Watch: The People's Harbor | Conservation Law Foundation

Watch: The People’s Harbor

CLF celebrates Boston Harbor’s public spaces at risk from private development

Deanna Moran | @demoran18

Boston is a quickly growing city, but not everyone is benefitting from that growth, especially along the waterfront. Corporate developers are privatizing public space that should be made available to everyone. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was founded on the idea that access to the waterfront is a public right – it’s even enshrined in our state Constitution. But if we don’t take action, then that right, and our public spaces, could be compromised forever.

Watch and share our video, then join us on Thursday, July 25, as we celebrate Boston’s public spaces and exercise our right to our waterfront.

Developers Reaping Private Profit Off of Public Investment

In the 1980s, Boston Harbor was an open sewer. CLF launched the lawsuit that would lead to its clean-up, but, ultimately, it was our tax dollars – billions of them – spent over the last three decades that brought the harbor back to life. CLF fought to create a People’s Harbor, a welcoming waterfront for everybody. But now, that is at risk.

Over the last decade, developers have reaped billions in private profit from our public investment in a clean and healthy harbor. This has made the harbor feel unwelcoming to many. A series in the Boston Globe highlighted the inequities created by the Seaport’s building boom: “The city’s black residents and businesses missed out on the considerable wealth created by the building boom…The Seaport has become like an exclusive club created, frequented, and populated by the white and the wealthy.”

We all have a legal right to access the waterfront. We cannot let the Seaport’s exclusivity become the new normal for other waterfront neighborhoods in the midst of re-development, from East Boston to Chelsea to Lynn.

Celebrating Our Harbor

One way to ensure that that waterfront remains a place that is welcome to all is raising awareness about public spaces and our public rights. That’s why we’re inviting friends, partners, and allies to celebrate Boston’s public spaces with us on Thursday, July 25, at the Public Green in the Seaport. Bring a picnic, pitch a blanket, enjoy games and learn about your rights on the waterfront.

The more active our public waterfront spaces, the more likely we are to maintain a vibrant Boston Harbor for all.

Watch and share our video, then join us on July 25. Together, let’s celebrate our People’s Harbor.

Focus Areas

Climate Change




People's Harbor

About the CLF Blog

The views and opinions expressed on this blog do not necessarily represent the opinions or positions of Conservation Law Foundation, our boards, or our supporters.