Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
|Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area|
|Location||Norfolk, Plymouth, and Suffolk counties, Massachusetts, USA|
|Nearest city||Boston, Massachusetts|
|Area||1,482 acres (600 ha)1|
|Established||November 12, 1996|
|Governing body||Boston Harbor Islands Partnership which includes the National Park Service together with other federal, state, city, and nonprofit agencies.|
The Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area is a National Recreation Area situated among the islands of Boston Harbor of Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The area is made up of a collection of islands, together with a former island and a peninsula, many of which are open for public recreation and some of which are very small and best suited for wildlife. The area is run by the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership.2 It includes the Boston Harbor Islands State Park, managed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Twenty-one of the 34 islands in the area are also included in the Boston Harbor Islands Archeological District.
Attractions include hiking trails, beaches, the Civil War-era Fort Warren on Georges Island and Boston Light on Little Brewster Island, the oldest lighthouse in the United States.3 Georges Island and Spectacle Island are served seasonally by ferries to and from Boston and Quincy, connecting on weekends and summer weekdays with a shuttle boat to several other islands, Hull, and Hingham.4
In 1996, there was a project proposal by Boston's mayor Tom Menino and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Clifford A. Goudey to revitalize the aquaculture and fish population in Boston Harbor. This would have involved using the old tanks and granite canals on Moon Island.5
- Bumpkin Island (Hingham)
- Button Island (Hingham)
- Calf Island (Boston)
- Deer Island (Boston)
- Gallops Island (Boston)
- Georges Island (Boston)
- Grape Island (Weymouth)
- Great Brewster Island (Boston)
- Green Island (Boston)
- Hangman Island (Quincy)
- Langlee Island (Hingham)
- Little Brewster Island (Boston)
- Little Calf Island (Boston)
- Long Island (Boston)
- Lovells Island (Boston)
- Middle Brewster Island (Boston)
- Moon Island (Quincy)
- Nixes Mate (Boston)
- Nut Island (Quincy)
- Outer Brewster Island (Boston)
- Peddocks Island (Hull)
- Raccoon Island (Quincy)
- Ragged Island (Hingham)
- Rainsford Island (Boston)
- Sarah Island (Hingham)
- Shag Rocks (Boston)
- Sheep Island (Weymouth)
- Slate Island (Weymouth)
- Snake Island (Winthrop)
- Spectacle Island (Boston)
- The Graves (Boston)
- Thompson Island (Boston)
- Webb Memorial Park (Weymouth)
- World's End (Hingham)
Two islands (Castle Island and Spinnaker Island) in Boston Harbor are not part of the National Recreation Area, and other former islands (e.g. Apple Island, Governors Island and Noddle's Island) were obliterated by the formation of East Boston and the expansion of Logan International Airport before the area was designated.
The Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area is managed by the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership,8 a statutory body established as a federal operating committee by the park enabling legislation. The partnership consists of individual members who represent a range of federal, state, city, and nonprofit agencies, including:
- United States National Park Service
- United States Coast Guard
- Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
- Massachusetts Port Authority
- Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
- City of Boston
- Boston Redevelopment Authority
- Boston Harbor Island Alliance
- Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center
- The Trustees of Reservations
In addition, the Partnership includes representation from the Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council, whose purpose is to make recommendations to the Partnership about park management. There are 13 Partners in total, together with 13 Alternates. Apart from the representative for the Coast Guard, who is appointed by the Secretary of Homeland Security, all the members of the partnership are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior after consultation with the appropriate agency or other body.91011
In practice, day to day management of each individual island or other site is the responsibility of one of the partner agencies or other bodies. The partnership provides a consistency and coordination across the whole park.12
The park was developed from the 1970s by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management (DEM). In 1996, the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area was created, including the State Park's islands and many others. However, due to the unusual partnership management arrangements of the National Recreation Area, the State Park still exists as a low profile administrative entity. It is now managed by the DEM's successor, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, from a park headquarters near to the ferry terminal in Hingham.12
The islands of the Boston Harbor Islands State Park are:12
- Bumpkin Island
- Calf Island
- Gallops Island
- Grape Island
- Great Brewster Island
- Green Island
- Hangman Island
- Little Calf Island
- Middle Brewster Island
- Outer Brewster Island
- Raccoon Island
- Sheep Island
- Slate Island
Harbor Islands Express offers ferry service from Long Wharf at Christopher Columbus Park to Georges and Spectacle Islands.13 Free service is available between Georges and Spectacle via Lovells Island.14 Summer service is also available from Hingham Shipyard and Hull to Georges Island via Grape, Bumpkin, and Lovells Islands.15 (These services are separate from MBTA Boat harbor ferries.)
