Presentation on theme: "Taking Civic Action…. In Boston Harbor IF CITIZENS HADN’T TAKEN ACTION WE WOULD STILL HAVE SEGREGATION."— Presentation transcript:
Taking Civic Action…. In Boston Harbor
IF CITIZENS HADN’T TAKEN ACTION WE WOULD STILL HAVE SEGREGATION
ONLY CERTAIN PEOPLE WOULD BE ALLOWED TO VOTE…CITIZENS’ RIGHTS WOULD BE TRAMPLED.
IF CITIZENS HADN’T TAKEN ACTION WE WOULD HAVE LOST THE ENVIRONMENT / HAVE NO NATIONAL PARKS…
THIS SLIDE SHOW IS ABOUT HOW CITIZENS WORKED TOGETHER TO PROTECT BOSTON HARBOR
Boston Harbor during the time of the Native Americans…the First Peoples
The technology of the First Peoples did not drastically change the Harbor…
Almost 400 years ago, settlers from Europe, primarily England, traveled across the ocean to make Boston Harbor their home.
They brought a different way of life, different technology, and different attitudes…
As their numbers grew, the harbor drastically changed…
The harbor became the place to dump garbage and waste… including human waste
But along the way, people began to take notice of their environment. The unpleasant sights and smells of Boston harbor could not be ignored.
“Our beautiful city is almost encircled by the mouths of sewers discharging their contents … the sewer gases… absolutely dangerous to breathe….” “…a stench so strong as to arouse the sleeping, terrify the weak, and nauseate and exasperate everybody….” Boston City Board of Health
Newer technology began to affect nature in faster ways, creating larger amounts of pollution. Raw Sewage!
In 1972, the United States Congress had passed a law known as the Clean Water Act. The law was ignored in Boston Harbor! People began to work with local groups and governments, trying to stop this pollution and protect the environment
By the 1980’s, Boston Harbor was called the most polluted harbor in the USA!
In the summer of 1982, Bill Golden, a man from Quincy, was jogging along Wollaston Beach. He stepped in what he thought was brown jellyfish. It was not jellyfish. It was human waste, and it was all over the beach! “As I realized what I had stepped in, I felt nauseated. Then I got angry.” Citizens, people like yourself, began to demand that these laws be enforced.
Bill Golden’s anger turned to action. And he was not alone. Many others came forward to help the Boston Harbor including a powerful judge, Paul Garrity from Jamaica Plain. He called himself the “Sludge Judge”, and he made big things happen.
“Boston Harbor is... visibly polluted primarily because of the discharge of sewage...the damage to that environment and to the creatures who live in it may very well become irreversible..”
In 1984, a new state agency was created, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. It was created to clean up the Boston Harbor.
The clean-up was called the Boston Harbor Project The biggest part of the project was the construction of the sewage treatment plant on Deer Island.
Deer Island had been home to a large prison. It was torn down.
But during this time, sewage was still being dumped into the harbor, violating the federal Clean Water Act. Concerned citizens filed lawsuits to make sure the law was carried out. Another judge, federal judge David Mazzone stepped in.
“The Court and the public must be able to hold..individuals and agencies responsible …this Court has jurisdiction to protect the cleanliness of the Harbor and the safety of the citizens who enjoy and use that Harbor…”
But these judges could only make the clean-up happen because thousands of citizens were behind them!
Construction of the Deer Island sewage treatment plant began in 1988.
It took 14 years to complete. It was built in your lifetime! It cost 3.8 billion dollars. That’s $3,800,000,000! It also cost five lives - five construction workers died building the plant and the tunnels.
Finally the sewage treatment plant was completed….
Sewage was no longer dumped into the harbor. It was now carried by pipes to the plant. There, after several steps, the egg shaped digesters produce a sludge that is made into….
Fertilizer to grow plants! Some serious recycling!
The Boston Harbor became a cleaner place…
…plants, and animals.
In 1996, the Boston Harbor Islands became a national park.
The harbor is public! That means it belongs to all of us.
But… the Boston Harbor is not all better. A problem that went on for 350 years isn’t totally solved in less than 30 years. Some people still throw trash is the harbor, and some of that winds up on the islands.
This problem can keep people from enjoying the beauty of the harbor. But citizens like us can deal with this problem. Restoring the beauty of our harbor islands can give a positive feeling…