HONORABLE MENTION WINNER, GRADES 9-12
Grade 9, St. Mary’s High School, Lynn
Ms. Goodrum, Teacher
I wake up and, ready for my morning run, my mother drives me up the street to Deer Island in Winthrop where I run the course. I start my run and I pass these giant egg-shaped machines. I always wondered what they did but never really knew. When I am half way done I stop in awe. I look out and see the beautiful Boston Harbor. I am an avid runner and continually push myself never to stop in the middle of a run. But the peaceful water shines and glistens with reflections of the sunrise, and I am forced to stop and look, I have never seen anything more magnificent.
To me, Deer Island is a place to run. To our community, it is much more. It was built in 1889 and is the second largest wastewater treatment plant in the country. Its purpose is to remove pollutants from the wastewater. These giant egg-shaped machines are digesters that break down solids in the waste. The city’s sewage is pumped out to sea from here.
The Boston Harbor has been suffering from pollution since the 1800’s. People were told not to swim in the Harbor and steam driven sewage pumps were built in East Boston and on Deer Island. These actions were causing some improvements, but not enough. If the Boston Harbor was going to be cleaned, a lot more was going to have to be done. The Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) was created in 1919 to administer the water and sewerage system. The budget became a major problem because the MDC was funded by the state. Without lots of money, not much could be accomplished. The MDC was not very successful, so the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) was created by the government and took over sewer services in 1984. MWRA, which is still in action today, is here to provide reliable water and sewer services.
Seeing all the hard work and effort that goes into protecting the Boston Harbor has made me realize how lucky we are to have it. I live right here on the beach and every day I walk out onto my porch and see the Boston Harbor. From where I stand I see mixtures of beautiful blues and greens, and the crashing of waves. I would not want this beautiful image to be replaced by waste. A clean Boston Harbor means everything to me. Looking out and seeing it shine makes me proud of our community. Of course there is much more we could be doing as a whole, but the Boston Harbor really is a natural beauty. I would like to be able to look out fifty years from now and still see it sparkle. These organizations and projects are helping us get closer to achieving a clean Boston Harbor. I know that there are things I can do to help. Simply by not littering or recycling can make a huge difference. The Boston Harbor is beautiful and we must work hard to keep it clean.
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