corrosion.
      • TIOBEC has received varying rough estimates ranging from $600,000 to 1.9 million; all from engineers with very different design ideas.

Questions & Answers
(Q) Elizabeth Solomon- Expressed concern for archeological sensitivity of pipeline area (existing and future) and voiced need to consider use of techniques that ensure that archeological sites are not disturbed.
(A) Arthur Pearson- Ensured all that TIOBEC has knowledge of archeological considerations and will utilize all necessary consultants throughout the planning process.

Harbor Dredging Update

Stewart Dalzell, Massachusetts Port Authority (Powerpoint)

MassPort, Army Corps, and other agencies have been working together to look at deepening the harbor for a long time.

  • Current Dredging Plans:
    • Deepen the entrance channel (-51’).
    • Deepen areas leading up the reserve (-47’). o Deepen outer channel (-51’).
    • Deepen inner harbor and anchorage off deer island (-47’).
    • Operate 2-3 dredging systems at same time in different locations, starting late summer.
  • All plans are currently ahead of anticipated schedule.
  • After dredging, MassPort will have an estimated 12 million yd3 of gravel, silt, and clay; in addition to 380,000 yd3 of rock that will need to be broken up.
    • Materials will be taken to a Mass Bay disposal site ~20 miles off shore, adjacent to an industrial waste site.
    • Army Corps is open to alternative plans for dredge waste.
  • Project timeline:
    • Partnering Agreement Execution- September 2017.
    • Mechanical Dredging Contract Award- February/ March 2018.
    • Mechanical Dredging Contract Completion- 2021.
    • Fast Rock Removal Contract Start- 2020.
    • Fast Rock Removal Contract Finish- 2021.

Mass Port is working on the following additional projects:

  • Conley Terminal Berth 10 Improvement Project.
    • Constructing new deep-water container ship berth at former Coastal Oil property.
    • Dredging both the new Berth 10 and existing Berth 11 (-50’).
    • Project Timeline:
      • Phase I- Bulkhead, dredging, and rock removal.
        • Construction mobilization- July 2018.
        • Demolition of existing structures and bulkhead installation- ongoing.
        • Dredging and rock removal- Fall of 2018.
        • Work completion- Late 2020.
      • Phase II- Pile driving, deck construction, utilities.
        • Bid has been awarded.
        • Construction commencement- early 2019.
        • Cranes.
          • Proposal accepted, under review.
        • Project completion- 2021.
  • Thomas E. Butler Memorial Park.
    • Located on East First Street in South Boston.
    • Includes a noise buffer for community benefit.
  • Hank Miller Memorial Park.
    • Located on Summer Street in South Boston.

Questions & Answers
None; discussion from audience members about how seamless dredging project has been without interruption to ferry schedules, transportation, etc.

Partnership Investment Reporting

National Parks of Boston, presented by Michael Creasey

  • National Park Service staff would like to capture the amount of non-federal and federal dollars that are spent each year by all Partnership members on projects related to the mission of Boston Harbor Islands. Information was captured in previous years and presented to congressional leadership to display the power that partnerships can have to leverage private sector dollars in support of public lands. NPS requests updates from the group.


Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council, presented by Elizabeth Solomon

  • Council is still suspended and unable to meet, no updates.

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, presented by Carolyn Fiore

  • No updates.

United States Coast Guard, presented by CAPT Eric Doucette and Taylor Lam

  • No updates.

Boston Harbor Now, presented by Kathy Abbott and Cathy Stone

  • Continuing to work on coastal resiliency project with Stone Foundation and other partners to look for potential sites that may or may not work for dredging materials.
  • Water transportation, food service on the islands, and more options will be looked into in the upcoming year.
  • Had a wrap-up for last year’s artists-in-residence program and unveiled a new CRD for the upcoming year’s artist-in-residence program.
  • Thinking about how programs are packaged and marketed, will be adding marketing funds to almost every project proposal to increase marketing efforts in future years.


National Parks of Boston, presented by Michael Creasey

  • Navy Yard Visitor Experience Plan is out and funding has been received from Charlestown (totaling 3 million) to activate the Navy Yard.
    • A new visitor experience center will be added at the DOI Store (slated for design this June).
  • Volunteer program had 3,434 volunteers this year; completing 50,230 hours, totaling $1.2 million in in-kind value.
  • A pilot project to create development opportunities as a pipeline for youth employment has completed its first few years. Hoosac staff would like to take this project to a different level with a focus on local youth. Project will teach trade skills in resource management, landscape preservation, etc. to highlight careers in public lands. There will be a workshop in December 2018 and the park may look to the Partnership to help recommend students to enroll or to participate in creating pathways to employment for program youth.
  • Would like to focus the next Partnership meeting on sustainability and sea level rise impacts. Could have Chris Cook talk about the Boston’s sustainability strategy; Cathy Stone discuss NPS) talk about the park’s work with Boston University.

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, presented by Frederick Laskey

  • Working to replace electrical lines to Deer Island.
  • Moving forward with plans to install a salt water fishing pier off of Deer Island with accessible parking.
    • Working with local residents to address and mitigate concerns of increased access through a congested roadway.

Thompson Island Outward Bound, presented by Arthur Pearson

  • Extended programming at Thompson Island to 9 total schools that have committed to bring all students in grades 5-8 out to the island. This is a significant expansion from past year’s programming.

