Commissioner Rick Sullivan
Commissioner, Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
With the Fourth of July weekend upon us, what better way to celebrate than to visit the beach. Summer is the time for sandcastles, bikinis, and boogie boards, and while most people are willing to sit in traffic for up to two hours every weekend just to visit the Cape, you can get all of the same luxuries right in Boston. Sand and sun are just a T ride away. While past stereotypes have deemed Boston beaches as dirty, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) has been working hard to change that.
For over 20 years, the MWRA has spent around $850 million in sewer overflow projects dedicated to cleaning up Boston’s Harbor. In 1985, Boston was ordered by the federal government to begin construction for a treatment plant for sewage control in the Boston Harbor after being found in violation of the 1972 Clean Water Act. On June 23, I, along with Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Administrator Curtis Spalding attended the ribbon cutting at Carson Beach in South Boston marking the end of the Boston Harbor Cleanup Project dedicated to sewage control, and stopping water overflow due to heavy rain or storm weather. The EPA also announced that Carson Beach is now one of the cleanest urban beaches in America.
Owned by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Carson Beach is one of the best beaches in Boston for swimming. With great views of the South Boston harbor, clean sand, new walkways, benches, and lighting, it’s perfect for a summer outing. Better yet, Carson Beach is easily accessible by MBTA. Take the Red Line to JFK/U Mass Station, and the beach is a 10 minute walk away down William J Day Boulevard. Once you get there, hook a line at the newly renovated fishing pier, or sit down and enjoy a nice picnic while listening to the waves. But one of the best luxuries of Carson Beach is that it doesn’t require a car or a full gas tank.
Other ways to use public transportation to get to the beach include the Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail that can take you to Singing Beach in Manchester, Crane Beach in Ipswich, or even The Great Marsh in Ipswich where you can kayak or canoe to nearby Pavillion Beach or take a hike along the Merrimack River Trail. Don’t let traffic and cost of gas stop you from getting outside this summer. The MBTA offers a variety of transportation options to get you on the beach and ready to work on your tan.