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Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
is a natural harbor and estuary of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Bay, and is located adjacent to the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It is home to the Port of Boston, a major shipping facility in the northeastern United States.[1]

Contents

1 History 2 Geography

2.1 Inner harbor 2.2 Outer harbor 2.3 Land fill 2.4 Harbor
Harbor
Islands 2.5 Aquaculture

3 Lights and other aids to navigation 4 Images 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

History[edit]

Brig "Antelope" in Boston
Boston
Harbor, by Fitz Henry Lane, 1863 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Since its discovery to Europeans by John Smith in 1614,[2] Boston Harbor
Harbor
has been an important port in American history. It was the site of the Boston Tea Party
Boston Tea Party
as well as almost continuous backfilling of the harbor until the 19th century. By 1660 almost all imports came to the greater Boston
Boston
area and the New England coast through the waters of Boston
Boston
Harbor. A rapid influx of people transformed Boston
Boston
into a booming city. The health of the harbor quickly decreased as the population of Boston
Boston
increased. As early as the late 19th century Boston
Boston
citizens were advised not to swim in any portion of the Harbor. In the 19th century two of the first steam sewage stations were built (one in East Boston
Boston
and one later on Deer Island). With these mandates the harbor was seeing small improvements, but raw sewage was still continuously pumped into the harbor. In 1919 the Metropolitan District Commission was created to oversee and regulate the quality of harbor water. However, not much improvement was seen and general public awareness of the poor quality of water was very low. In 1972 the Clean Water Act was passed in order to help promote increased national water quality.

Signage on the streets of Boston

Boston
Boston
did not receive a clean water act waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency, leaving Boston
Boston
with little incentive to increase water quality of the harbor. Since the mid-1970s organizations within the Boston
Boston
community have battled for a cleaner Boston
Boston
Harbor. More recently, the harbor was the site of the $4.5 billion Boston
Boston
Harbor Project. Failures at the Nut Island sewage treatment plant in Quincy and the companion Deer Island plant adjacent to Winthrop had far-reaching environmental and political effects. Fecal coliform bacteria levels forced frequent swimming prohibitions along the harbor beaches and the Charles River
Charles River
for many years.[3] The city of Quincy sued the Metropolitan District Commission
Metropolitan District Commission
(MDC) and the separate Boston
Boston
Water and Sewer Commission in 1982, charging that unchecked systemic pollution of the city’s waterfront contributed to the problem. That suit was followed by one by the Conservation Law Foundation and finally by the United States government, resulting in the landmark[4] court-ordered[5] cleanup of Boston
Boston
Harbor.[6]

The Charles, Mystic, and Neponset rivers empty into Boston
Boston
Harbor

The lawsuits forced then Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Governor Michael Dukakis
Michael Dukakis
to propose separating the water and sewer treatment divisions from the MDC, resulting in the creation of the Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Water Resources Authority in 1985. The slow progress of the cleanup became a key theme of the 1988 U.S. presidential election
1988 U.S. presidential election
as George H.W. Bush
George H.W. Bush
defeated Dukakis partly through campaign speeches casting doubt on the governor’s environmental record,[7] which Dukakis himself had claimed was better than that of Bush.[8] The court ordered cleanup continued throughout the next two decades and is still ongoing.[6] Before the cleanup projects, the water was so polluted that The Standells released a song in 1966 called "Dirty Water" which referred to the sorry state of the Charles River. The song is still popular with Red Sox
Red Sox
fans and is played regularly at Fenway Park whenever the Red Sox
Red Sox
win a game. Neal Stephenson, who attended Boston
Boston
University from 1977 to 1981, based his second novel, Zodiac, around pollution of the harbor. Since the writing of the song, the water quality in both the Harbor and the Charles River
Charles River
has significantly improved, and the projects have dramatically transformed Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
from one of the filthiest in the nation to one of the cleanest. Today Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
is safe for fishing and for swimming nearly every day, though there are still beach closings after even small rainstorms, caused by bacteria-laden storm water and the occasional combined sewer overflow. Geography[edit]