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, presented by Leo Roy

  • Cemetery renovations on Gallops Island are complete (in this phase). Project found more material than anticipated, which is currently being studied by archeologists. This project provided an interesting study of climate changes impacts on cultural resources.
  • Have improved visitor circulation at World’s End.
    • Added ~100 new parking spaces.
    • Changed driving approach, turnaround, and access.
  • Focused on open space in the harbor and considering East Boston opportunity.
  • Wrapping up coastal strategy planning and may have more info to share at next meeting.
  • Removed 12 dangerous cottages on Peddocks Islands

Public Input

Dalzell Benjamin Glynn, United States Coast Guard: Developing an annex of all islands that will list out the stewards for each, resources available, and more to be on-hand in the event of a spill or other emergency incident.

Next Meeting

Next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 15, 2019; location MassPort.

Adjourn

Motion to adjourn the meeting by Leo Roy, seconded by Chairman Tuxhorn. Meeting adjourned at 4:15 pm.

September 18, 2018

Meeting Minutes

Wilmer Hale, 60 State Street, 26th Floor, Boston, MA
3:00- 4:30pm

Attendance

Frederick Laskey, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
Michael Creasey, National Park Service
Captain Eric Doucette, United States Coast Guard
Leo Roy, Priscilla Geigis, and Susan Kane, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
Laura Gilmore (representing Andrew Hargens), Massachusetts Port Authority
Chris Busch, Boston Planning and Development Agency
Kathy Abbott and Cathy Stone, Boston Harbor Now
Alicia Leuba, The Trustees of Reservations
Elizabeth Solomon and Rob Moir, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council

Call to Order and Introductions

Chairman Fred Laskey called meeting to order at 3:08 PM.
A motion was made by Fred Lansky to approve minutes from previous meeting, seconded by Leo Roy.
The minutes of the previous meeting were unanimously approved as distributed.

Presentations

Cultural Landscape Draft Study
Jeff Killion, National Park Service, Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation (PowerPoint)
A draft cultural landscape inventory (CLI) of Peddock’s Island has been completed. The CLI is a tool that park managers use to establish baseline information on historically layered landscapes. The CLI identifies and documents the size, location, physical development, characteristics, and defining features of assets within a cultural landscape.

DCR Updates and Introduction of the Master Plan for Peddocks Island
Leo Roy, Commissioner, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation

DCR Updates:

  • DCR plans for Gallops Island to excavate and identify the remains, left exposed by a succession of powerful winter storms, and re-inter unclaimed sets of remains on the mainland, which will include restoration of the site, will be delayed until the fall.
  • Mooring permits have been forwarded to local commissions, DCR intends to drop moorings in fall to be ready for spring launch, projected 80-90 moorings.

Peddocks Island:

  • Permitting delays for the demolition of 12 cottages in serious disrepair with safety hazards, are now scheduled for demo in October.
  • Peddocks Plan will look at the island holistically (accounting for both natural and cultural resources) to envision a future. Will embark on a robust public process to determine the vision of the community and meet the recreational needs of future generations. The RFP process is complete, had 11 submissions with 1 selected consultant – Weston & Sampson.

Peddocks Island Master Plan
Jack Murray, Boston Harbor Now and Cheri Ruane, Project Manager, Weston & Sampson

Jack Murray: The premise of planning effort is to create a 21st century park that is sustainable. We would envision the project would have private investments dollars to build a public/private partnership. There are needs for infrastructure improvement, stabilization, and development. Peddocks has seen improvements in past years including new electrical service, sewer service, removal of hazardous structures, and stabilizing existing buildings for re-use, including the development and rehabilitation of a visitor center, chapel, and campgrounds. Weston & Sampson has been awarded the contract after a robust selection process. Will be starting with a nine month planning process.

Cheri Ruane from Weston & Sampson presented the goals outlined in the RFI include utilizing an engaged public process, fostering transformational partnerships, and creating a unique island experience. Weston & Sampson surveyed the island; including ferry service, proximity to other islands, transportation challenges, and the 1999 report that studied stabilization, removal of buildings, and getting utilities onsite. They then developed potential business cases for Peddocks as sample themed options, including: Organic Growth (ecological growth), Living Lab (scientists onsite to develop climate change solutions), Innovation Island (productive landscape), Corporate Partnership (private sector use), and a minimal intervention approach. Each case shows possibilities, but final plan will probably be a combination of many of the alternatives. The next step will be to develop potential scenarios and test pilots on-island to inform the final plan.

Questions & Answers
(Q): Elizabeth Solomon: Concerned with cultural resource preservation on-island and its balance with recreation.
(A): Cheri Ruane: Weston & Sampson will build a robust interdisciplinary team that will ensure a balance of preservation and visitor experience.
(A): Jack Murray: Will have a steering committee that meets quarterly to report on progress. Project is co-funded by DCR and NPS who will ensure preservation of resources.
(Q): Rob Moir: Concerned with current status of advisory council during this period of change.
(A): Michael Creasey: The RFP built public involvement into the process and will present opportunities to engage the public in the planning process.
(A): Leo Roy: The entire process will be open and transparent.

