Friday, July 30, 2010

Harbor Class 1st day on Harbor Ted Williamson


The first day in the field was very exciting and surprising for someone who thinks he knows everything. The power of a map - I have lived in the Boston area my whole life and never knew you could get to Hull in 20 minutes from Boston!
It was a beautiful day as we boarded the public ferry, about 85 degrees and sunny, just a few scattered clouds. The port was filled with people, and the shore was difficult to view since the cement wall prevented the water from finding its natural position as the tide came and went.

I saw no fish but a few ducks swimming in the water that had debris floating on top, some trash and some weeds, etc. There were no foul smells, just the smell of the ocean and clean, fresh air!

With a startling horn from the ferry we were off to see the harbor. The water was surprisingly clean looking – a bluish green.
Professor Berman explained many things to the class:
- How the biodiversity in the harbor acted as a food web
- How the formation of the harbor was created by glaciers
- The convenience and protection the harbor provided was key to the development and success of the Boston area as it was developed.

We spotted many of the islands and harbors we has looked at on our maps as we were researching.

Here are a few of the locations I photographed:

Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant:
This was cool because we discussed the big changes "Save the Harbor/Save the Bay" helped impliment to improve the quality of the waters in Boston Harbor. Instead of dumping millions of gallons of untreated sewerage into the harbor, the new process works like this:

- A toliet is flushed in Boston or a neigboring city/town.
- The waste flows down via gravity as the pipes that take it toward the harbor get larger and deeper into the ground until it reaches the harbor.
- The waste is then pumped back to the surface at Deer Island where is settles in large pools.
- Then the solids are removed and put into a large tank to decompose and eventually made into pellets to later use as fertilizer.
- The liqudis are then treated with chlorine and then travel 9 miles into the ocean and released.

This process has proven to have no negative effects on the ecosystem to date!

Hough’s Neck, Quincy:
I got into trouble here as a teenager but never saw how beautiful it was from the water.
Peddock’s Island:
I camped here as a 12-year-old boy scout!
Hull Harbor:
No one caught anything, but we did see diving birds and there were many people fishing. Looks like, by the way they were jigging, they were fishing for strippers.

Quincy/Weymouth Shipyard:
Cool WWII battleship!
We then traveled back, not before expiriencing some high seas (possibly caused by the current flowing in an opposite direction from the wind) and a trip past the airport. It provided a great view of the city skyline.
At the end of class we walked to the end of Faneuil Hall and discussed how the waterfront we enjoy today was man-made and was all underwater until about 100 years ago.

It was a great day – can’t wait to get wet tomorrow!


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