A section of the Boston
Boston
Harborwalk

Coast Guard escorts an LNG tanker
LNG tanker
in Boston
Boston
Harbor, 2016

Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
is a large harbor which constitutes the western extremity of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Bay. The harbor is sheltered from Massachusetts Bay
Massachusetts Bay
and the open Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
by a combination of the Winthrop Peninsula and Deer Island to the north, the hooked Nantasket Peninsula and Point Allerton to the south, and the harbor islands in the middle. The harbor is often described as being split into an inner harbor and an outer harbor.[9][10][11] The harbor itself comprises fifty square miles with 180 miles (290 km) of shoreline and 34 harbor islands. Inner harbor[edit] The inner harbor was historically the main port of Boston
Boston
and is still the site of most of its port facilities as well as the Boston waterfront, which has been redeveloped for residential and recreational uses. The inner harbor extends from the mouths of the Charles River
Charles River
and the Mystic River, both of which empty into the harbor, to Logan International Airport
Logan International Airport
and Castle Island, where the inner harbor meets the outer harbor. Outer harbor[edit] The outer harbor stretches to the south and east of the inner harbor. To its landward side, and moving in a counterclockwise direction, the harbor is made up of the three small bays of Dorchester Bay, Quincy Bay
Bay
and Hingham Bay. To seaward, the two deep water anchorages of President Roads and Nantasket Roads are separated by Long Island. The outer harbor is fed by several rivers, including the Neponset River, the Weymouth Fore River, the Weymouth Back River
Weymouth Back River
and the Weir River.[9][10][11] Dredged deepwater channels stretch from President Roads to the inner harbor, and from Nantasket Roads to the Weymouth Fore River
Weymouth Fore River
and Hingham Bay
Hingham Bay
via Hull Gut
Hull Gut
and West Gut. Some commercial port facilities are located in the Fore River area, an area which has a history of shipbuilding including the notable Fore River Shipyard.[9][10][11] Land fill[edit] In the 1830s members of the maritime community observed physical decay in the harbor. Islands in the outer harbor were visibly deteriorating and erosion was causing weathered materials and sediment to move from where it was protecting the harbor to where it would do the most harm. Recent shoaling experiences and comparisons with old charts caused observers to insist that the inner harbor was also filling and created widespread anxiety about the destruction of the Boston
Boston
Harbor. Although the scientific understanding of hydraulics was still in its infancy and there were high degrees of uncertainty regarding the meeting of land and water, scientists and engineers began to describe the Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
as a series of channels created and maintained by the scouring force of water moving in and out of the harbor, river systems, and tidal reservoirs. This interpretation came to be known as the theory of Tidal scour. This understanding of the harbor as a dynamic landscape assuaged concerns some had over the negative impacts of land fill operations of land and real estate developers.[12] As the 19th century progressed the acceleration of urban growth dramatically increased the need for more land. The Ordinance of 1641 extended the property rights of riparian owners from the line of low tide to a maximum distance of 100 rods (1,600 ft; 500 m) from the line of high tide. Generally, other states drew the line of private property at high tide. However, extending shore lines into bordering bodies of water was not unique to Boston. Chicago built into Lake
Lake
Michigan, New York extended itself into the Hudson and East rivers, and San Francisco reclaimed sections of its bay. The Boston Harbor's unique geography inspired the law that made land reclamation such a widespread activity in Boston. By the end of the nineteenth century the city had created more land in two generations than it had in the previous two centuries.[13] Harbor
Harbor
Islands[edit]

Georges Island, with star-shaped Fort Warren

Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
contains a considerable number of islands, 34 of which are part of the Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
Islands National Recreation Area since its establishment in 1996. The following islands exist within the harbor, or just outside it in Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Bay:

State Police inflatable patrols off Logan International Airport

Former warehouse repurposed as housing and a restaurant

Bumpkin Island, Button Island Calf Island Castle Island Gallops Island, Georges Island, Grape Island, Great Brewster Island, Green Island Hangman Island Langlee Island, Little Brewster Island, Little Calf Island, Long Island, Lovells Island Middle Brewster Island Moon Island, Nixes Mate Outer Brewster Island Peddocks Island Raccoon Island, Ragged Island, Rainsford Island Sarah Island, Shag Rocks, Sheep Island, Slate Island, Snake Island, Spectacle Island, Spinnaker Island The Graves, Thompson Island