Future Resilience Scenarios for Boston Harbor Islands
Cathy Stone and Sonja Plesset, James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation (PowerPoint)

Cathy Stone: This project was designed to better understand the role that the harbor islands play in protecting the Boston area waterfront from extreme weather events. The harbor islands pose an opportunity to explore how islands could be adapted to reduce wave energy and to identify potential and prevent further erosion that is happening at a rapid pace. People are also exploring the opportunities for island enhancements – i.e. enlarging or altering islands for ecological, recreational, and resilience purposes.

Sonja Plesset: This project has just begun. Stone Foundation has developed a diverse steering committee, commissioned a technical study, and convened a design charrette. The study has found that the islands significantly reduce wave height and energy, protecting the harbor. Possible enhancement locations were identified, including Gallops Islands- Nixes Mate linkage, Rainsford Island, Georges Island Intertidal Enhancement, and the creation of a “New Island” near Pleasure Bay. These ideas were presented at a charrette at Harvard Graduate School of Design that included a broad array of representatives from private foundations, government agencies, and educational institutions. Each group was asked to consider a possible enhancement scenario based on their professional area of expertise. The Stone Foundation will next meet with regulators, owners, and stakeholders to create a decision matrix with public input and begin to rank each potential site.

Partnership Roundtable Updates

Chairman Fred Laskey requests updates from the group.
Massachusetts Port Authority, presented by Laura Gilmore (representing Andrew Hargens)

  • MA Port has been working on development of the public realm, particularly in South Boston. RFQ will be issued for Roseland Building 5 and 6 development opening in October with new housing units. MA Port Marine Terminal is breaking ground in October.

BHI Advisory Council, presented by Rob Moir: No updates; Advisory Council has not been able to meet.

Boston Planning and Development Agency, presented by Chris Busch

  • State grants are starting up this fall, looking at funding mechanisms to enhance shoreline protection in East Boston and Charlestown neighborhood.
  • Another grant moving forward will look at flood resiliency overlay, planning for sea-level rise and zoning that can enhance preparedness with design guidelines to retrofit new buildings.
  • Planning is underway for master planning in Mattapan, the New Market District downtown, and a new community planning process for East Boston.

United States Coast Guard, presented by Captain Doucette

  • Difficult winter last year at Little Brewster Island. USCG has been looking at work there and have had several site visits to evaluate damages.
  • Have had some turnover and are orienting new staff (welcome Commander Lam) to the Harbor Islands.
  • USCG is in recovery mode from island damage last year and is starting to prepare for winter storms this year.

National Park Service, presented by Michael Creasey

  • Looking forward to helping restore Little Brewster Island with USCG and would be hopeful to have future public access.
  • The partnership among DCR, BHN, NPS and Boston Harbor Cruises went well.
  • There was a lot of programming this season; Michael asked NPS staff to provide updates:
    • Lighthouse cruises were a great success (prototyped 15 cruises for almost 800 people).
    • Engaged over 6,000 people at welcome center programs.
    • Brought first time campers to Peddock’s Island for night sky programs, totaling six ranger-led trips.
    • Trails to Freedom Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) crew engaged 144 youth campers, 3 YCC youth interns reached over 900 visitors.
    • Hosted Discovery Camps with DCR and NPS staff, including 4 YCC interns to reach 475 youth from YMCAs and Boys and Girls Clubs.
    • Thompson Island Outward Bound reached 48 YCC, employing 12 Student Conservation Association interns to facilitate programs on-island, with a focus on stewardship and land preservation.
    • Entering third year of a public lands fellowship that teaches youth about careers in public land, efforts this fall will focus on engaging partners in fellowship opportunities.

Boston Harbor Now, presented by Kathy Abbott

  • Raised funds for 485 free programs on island this summer, which brought 35,000 underserved youth on island. Save the Harbor, Save the Bay reached 10,000 people on-island this year.

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, presented by Leo Roy: Gave reports at beginning of meeting, see above.

The Trustees of Reservations, presented by Alicia Leuba

  • Currently developing coastal strategies, will likely have at next meeting.
  • At World’s End, have nearly finished visitor experience and circulation project that addresses transportation and backup issues. About to start landscape restoration project to establish World’s End landscape features.
  • Nick Black reported on the TTOR’s Waterfront Initiative that seeks to create a climate friendly, green, open space along the Harbor.
  • Working through feasibility of project on Pier Point 3 on East End. Working on Climate Ready South End project.

Public Input

Susan Gall-Marsh, Friends of Boston Harbor Islands: Friends are working with DCR and have applied for partnership matching funds to restore the oil house on Lovells Island over the next two years. Have begun fundraising (need $75,000) and have more info about the project on their website. Planning a New Year’s Day trip to Thompson Island.

Resident of Peddocks Island: Looking for information on vacated space on structure being removed. DCR provided additional information.

Save the Harbor, Save the Bay: Offered assistance advancing public concerns during time period in which Advisory Council cannot meet.

Next Meeting

Next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 20, 2018.

