Water quality monitoring in the Biomimicry LivingLabs engages UMass Boston students and is sponsored by the MIT Sea Grant and the Schmidt Family Foundation.

Savin Hill Cove

Biomimicry LivingLabs received a $200K grant from the Schmidt Family Foundation for 2013-15. Here is the proposal for the restoration of the Savin Hill Cove, presented at the Boston Living with Water International Competition. And HERE is the blog by Sarah Koenig about the first oyster reef in Boston Harbor.

Boston Water and Sewer Commission Water Quality Monitoring at Morrissey Blvd. Drainage Conduit Project (Executive summary)

Green Harbors Project students and Prof. Anamarija Frankić have been working with students from Newton High School, Outward Bound from Thompson Island on salt marsh restoration in Savin Hill Cove, adjacent to the UMass Boston campus. On Saturday, Sept. 24, 2010 at low tide, we came to the site to measure basic water quality in the intertidal area near fringing salt marsh, and found 156 oysters in the Cove. In 2016, we counted about 150K native oysters, creating a small shellfish reef habitat just at the culvert. Oysters and their reefs used to thrive in New England (Ingersol, 1881), but in the last hunderd years oyster reefs have been depleted globaly by 85% (Beck et al, 2011). GHP has been working on local projects to help restore our coastal systems, creating iving shorelines, so our urban harbors can become resilient and adapt to climate change and sea level rise.

Please note that this area is contaminated and closed to any shellfishing, including oyster collection and harvesting! It is a health hasard to consume any shellfish from closed areas in Boston Harbor. Please visit DMF web site for more information.

The oysters found in the Cove are both European oysters (Ostrea edulis) and native Eastern Oysters (Crassostrea virginica). The oysters were found in areas where ground water is seeping out into the cove creating small channels, where substrate (bottom) is firmer and lacks accumulation of silt and mud, therefore providing more suitable conditions for oysters to attach as spats (juvenile oysters) and to survive, grow and reproduce establishing an oyster reef, rue engineers that we need back in our urban waters (billionoysterproject)

We have also installed the first floating island and planted 2 inch cord grass (Spartina alterniflora) to help buffer the shoreline and improve water quality. Floating islands are made of a non-toxic PET plastic matrix that has holes for plants to grow in. As we base our work on biomimciry principles, we decided not to use any plastic or foam materilas in designing floating structures, whihc adds more nano and microplastic particels into the food web. Therefore, we are working with Biomimicry New England  to identify environmentally-friendly materials that will replace present designes for floating islands.

EEOS 476 SyllabusStudent Projects 

"Assessment of policy conditions, constraints, and consequences in the process of shellfish restoration: the complex permitting process for restoration of urban harbors" (Paper PDF) (Presentation PDF)

"Development of sustainable solutions to mitigate sediment and contaminant re-suspension during storm surge and tidal inundation in urban harbor (Savin Hill Cove)" (Paper PDF) (Presentation PDF)

"Assessment of existing fish advisories in Boston Harbor and comparison between three urban estuaries: Neponset, Charles and Mystic Rivers" (Paper PDF) (Presentation PDF)

"Shifting Shorelines of Savin Hill Cove 
(GIS Land use/Land cover mapping)" (Presentation PDF)

Anamarija Frankić and Stephen Norris, May 2014 presentation for the Savin Hill local community, Biomimicry LivingLabs.

Boston University student Ashley Jones wrote an article about the Biomimicry LivingLabs.

For background information about the cove, view previous student capstone projects: Savin Hill restoration and Savin Hill dredging.

Click here for water quality data from the MWRA (Massachusetts Water Resources Authority) (Savin Hill Cove is Station 39).

Visit the Savin Hill Yacht Club

Honors College Student Project: The Floating Classroom!

Background video