Thompson Island is only open to the public on Sundays during the summer. It is served by a ferry leaving from both Spectacle Island and the EDIC dock on Terminal Street in South Boston,16 operated by the Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center.17
Private boats can dock (with various restrictions) at Spectacle, Grape, Bumpkin, Lovells, and Peddocks Islands.18 The public dock on Georges Island was recently condemned by engineers, although access is still available by making anchor off shore and using a dinghy to row ashore.
Deer Island, Nut Island, Worlds End, and Webb Memorial are accessible by road from the mainland. Moon Island and Long Island are not open to the public; though they are accessible by road from Quincy, access is controlled by a police guard station at the beginning of the causeway on the Squantum peninsula.
- "Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2011". Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
- "Boston Harbor Islands Visitor's Guide - The Islands". Boston Harbor Islands Partnership. Retrieved August 9, 2006.
- "National Historic Landmark nomination for Boston Light". National Park Service. Retrieved June 18, 2006.
- "Boston Harbor Islands Ferry Schedule" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved July 29, 2006.
- Cf. Best; Cf. Marcus
- Riglian, Adam (2008-04-14). "DiCaprio, Scorsese filming on Peddocks Island". The Patriot Ledger (GateHouse Media). Retrieved 2008-05-21.
- US Geological Survey 7.5 minute series topographic map "Hull" 1971
- "Islands Partnership - Governance". Boston Harbor Islands Partnership. Archived from the original on October 5, 2006. Retrieved October 6, 2006.
- "Islands Partnership - Membership". Boston Harbor Islands Partnership. Archived from the original on August 30, 2006. Retrieved October 6, 2006.
- "Public Law 104-33, 110 Stat. 4093 Sec. 1029. Boston Harbor Islands Recreation Area". Retrieved October 6, 2006.
- "Boston Harbor Islands - General Management Plan" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved October 19, 2006.
- "Ferry Schedule". Retrieved 2010-07-26.
- Best, Neil A., "Preliminary Design of a Recirculating Aquaculture System in Boston Harbor", Masters Thesis, Ocean Engineering, MIT, February 1997. Technical Advisor, Clifford A. Goudey.
- The Boston Globe, "Harboring recreation", Guest Editorial, June 3, 2006.
- Kales, Emily, Kales, David, "All About the Boston Harbor Islands", Hewitts Cove Publishing, 1983.
- Marcus, John, "Scientists Test Once-Polluted Harbor’s Crop Potential", Los Angeles Times, Sunday, January 11, 1998
- Mikal, Alan, "Exploring Boston Harbor", Christopher Publishing House, North Quincy, Massachusetts, 1973. ISBN 978-0-8158-0303-4
- Northeastern Naturalist, Volume 12, Issue sp3, July 2005. Articles on the Boston Harbor Islands. 
- Richburg, Julie A., Patterson, William A., III, "Historical Description of the Vegetation of the Boston Harbor Islands, 1600-2000", Northeastern Naturalist, v.12, Special Issue 3, 13-30, 2005.
- Sammarco, Anthony Mitchell, "Boston's Harbor Islands", Images of America series, 1998. ISBN 0-7524-0900-X
- Sherman, Annie, "The Other Islands: The Harbor Islands make for an easy day trip for sunbathers, history buffs—and especially the traffic-weary", Boston magazine, May 2007 issue.
- Snow, Edward Rowe
- "Some Events of Boston and Its Neighbors", printed for the State Street Trust Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1917.
- "The Islands of Boston Harbor", in "Some Events of Boston and Its Neighbors", Chapter 4, printed for the State Street Trust Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1917.
- Sweetser, M.F., "King's Handbook of Boston Harbor", Moses King Corporation, Boston, 1882; reprinted in 1988 by Applewood Books, and The Friends of Boston Harbor Islands, and in 2010 by BiblioLife. ISBN 978-1-141-97744-4 (2010 reprint). This book was written about the time when the first Boston almshouse was being built on Long Island.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area.|
- Metro (Boston edition) newspaper, "Boston Harbor Islands", Boston Neighborhood section, August 1, 2007, p. 14.
- "Harbor islands are jewels, but lack resources and accessibility", Boston Globe, OP/ED, Sunday, April 4, 2010
- Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
- Boston Harbor Islands Visitor Guide
- Boston Harbor resources site
- NOAA Soundings Map of Boston Harbor
- Island Alliance (Boston Harbor)
- Boston Harbor Islands - Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR).
- The Boston Harbor Association resources
- Boston Harbor Islands travel guide from Wikivoyage