Adjourn

Motion to adjourn the meeting by Chairman Laskey, seconded by Leo Roy. Meeting adjourned

May 15, 2018

Meeting Minutes

The Offices of WilmerHale, 60 State Street, Boston
3:00 – 4:30 PM

Attendance

Fred Laskey, MWRA (Chair)
Austin Blackmon, City of Boston (Vice Chair)
Kathy Abbott, Boston Harbor Now
Michael Creasey, National Park Service (NPS)
Stewart Dalzell, Massachusetts Port Authority
Priscilla Geigis, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
Claudia Gelzer, United States Coast Guard (USCG)
Susan Kane, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
CDR Brad Kelly, United States Coast Guard (USCG)
Jocelyn Forbush, The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR)
Richard McGuiness, Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA)
Rob Moir, Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council
Jack Murray, Boston Harbor Now
Leo Roy, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)

Call to Order and Introductions

Chairman Fred Laskey calls meeting to order at 3:08 PM.
Approval of minutes: moved and seconded; approved. A motion was made by Fred Laskey, seconded by Austin Blackmon. The minutes of the previous meeting were unanimously approved as distributed.

Partnership Business

Recognition: The Partnership recognized the following individuals for contributions to advancing the goals of the Partnership relative to Harbor Islands development, stewardship, access and visitor experience:

  • Marianne Connolly (newly retired MWRA): Fred Laskey and Michael Creasey recognized Marianne Connolly’s many public service roles associated with Boston Harbor Islands and other public lands, including land acquisition associated with Pope John Paul Park; MWRA- Improvements to Deer Island MWRA facilities, MWRA Aqueduct Trails (bike and walking paths; 39 miles of trails). MC presented with early map of Boston Harbor, including Deer Island. Marianne recalled early drafts of the park legislation and the number of people who said there wouldn’t be a park to talk about until 2016. Today, Marianne encourages young people to remember that things happen in increments and not to get impatient – things take time, keep believing. Marianne also thanked the Partnership and its membership for support and effort to make the islands a bigger and better part of the Boston metropolitan area
  • Captain Claudia Gelzer, USCG Commanding Officer Sector Boston (retiring): Recognized by Fred Laskey and Michael Creasey. Recognition for oversight of coastal safety, security, and environmental protection from the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border south to Plymouth and for management, oversight and partnership work associated with Boston Light. Presented with framed 1848 harbor map. Claudia: This is a powerful group; spent my career focusing on protecting the water; protecting the islands has been a focus; public access to Little Brewster of prime importance. Thanks to all for continuing to protect the harbor
  • Brad Kelly, USCG Deputy Commanding Officer Sector Boston (heading to new assignment in Canada): Recognized by Fred Laskey and Michael Creasey for leadership service to Sector Boston, including commitment and contributions to public programming and care of Little Brewster and Boston Light. Presented with framed 1700s historic map of Boston harbor and islands. Brad: upon arriving at Boston (from the south) always had a strong appreciation for the islands.

Nomination of New Partnership List

Nominations to be presented to the Secretary. Five positions to fill: two USCG positions (created by Claudia and Brad’s departures); nomination for Cathy Stone has been received; NPS to fill behind Giles Parker; MWRA to fill Marianne Connolly.

Presentations:

Measuring and Modeling Change on the Boston Harbor Islands (see ppt), presented by Marc Albert (Natural Resource and Stewardship Program Manager, NPS), Amanda Babson (NER Climate Change Response Specialist), Zoe Hughes (Boston University, Earth & the Environment, Research Assistant Professor), Julie Wormser (Consultant, Climate Science and Communication)

Marc: overview of project scope and goals:
Work is year one of a three year study supported with federal funding (project title: Inspiring Coastal Change Adaptation through locally scaled vulnerability analysis)

  • Focus year #1: Georges, Lovells and Gallops Islands

  • Focus year #2 (2019): Thompson,

  • Focus Year #3 (2020): Calf, Little Brewster and Great Brewster

Amanda: Findings will help inform partnership practices. BHI partnership as case study for prototyping protocols and assessing possibilities for developing a replicable model.
Zoe: Reviewed key research questions and methodology
Julie Wormser: Science Communication Communication element as key to the study. Three communication methods/audiences developed and prototyped with goal of engaging broad/diverse audiences with varied interests and motivations

  • Communication with partners, stakeholders
  • Science in the Park: summer programming with youth in the parks (coastal change)
  • Crowd sourced citizen science with volunteers posting images and information - - in real time; looking to install picture posts on the islands so that people post their cameras and take shots from the same place for comparisons over time

Marianne Connolly: Asked why Deer Island not included in study; referenced 5-7 years of monitoring and studying at Deer Island which demonstrated accretion as opposed to erosion.
Team response: The suite of islands was selected, in part, to assess impacts on different environmental systems/conditions. Island selections reflect a representative sample. Deer Island was considered and the team was in communication with MWRA. Received notification of non-interest.

USCG comment on management of Little Brewster and Boston Light, presented by USCG CDR Brad Kelly & Captain Claudia Gelzer

Currently there is no MOA or MOU for caring for Little Brewster. USCG, BHN and NPS developed a charter for the relationship and are working on a MOA to define roles and responsibilities relative to management, care and public access/programming associated with Little Brewster. MOA will provide a framework for working together to develop a strategy for long-term management, maintenance and care of Little Brewster.