Two former islands, Castle Island and Deer Island, still exist in a recognizable form. Castle Island was joined to the mainland by land reclamation, while Deer Island ceased to be an island when the channel which formerly separated it from the mainland was filled in by the New England Hurricane of 1938. Nut Island is a small former island in Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
that was joined by landfill to the Houghs Neck
Houghs Neck
peninsula in northeastern Quincy by the 1940s so it could be used as the site of a sewage treatment facility.[14] Two other former islands, Apple Island and Governors Island, have been subsumed into land reclamation for Logan International Airport. Further information: List of islands of Massachusetts Aquaculture[edit] In 1996, the Boston
Boston
Globe reported that Mayor Thomas Menino
Thomas Menino
and MIT engineer Clifford Goudey were planning a program to use the great tanks on Moon Island as a fish farm or a temporary home for tuna or lobster in an attempt to implement a recirculating aquaculture system in Boston
Boston
Harbor.[15][16][17] The prices of both these fish types vary by season. The plan was to collect and store fish in the tanks and sell the fish at higher prices when they were out of season. Nothing has come of this plan to date. Lights and other aids to navigation[edit]

Boston
Boston
Light Deer Island Light Egg Rock Light Long Island Head Light Lovells Island
Lovells Island
Range Lights Nixes Mate Spectacle Island Range Lights The Graves Light

Images[edit]

"South East View of the Great Town of Boston," by John Carwitham, c. 1765

View from Beacon Hill, c. 1770s (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington)

Boston
Boston
Harbor, c. 18th century, by Nathaniel Dearborn after Paul Revere (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Boat Race, Boston
Boston
Harbor, by A. A. Lawrence, 1852 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
by Fitz Hugh Lane, 1854

Boston
Boston
harbor and East Boston
Boston
from State Street Block, by John P. Soule, 19th century

USS Constitution, 2005

Boston's skyline from Spectacle Island

See also[edit]

Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
Islands National Recreation Area Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Port Authority Boston
Boston
Harborwalk

References[edit]

^ Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
Islands National Recreation Area - Massachusetts, U.S. National Park Service ^ Stark, James Henry (1901). Stark's Antiqve views of ye towne of Boston. Morse-Purce Co. p. 11. OCLC 4452192. Retrieved 2009-07-17.  ^ "A Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
Microbiological Data" (PDF). Technical Report No. 91-3. Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Water Resources Authority. June 1991. Retrieved 2009-06-11.  ^ G. Buonomo, Lo scudo di cartone, Rubbettino, 2015, ISBN 9788849844405, p. 41, note 69. ^ MATTHEW L. WALD, Special
Special
to the New York Times. 1986. "JUDGE SETS A TIMETABLE TO CLEAN BOSTON HARBOR." New York Times, The (NY), January 02. 20. NewsBank - Archives, EBSCOhost (accessed December 10, 2015). ^ a b Mazzone, Hon. A. David. "Mazzone, Judge A. David : Chamber Papers on the Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
Clean Up Case, 1985-2005". Retrieved 2009-06-11.  ^ FOX BUTTERFIELD, ecial to The New York Times. 1991. " Boston
Boston
Harbor Cleanup Haunts a New Governor." New York Times, The (NY), April 06. 6. NewsBank - Archives, EBSCOhost (accessed December 10, 2015). ^ Butterfield, Fox (April 6, 1991). " Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
cleanup haunts a new governor". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-11.  ^ a b c "Boston". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved October 12, 2006.  ^ a b c "Through the Eyes of a Mariner: Touring the Port of Boston". Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Office of Coastal Zone Management. Retrieved October 12, 2006.  ^ a b c " Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
and Approaches." Coast Pilot 1 - 43rd Edition, 2015. NOAA Office of Coast Survey. Accessed April 25, 2016. ^ Rawson, Michael (2009). "What Lies Beneath: Science, Nature, and the Making of Boston
Boston
Harbor". In Penna, Anthony N.; Wright, Conrad Edick. Remaking Boston: An Environmental History of the City and its Surroundings. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 33–55.  ^ Ibid. ^ Levy, Paul F. (March 1, 2001). "The Nut Island Effect: When Good Teams Go Wrong". Harvard Business Review. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing. Archived from the original on July 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-11.  ^ Anand, Geeta, " Harbor
Harbor
island studied for fish farm Mayor envisions raising flounder, tuna and lobsters", The Boston
Boston
Globe, October 13, 1996. Quoting from the article: "The Boston
Boston
mayor and the MIT engineer were talking fish. With the city's skyline in the distance, they stood beside one of four long trenches on Moon Island that may soon be teeming with lobsters, bluefin tuna and summer flounder. For nearly two years, Mayor Thomas M. Menino and MIT engineer Clifford Goudey have shared a dream. Now they are wedded to a plan. Together, they are trying to turn the century-old sewage trenches on the harbor island into one of the largest fish farms in the country. 'This could be the new industry for the city,' the mayor said. 'We have the ocean, we have the reservoirs for the fish, we have what we need to make this work.'" ^ Best, Neil A., "Preliminary Design of a Recirculating Aquaculture System in Boston
Boston
Harbor" Archived 2011-06-04 at the Wayback Machine., Masters Thesis, Ocean Engineering, MIT, February 1997. Technical Advisor, Clifford A. Goudey. ^ Marcus, John, "Scientists Test Once-Polluted Harbor’s Crop Potential", Los Angeles Times, Sunday, January 11, 1998

