Waterfront Wednesdays Ep. 18: One Year Anniversary Episode

Hi everyone, I’m Alice. And I’m Lilli. And this is the 21st episode of Waterfront
Wednesdays if you count all the episodes I did with Jill, and all the On Assignment episodes
I worked on over the summer, and all the special guest episodes we’ve been working, and it’s
all been brought to you by Boston Harbor Now. We are one year in! One whole year of Waterfront Wednesdays! And this episode is going to be about why
we started making this vlog and some of the things we learned about along the way. Yeah, as someone who started off as an intern
and is now on staff as a content coordinator, it’s been a great way to learn about so many
Harbor topics. We wanted to talk about things that might
be a little bit niche or a little bit nerdy, and make them more understandable to a wider
audience. Like you! Mmhm. We could’ve written a blog or maybe done a
podcast- but we thought a video would be a really cool way to share ideas, channel a
little bit of my former teacherness, and we happen to have some really talented people
on staff who could help us make it happen behind the scenes. So we decided to create Waterfront Wednesdays! Even though we try to pick topics that we
know a little bit about, we find ourselves learning a fair amount of along the way through
the research and guests that we bring in. Yeah, I feel like I’m learning so much everyday
but what are some of the things you’re learning about? Well, before I talked to Jack Murray about
the beaches episode, I thought I knew Boston Harbor was. I did not know how dirty Boston Harbor was. Like the oilies. Oh right the oilies… Um, what are the oilies? Well the oilies are when way back when on
a hot summer day kids used to jump off the piers in East Boston and Charlestown, jump
in the water and come out covered in a sheen of oil. That’s disgusting. That was really gross. Makes me appreciate how clean our beaches
are and how we shouldn’t take that for granted. And just how many we have in the Harbor. Yeah. There’s been an interesting climate change
twist since we made that episode. We normally focus on sea level rise and the
ocean coming in to the city. But there’s also going to be a likely increase
in extreme precipitation events. Several happened this summer and we discovered
the implications of combined sewer overflow. Right, so Jack said it’s rare for bacteria
counts to exceed public health standards, but when more rain falls in a shorter period
of time it causes rain water and sewer water to mix. And while BWSC, the Boston Water and Sewer
Commission, is working to separate sewer systems and have done that around lots of parts of
the city and they’re still working on it, there are also going to be extreme rain events
that the pipes just aren’t prepared to handle. They’re just too big for that much water. Yikes, that’s not good. What’s one of your favorite episodes? Well, I learned so much when I went to Piers
Park. I went sailing with Nathan and Ayat who both
grew up doing the Sailing after School program there, and they completed their Future Leaders
program to become fully fledged youth instructors. Had you been sailing before that? No, that was my first time! It was so cool, we launched from East Boston
and then out there on the water I could see everything. I could see all the different Boston neighborhoods
That’s something I love about sailing in the inner harbor. It’s small enough that you start to recognize
buildings, but you also recognize vessels that you’re regularly seeing. It wasn’t until we filmed the Cruising into
Boston episode that I realized how much the cruise ships are there or aren’t there. I started to really pay attention to them. Were you on Spectacle for that special Summer
Nights with the great sunset? I was! That so cool. The sky was on fire and a giant cruise ship
was right there in front of us. Yeah and to realize they tend to depart at
sunset was pretty cool. And then I also notice when they’re missing
too. We did a walk with Massport through the Seaport
back in October, and there was a moment when we were supposed to have cruise ships there. We weren’t supposed to walk through the Raymond
L. Flynn Black Falcon Cruise Terminal but we could because the cruise ships were stuck
out at sea from a storm.And we discovered that there are all these buses just waiting
for these passengers to come off. Right, I mean I’m just suprised by how many
people stop at Cruiseport every year. Actually the episode that really surprised
me was the one on fill. I also didn’t realize how much the shoreline
itself has changed over time. Like how Back Bay was literally… Back Bay and how Seaport shipping infrastructure
is all built on fill. Yeah and since we made that episode a really
cool book has come out. It’s called The Atlas of Boston History by
Nancy Seasholes. And in it she works with cartographers who
have figured out how to make maps of historic times in Boston and they changed up the street
grid accordingly, but they also showed the exact shoreline of whatever map they were
making. Wow that’s so cool. You know I really gotta borrow that book from
you. Happy to loan it to you. I’d love to see how the land filled in around
Long Wharf, especially after we were filming out there during king tide. Yeah we like to go down during the king tide
because it will show people what with sea level rise what high tide could look like. But I also think that was the day the Boston
Globe photographer caught you out there. Oh yeah… it was I think. That’s just a perk of the job! Thanks for tuning in! I’m Lilli Vo. And I’m Alice Brown. If you’ve been watching these episodes for
a whole year thank you. And if you’re just discovering Waterfront
Wednesdays we hope you’ll go back and check out our past episodes. And if you miss Jill, know that we do too. Since July she has been the director of the
Waterfront Initiative at the Barr Foundation. You can still follow her on Twitter at @HarborHorwood
and we hope to have her back on a future episode. You can follow Boston Harbor Now on Twitter
or follow Alice at @ferryfaerie. It’s true! And if you like these videos we really hope
that you tell your friends and subscribe to this channel. Leave us a like and tell us in the comments
what you want to learn about in future episodes. We’ll see you on the waterfront.

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