  • Recent storm damage was significant, which, in part, is resulting in a pause in visitation/public programming. Rather than island visits, working to develop a harbor tour that will include three lighthouses.
  • CG: Long-term, USCG may not be the best caretaker for Little Brewster. It’s not really part of their mission; issue has been raised before; potentially time to re-engage in this conversationUSCG recognized for taking steps to codify relationships with a focus on management, care and public access to/of Little Brewster.

Water Transportation Study (ppt), presented by Alice Brown, Director of Water Transportation, BHN

  • Findings from Water Transportation Strategy
  • Preparing for 2018 season
    • New ferry schedule and loop schedule; reduced ferries in the spring and fall; intra island is only Friday – Sunday
  • Studying visitation (NPS/NER Steven Thompson)
  • Developing an RFP for 2019 - five year contract; RFP to be released after Labor Day (in the process of doing a market analysis to understand value of service and use this to develop draft RFI which will be circulated for feedback)

MC: Transportation study, including data analysis provided by S Thompson, raises a lot of interesting questions: infrastructure, transportation assumptions, island amenities, ferry rates.

Questions:

  • How might we activate the islands in new ways?
  • What is island carrying capacity?
  • How might we increase public interest in the islands?
  • Make the trip worth the while and lead to a return trip?
  • What keeps people on the islands or entices them to come back?

Waterfront Symposium Update, presented by Meera Deean, Director of Planning, BHN

Mayors’ panel discussion May 24

  • Discussion with Mayor Kim Driscoll of Salem, Mayor Thomas McGee of Lynn, and Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston on the harbor’s role in the regional economy, climate resilience, public access and open space, water transportation, and public health and well-being.

May 30: Boston Harbor for All: Advancing Collaborative Action

  • Keynote: Mitchell Silver, NYC Parks Commissioner. Day-long symposium on how to realize the opportunities for great public spaces and parks, more equitable and innovative development, a strong working port, and long-term climate resilience

Partnership Roundtable Updates

Chairman Fred Laskey requests updates from the group.
Boston Harbor Now, presented by Jack Murray

  • Capital planning – received information from all partners except the city and BPDA. Currently have 43 projects totaling 48 million dollars
  • Peddocks Master Plan RFI just released – tour for interested parties June 1, questions by June 10, proposals due June 22; Councils of real estate also partnering on the Peddocks Project - - will assess plan once developed to assess real estate values
  • Army Corps of Engineers – pushing Corps for moorings program for the island; Spectacle marina will be up and running this season.

Massachuetts Port Authority, presented by Stewart Dalzell

  • Continued focus on resiliency per Sustainable Massport (sustainability vision) – looks at waterfront and other parcels; working with Army Corps on harbor dredging project to begin spring or early summer; excited about getting ready to support new berths as part of channel deepening project

Boston Harbor Now, presented by Kathy Abbott

  • Recommends Jim Aloisi’s Massport at 60: Shaping the future since 1956. Great account on the development and history of Boston harbor.
  • June 21 is Spectacle on Spectacle – gala; grant with DPD – daylighting public benefits of the mitigation licenses - - idea is to get more people down to the waterfront and on the harbor walk - - - private sector funding via chapter 91

Department of Conservation and Recreation, presented by Leo Roy

  • Peddocks cottages being removed this month – removing hazardous materials and then taking down the cottages
  • Gallops Island work – renovation to the cemetery, disinterment – goal is to accomplish this work in a low key and respectful way, island is closed and off limits to the public
  • Commissioner is hopeful that the mooring permit will come in – latest word is that DCR will have permits at the end of this week - - DCR has gear and tackle – just waiting for permits.

National Park Service, presented by Michael Creasey

  • Shout out to people who made presentations
  • Codifying USCG agreement, dealing with Little Brewster post storm
  • Jack, Susan and DCR working hard on moorings and upgrades which will make a big visitor first difference this summer
  • BHI newspapers hot off the press tomorrow
  • Season opening will be this Saturday (5/19)– Long Wharf North – Michael, Kathy and Leo (possibly Chris Cook) will be there for ribbon cutting

MA Water Resources Authority, presented by Fred Laskey

  • Signed MOU with fisheries for fishing pier on Deer Island

City of Boston, presented by Austin Blackmon

  • Mayor Walsh hosting international climate conference on June 7 - - 30 mayors with John Kerry keynoting - - mayoral commitment to climate resilience
  • Climate Ready Boston - - pushing forward with that – finishing up shovel ready projects for fort point channel, umass Boston is in the process of finishing harbor barriers study should be distributed later this summer - - feasibility study - - constructing something like a wall will take 30-40 years - - need to do more coastal things in the interim
  • Long Island – Mayor Walsh made it a priority to reconstruct bridge to provide support services for recovery communities - - pursuing permits

Boston Planning and Development Agency, presented by Richard McGuiness

  • Secured approval for downtown redevelopment plan Greenway pavilion to docks; dock reconfiguration; renewed gateways to the islands

United States Coast Guard, presented by CDR Brad Kelly

  • Coast Guard and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection responded to a dielectric oil leak Friday in the Mystic River. Discovered pipe leaking under I-93 bridge in Somerville; it has been dealt with - - no more active leaking, though the ground is saturated; taking steps to remediate
  • Friday, May 18 the USS Constitution will be underway and USCG will be assisting – robust security package
  • Active shooter training on May 23 -taking plan from notification to accessing ferry to assessing and taking action on situation and assisting survivors.

Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council, presented by Rob Moir

  • Teamed up with Donald Blair physicist to measure temperature with depth using DIY techniques; device accurately recorded temperature to depth; currently prototyping different ways to measure temperature and salinity of Boston Harbor water masses (citizen science implications)

Next Meeting

Next meeting scheduled for July 17. Potential trip to the islands. Presentation on work supported by the Stone Foundation.

Adjourn

Chairman Fred Laskey adjourns meeting at 4:31 PM.

March 20, 2018

Meeting Minutes

The Offices of WilmerHale, 60 State Street, Boston
3:00 – 4:30 PM

Attendance

Priscilla Geigis – Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
Susan Kane – Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
Alicia Leuba – The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR)
Richard McGuiness – Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA)
Michael Creasey – National Park Service (NPS)
Chairman Fred Laskey– Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA)
Vice Chairman Austin Blackmon – City of Boston
Arthur Pearson – Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center (TIOBEC)
CDR Brad Kelly – United States Coast Guard (USCG)
Maureen Cavanaugh – Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council (BHI Advisory Council)
Rob Moir – Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council
Jack Murray – Boston Harbor Now
Austin Blackmon – City of Boston
Call to Order and Introductions:
Chairman Fred Laskey calls meeting to order at 3:06 PM. Approval of December 5, 2017
Meeting Minutes
A motion was made by Austin Blackmon, seconded by Fred Laskey. The minutes of the previous meeting were unanimously approved as distributed.

Partnership Business

Storm Impact Discussion
This section supported by images shared via powerpoint. Retrieve ppt from Fred Laskey.
Massport:

  • Flood barriers were deployed to protect electrical equipment and other important assets. In order to save time and effort, some may stay up semi-permanently.
  • Communication and logistics for barrier implementation was the biggest challenge, but all in all it was pretty successful.

DCR: Susan Kane

  • At Nantasket Beach, water flooded completely down Nantasket Ave for the first time in at least ten years. Water overtopped the storm barricades, filled in the labor yard and flooded many buildings. At one point, they had to pull vehicles out because the water was flooding into truck cabs. Large sections of sidewalk and roadway were dislodged.The islands also suffered a great deal of damage, thankfully most of it was not to the docks. On Spectacle, the yurt dome came off and skin was ripped, which needs repair. On Georges, sea wall damage continues to be a threat. In Hingham, the commuter boat walkway structure is damaged. The long wooden pier separating the DCR and MBTA buildings and the buildings flooded. MBTA and DCR will need to work together to address this so it doesn’t impact ferry service.

USCG: CDR Brad Kelly

  • The boardwalk has come loose and Run into the historic boathouse on Little Brewster. These two structures have been damaged several times in recent storms. Discussions are happening to determine if they can repair it by summer season, but USCG needs to prioritize “operationally significant” resources.

TIOBEC: Arthur Pearson

  • Thompson Island’s pavilion was almost completely surrounded by water in the flood. The structure is raised up so water can go under it, which it did, so they felt fortunate that they had taken precautions to protect it. Great damage was sustained to the wave wall, which will be tested in upcoming storms. Pipe burst in Lewis caused major damage and has redirected staff time and resources away from island clean-up and opening preparations.

The Trustees: Alicia Leuba

  • There was serious flooding out to and between the two drumlins, but with fairly little damage. Most of the damage was tree damage which will take a lot of work clean up, despite crews coming out from across the state.

MWRA: Fred Laskey

  • Deer Island’s sea walls were remarkably successful during the flood. The biggest challenge was road flooding, preventing access to the facility.
  • As a group, we should chronicle photos that show harbor impacts as we go through these historic changes. We have collected some here, but partners should feel free to add to these as we move forward.

Capital Plan Roll Up

Jack Murray (BHN):

The goal of this plan is to assess partner needs in a way that allows us to maximize our collective impact over the years to come. By having assessments ready, partners will be able to support each other when opportunities to fund projects arise. Some examples of how this has worked in the past include:

  • DCR and NPS did an assessment of piers on Peddocks, Spectacle, and Georges Islands, which made us eligible for $10,000 of NPS funding for those repairs
  • Preparedness of a $15 million capital plan on Georges Island
  • Funding preparation enabled us to be eligible for repairs to Little Brewster’s float system
  • Kathy Abbott’s successful plan to get water to Peddocks, which involved running utility lines from Hull

We have been eligible for this funding because we have been prepared with reports when opportunities come up. In order to be as prepared as possible, the partnership will gather an inventory of needs so that we can be eligible for as much funding as possible. We’re well on our way to compiling a partnership-wide inventory of needs and capital plans. Phil Griffiths (formerly of Boston Harbor Island Alliance) will be returning to help put this document together.

