Private developers deliberately obscure the lines between public and private space along Boston’s waterfront – with the goal to make the general public feel unwelcome – even though we all have the legal right to access much of our waterfront lands. It’s time for private developers to become part of the solution to create a vibrant and welcoming Boston Harbor for all.
CLF’s annual Pitch a Blanket event shows how much people around Boston care about protecting public access to the waterfront. They also give people the chance to express their shared frustration about privatization of waterfront spaces and poor public access. This combination of factors has made the waterfront feel unwelcoming to many but the wealthy.
“Waterfront spaces in Massachusetts are owned by the public, and those ownership rights are being threatened,” said Bradley Campbell, President of CLF. “Developers continue to wall off access to the water, even as climate change threatens to render useless the precious few open spaces that do exist. This event was critical in bringing together people from communities across Boston to learn how to advocate for their right to access the waterfront.”
“The waterfront and Boston Harbor belong to all of us, not just the white and wealthy,” said Brad Campbell, President of CLF. “Too many developers have been allowed to wall off access to the water for the benefit of a few, and the rest of the city is finally taking note. We all paid for the cleanup of Boston Harbor and we all deserve equal access to it.”
Boston Harbor is nearing a crossroads: Will it remain the People’s Harbor, open and accessible to the public? Or will it become an exclusive enclave welcome only to the wealthy? Will it be swamped by sea level rise and extreme weather? Or will it emerge as a national model for climate resiliency? We all can…
CLF’s “People’s Guide to the Public Waterfront Act” gives you the tools to access and enjoy the public Boston Harbor and other waterfront areas in the state. It demystifies the complex regulations that some developers have exploited made it look like their public land is only for private use.
The Massachusetts Public Waterfront Act gives you the right to speak up, be heard, and shape the future of our waterfront interests. Specifically, the law creates a process that ensures members of the public can testify at a hearing on certain proposed waterfront projects or submit comments and concerns in writing. This guide will help…