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Boston
Boston
Harbor.

Save the Harbor
Harbor
/ Save the Bay The Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
Association[permanent dead link] Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
resources site NOAA Soundings Map of Boston
Boston
Harbor Flickr.com, Photos, January 2009. Flickr.com, Photos, November 2009. Flickr.com, Photos, February 2010. Dutton, E.P. Chart of Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
and Massachusetts Bay
Massachusetts Bay
with Map of Adjacent Country. Published 1867. A good map of a proposed build-out of infrastructure into the Boston
Boston
Harbor. Judge A. David Mazzone chambers papers on the Boston
Boston
Harbor
Harbor
Cleanup Case, 1985-2005, University Archives and Special
Special
Collections, Joseph P. Healey Library, University of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Boston

v t e

Waterbodies of Massachusetts

Bays, Coves, and Sounds

Assonet Bay Broad Sound Buzzards Bay Cape Cod Bay Cat Cove Dorchester Bay Duxbury Bay Fairhaven Bay Hingham Bay Juniper Cove Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Bay Nahant Bay Nantucket Sound Narragansett Bay Orleans Cove Plymouth Bay Popponesset Bay Quincy Bay Vineyard Sound Waquoit Bay Warren Cove

Canals, Channels, and Straits

Blackstone Canal Broad Brook Canal Broad Canal Canapitsit Channel Cape Cod Canal Fort Point Channel Hampshire and Hampden Canal Holyoke Canal
Canal
System Hypocrite Channel Jeremiah's Gutter Lechmere Canal Lowell Power Canal
Canal
System and Pawtucket Gatehouse Madaket Ditch Merrimack Canal Middlesex Canal Mother Brook North Canal Pawtucket Canal Quick's Hole Robinson's Hole Salem Channel Salem Beverly Waterway Canal South Channel South Hadley Canal Turners Falls Canal Woods Hole

Estuaries

Annisquam River Back River Bass River Boston
Boston
Harbor Buzzards Bay Fore River Mitchell River Mount Hope Bay Oyster Pond
Pond
River Popponesset Bay Quashnet River Weir River

Harbors

Barnstable Harbor Boston
Boston
Harbor East Harbor Hyannis Harbor Marblehead Harbor Plymouth Harbor Provincetown Harbor Rock Harbor Salem Harbor

Lakes

Briggs Reservoir Buffumville Lake Charge Pond Chebacco Lake Crystal Lake Follins Pond Hickory Hills Lake Indian Lake Lake
Lake
Ashmere Lake
Lake
Attitash Lake
Lake
Boon Lake
Lake
Buel Lake
Lake
Chaubunagungamaug Lake
Lake
Cochichewick Lake
Lake
Cochituate Lake
Lake
Garfield Lake
Lake
Massapoag Lake
Lake
Monomonac Lake
Lake
Nippenicket Lake
Lake
Onota Lake
Lake
Quannapowitt Lake
Lake
Quinsigamond Lake
Lake
Rico Lake
Lake
Sabbatia Lake
Lake
Saltonstall Lewis Lake Little Quittacas Pond Long Pond Mystic Lakes Pine Lake Pocksha Pond Prankers Pond Silver Lake Wallum Lake Wenham Lake Whites Pond