Alicia Leuba (TTOR):
TTOR provided 3 projects that are high on the “need list,” but the “wish list” is much longer. Is this supposed to be a “needs” list or a “wish” list, because those two things look very different.
Jack Murray (BHN): It can be helpful to put everything in case any partner can provide resources, but it may also be best to avoid getting the public’s hopes up. It is up to each partner to make that call. BHN may not be in the position to fundraise around these projects right now, but in the future may have the opportunity to fundraise for priority projects identified in this plan.
Maureen Cavanaugh (BHI Advisory Council): What will be the opportunities for the public to provide input for this document? The advisory council is on a hiatus, but how can we make room for public voice?
Jack Murray (BHN): At this point we are identifying projects that are already on the horizon for these groups. Kathy Abbott is looking at opportunities to leave room for input without letting this program grow exponentially.
Rob Moir (BHI Advisory Council): This is something that should be a comprehensive document. It’s a good opportunity to clue the public in early to what’s going on.
Fred Laskey (MWRA): If a wish list is created representing all the needs and wants, and we don’t accomplish everything, we need to find a way to focus on our accomplishments and focus on items we may not accomplish.
Rob Moir (BHI Advisory Council): It’s not a question of identifying which projects are most popular, it’s about having useful access to this information.
Michael Creasey (NPS): This is a great opportunity for us to get a sense of our collective impact. It can serve as a check-in point to see where we are and find new ways to collaborate, leverage resources and look at where we’re going.
Priscilla Geigis (DCR): This is a great way to get everything out on the table as a first step. If we follow this step by step process, we can identify and pursue more accurately targeted projects.

Engaging Youth: Harbor Islands Youth Employment and Development Programs
Liza Stearns (NPS)

The Boston Harbor Islands Partnership can engage youth as a collective to forge strong connections between people, the islands and resource stewardship.

Liza Stearns (NPS) introduces Celena Illuzzi (formerly of Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation) as the new National Parks of Boston Youth Employment and Development Specialist.

Hill to Harbor Corps: Celena Illuzzi (NPS)

  • Hill to Harbor Corps is a collaborative project between NPS, DCR and BHN. It employs 15-18 year old youth to facilitate recreational and educational experiences for even younger people (YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, Boston Centers for Youth and Families camp groups).
  • Outcomes for youth employees include leadership, civic engagement, resource awareness and resource stewardship.
  • Each program starts in the club, campers visit Georges, Spectacle, and Peddocks Islands for day long experiences and finish with a culminating art reflection experience back at their club.

Thompson Island Green Ambassadors: Jay Esty (TIOBEC)

  • The Green Ambassadors program is a collaboration between NPS and TIOBEC which provides summer employment for (35-40) 15-18 year old Boston youth.
  • It provides opportunities for professional development, environmental sciences, character and socioemotional learning throughout the summer. Interns perform work on each of the islands that they are visiting, with an emphasis on developing STEM skills. Through a sequence of three, 7-week summers, interns develop environmental stewardship, team building and career readiness skills and are introduced to academic and professional pathways to pursue their interests.


All Access Boston Harbor: Chris Mancini (Save the Harbor/Save the Bay)

  • Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s All Access Boson Harbor provides 15-18 year old youth employees with opportunities to introduce Greater Boston youth (ages 7-12) to the harbor islands through recreation and education, including hands-on STEM activities.
  • Interns learn how we can utilize the Boston harbor as a resource for recreation and education. There is a focus on increasing positive health outcomes and setting interns up for long term success in professional and academic realms.
  • All Access Boston Harbor partners with Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, and smaller community groups throughout greater Boston area. They take 28 trips per year, engaging 10,000 youth and families from 43 communities.
  • The program employs 19 Boston teens as Junior Program Assistants.


New England Aquarium Live Blue Ambassadors: Marc Albert (NPS) – presenting for Lucy Indge (NEAQ)

  • The Live Blue Ambassadors program engages teens in hands on service projects in the coastal area. They are connected mostly through Stewardship Saturdays.
  • Eight teens provide support on NPS stewardship projects every Saturday for most of the year. They’re also taking the lead on MIMIC project to collect and share critical data as part of the marine invader monitoring and information collaborative.
  • Through their work wit Stewardship Saturday, they train volunteers in MIMIC protocols and associated citizen science activities.


AmeriCorps Preservation Program: Peter Seweryn, DCR

  • The AmeriCorps Preservation Program focuses on developing skills to maintain and preserve historic structures on the Boston Harbor Islands. Last summer, they completed projects on Georges, Peddocks and Bumpkin Islands. On Georges, they assessed windows, repaired and reinstalled some and painted over other boards to give visitors a better sense of what Fort Warren used to look like. They also repaired and replaced some flooring. On Peddocks Island, they cleared and replaced the stairway that connects campground to the Visitor center. On Bumpkin Island, they rehabbed windows, masonry and flooring. This year, they have doubled in size and will continue to work on these and similar projects.


Liza Stearns (NPS): This group demonstrates incredible initiative and effort to get young people out to our islands. Some attributes of successful teen-centric youth employment are:

  • Authentic work and needs
  • Opportunities to work with professionals/experts
  • Youth voice
  • Strategic recruitment
  • Thoughtfully structured scope and sequence
  • Age-appropriate practice
  • Culturally responsive practice
  • Evaluation metrics and methods
  • Family and school-year connections
  • Systemic endorsement – everyone understands value of involving youth

Partnership Roundtable Updates

Chairman Fred Laskey requests updates from the group.
Massachuetts Water Resources Authority, presented by Fred Laskey: Marianne Connolly retired.

