Join Sean Riley of DCR, Gail Miller of the Friends of Belle Isle Marsh and Sarah Ritch of Friends of the Harborwalk for a tour of Belle Isle Marsh. The Marsh consists of 241 acres of wetlands off of the Belle Isle Inlet, bordered by East Boston, Revere and Winthrop. The 1.5 miles of Boston Harborwalk weaves through the East Boston portion along a series of grassy clearings, dirt pathways, and boardwalks. A 152-acre reservation across from the Suffolk Downs T Station is managed by DCR.
We will begin our tour at the kiosk adjacent to the parking lot within the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation. A sign marks the entrance to the park which is across Bennington Street from the Suffolk Downs T Station. Parking is available at the reservation.
The area is one of very few remaining salt marshes in Boston Harbor. Although wildlife and vegetation thrive on the reservation, the marsh and its inhabitants are challenged by the noise, air and water pollution caused by the surrounding dense urban context and flight path overhead. The marsh acts as a natural filtration system, creates a safe habitat for plant and animal species (some of which are endangered), and provides a layer of defense in protecting inbound areas from flooding. We will discuss the policies set in place to protect our wetlands, their function within the ecosystem, and the role they play in absorbing the impacts of climate change.
We will cover the history of the region from the days when livestock grazed the hills of Hog Island and salt marsh hay was a coveted commodity... to the dramatic infilling of land between the Chelsea Creek and the Belle Isle Inlet… to today’s state-of-the-art urban plan of the low-lying Suffolk Downs site.
All are welcome, but please only RSVP if you plan to come, as space is limited and we want to be able to contact you in case of inclement weather.
The Friends of the Boston Harborwalk is a volunteer group affiliated with Boston Harbor Now. The group meets monthly to promote awareness, public enjoyment and local stewardship of Boston’s 43-mile Harborwalk. For more information on joining the group, please contact Mike Manning, chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org