Ponds

Abner Pond Arnold School Pond Barrett Pond Bartlett Pond Bates Pond Beaver Dam Pond Big Rocky Pond Big Sandy Pond Billington Sea Black Jimmy Pond Bloody Pond Boot Pond Brooks Pond Browning Pond Bullough's Pond Campus Pond Cedar Pond Clay Pit Pond College Pond Cooks Pond Crossman Pond Curlew Pond Deer Pond Dug Pond Dunham Pond East Head Reservoir Elbow Pond Ezekiel Pond Fairyland Pond Fawn Pond Fearing Pond Federal Pond Five Mile Pond Forge Pond Fresh Meadow Pond Fresh Pond Fuller Street Pond Furnace Pond Gallows Pond Glen Charlie Pond Great Herring Pond Great Island Pond Great South Pond Gunners Exchange Pond Halfway Pond Hardy Pond Harrobs Corner Bog Pond Hedges Pond Hocomonco Pond Horn Pond Houghton's Pond Hoyts Pond Indian Head Pond Indian Pond Island Creek Pond Island Pond
Pond
(Cedarville) Island Pond
Pond
(Plymouth) Jacobs Pond Keene Pond Kings Pond Lake
Lake
Lashaway Learned Pond Leonards Pond Little Herring Pond Little Long Pond
Pond
(Plymouth) Little Long Pond
Pond
(Wareham) Little Pond Little Rocky Pond Little Sandy Bottom Pond Little Sandy Pond Little West Pond Long Duck Pond Long Island Pond Long Pond
Pond
(Plymouth) Long Pond
Pond
(Rochester) Lout Pond Lower Chandler Pond Maquan Pond Mary's Pond Mashpee and Wakeby Ponds Micajah Pond Mill Pond
Pond
(Duxbury) Mill Pond
Pond
(Wareham) Monponsett Pond Morey Hole Muddy Pond New Long Pond North Hill Marsh Pond North Triangle Pond Oldham Pond Parker Mills Pond Pembroke Street South Pond Pine Street Pond Quaboag Pond Redd's Pond Reeds Millpond Robbins Pond Rocky Pond Round Pond Russell Millpond Russell Pond Sampsons Pond Sandy Pond Sargent's Pond Savery Pond Sawins Pond Scargo Lake Shallow Pond Ship Pond Smelt Pond Smith Pool Snipatuit Pond South Meadow Brook Reservoir South Meadow Pond South Triangle Pond Spectacle Pond Spring Pond Spy Pond Stetson Pond Studleys Pond Thompson Pond Tihonet Pond Tispaquin Pond Tremont Mill Pond Triangle Pond Tuxbury Pond Union Pond Upper Chandler Pond Vaughn Pond Walden Pond Walker Pond Wampatuck Pond Watson Pond Watuppa Ponds West Chandler Pond White Island Pond Winnecunnet Pond

Reservoirs

Aaron River Reservoir Accord Pond Ashley Reservoir Assawompset Pond Big Pond Blackmore Pond Briggs Reservoir Chestnut Hill Reservoir Fisher Hill Reservoir Fort Meadow Reservoir Fresh Pond Great Quittacas Pond Great Sandy Bottom Pond Haggetts Pond High Service Water Tower and Reservoir Lake
Lake
Wyola Little South Pond Littleville Lake Lost Lake Miscoe Lake Neponset Reservoir Norton Reservoir Otis Reservoir Quabbin Reservoir Round Pond Silver Lake Stockbridge Bowl Stony Brook Stump Pond Sudbury Reservoir Sugden Reservoir Tully Lake Wachusett Reservoir Walden Pond
Pond
(Lynn) Weston Reservoir

Coordinates: 42°20′30″N 70°57′58″W / 42.34167°N 70.96611°W / 4

.