Boston Harbor Now, presented by Jack Murray

  • The ferry schedule is being finalized. The hope is to allow the public as many opportunities as possible for people to get to our park.
  • Ferry schedule will go live on March 28. Camping opportunities will follow.
  • They are currently consulting plans to do island repairs.
  • They will continue planning with the concessioner to increase corporate events and support the public side of island activities.

National Park Service, presented by Marc Albert

  • Thanks Susan for taking lead on partnerships operations committee for so long. Marc will now serve as chair for operations piece of those meetings, and Jack Murray will chair the water transportation piece.
  • For stewardship updates, the storms caused significant damage to natural and cultural resources on the islands. The salt marsh on Peddocks was covered by rocks, and the waves exposed historic resources on other islands.

Arthur (TIOBEC): Will that impact the breeding birds?
Marc Albert (NPS): It might be okay, but Audubon, DCR and NPS are working together on a full monitoring season.

BHI Advisory Council, presented by Maureen Cavanaugh

  • The Advisory Council is still suspended, is there any update?
  • Some Advisory Councils are being reinstated. Is there anything ours can be doing?

Michael Creasey (NPS): There are a handful of Advisory Councils that have been approved to reconvene, but he has heard nothing so far that would be relevant to the BHI Advisory Council. As soon as he does, he will inform the council members.

United States Coast Guard, presented by CDR Brad Kelly

  • The Coast Guard had a big ice breaking season in December, breaking out facilities to get fuel in etc.
  • The search and rescue season is coming up, and they are partnering with local teams to prepare for the 4th of July and the Boston Marathon.
  • Leadership changes are coming to USCG - A new Sector Commander will be coming in and CDR Brad Kelly will also be leaving.

Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center, presented by Arthur Pearson

  • TIOBEC’s biggest projects coming up are onboarding, training staff and focusing on storm damages. The first students show up in late April and programming is expanding to include a new school from East Boston.

City of Boston, presented by Austin Blackmon

  • The City of Boston has been rededicating itself to work on adapting to climate change.
  • The Boston Harbor Barrier Study will be set to wrap up this summer, which will have important applications for all BHI Partners.

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, presented by Fred Laskey

  • The new fishing pier will require more parking spaces, so they are adding 40 additional parking spaces around fishing pier in the next year.

National Park Service, presented by Michael Creasey

  • National Parks of Boston is official as signed by the new Regional Director. It will continue to focus on youth engagement, planning for collective impact, and using the arts to tell our stories.

Boston Planning and Development Agency, presented by Richard McGuiness

  • The five year capital plan, including an assessment of Long Wharf, The Downtown Waterfront Municipal Harbor Plan, should be approved this spring.

The Trustees of Reservation, presented by Alicia Leuba

  • Worlds End broke ground on long awaited circulation and parking project to reconfigure traffic circulations to prevent backups. They are also adding 30 additional parking spaces to their lot. They are in the final planning stages of a landscape restoration plan to restore the park to Olmsted’s design.

Department of Conservation and Recreation, presented by Susan Kane

  • Much of Georges Island is covered with debris and cobble which will take a lot of work to recover. The sea wall is only about 30 feet away from the corner of the fort at this point. There wasn’t too much significant pier damage in the storm, but the water line is down again. Hopefully that can be fixed before the season. DCR is ready to put out a bid for pier improvements on Peddocks, Spectacle and Georges, which will improve the visitor experience. Expect that some new moorings will be in place for this season.

Department of Conservation and Recreation, presented by Priscilla Geigis

  • Storm damage is widespread and they are using a GPS app to pinpoint and track damages.
  • Park Serve Day is April 28th, there will be a project on Spectacle Island. She also have her thanks to Susan and Peter for their work starting the Americorps Historic Preservation Program.

Public Comment

John Curwen (NPS): In partnership with DCR, USCG, BHN and NPS Evacuation Day cruise with an 11:00 AM departure this Saturday, March 24th.

Adjourn

Chairman Fred Laskey adjourns meeting at 4:33 PM.

2017

» January 17, 2017 [Curwen]
» March 21, 2017
» May 16, 2017
» July 18, 2017
» September 19, 2017
» November 21, 2017

2016

» January 20, 2016 [NPS]
» March 15, 2016 [DCR]
» May 17, 2016 [USCG]
» September 20, 2016 [BHN]
» November 15, 2016 [NPS]

2015

» January 15, 2015 [th]
» March 17, 2015 [Laskey]
» May 18, 2015 [PDF]
» September 15, 2015 [PDF]
» November 17, 2015 [PDF]

2014

» January 14, 2014 [PDF]
» March 18, 2014 [PDF]
» May 20, 2014 [PDF]
» September 16, 2014 [PDF]
» November 18, 2014

2013

» January 15, 2013 [PDF]
» March 19, 2013 [PDF]
» May 15, 2013 [PDF]
» September 24, 2013 [PDF]
» November 19, 2013 [PDF]

2012

» January 17, 2012 [PDF]
» March 20, 2012 [PDF]
» May 15, 2012 [PDF]
» July 24, 2012 [PDF]
» September 18, 2012 [PDF]

2011

» January 18, 2011 [PDF]
» March 15, 2011 [PDF]
» May 17, 2011 [PDF]
» July 19, 2011 [PDF]
» September 20, 2011 [PDF]
» November 15, 2011 [PDF]

1997-2010

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Last updated: January 21, 2021

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