Boston Harbor supports an abundance of recreational opportunities: sailing, swimming, relaxing, biking, and so many others. The harbor also supports a variety of marine life. If you have ever been curious about what lives in our harbor, we invite you to join us this summer for Science Under the Sun.

The harbor is one of Boston’s most treasured resources. However, 30 years ago it was known as the “dirtiest harbor in America” with little recreational value or ability to support marine life. Through the efforts of dedicated community organizers and a series of lawsuits, the harbor was transformed into one of the cleanest in the country. Boston Harbor is now thriving.

Science Under the Sun, which is our pilot program to bring community science to Boston Harbor, is a free, drop-in program that will run from July 7 through August 30. Aquarium educators will lead guided explorations at Constitution Beach in East Boston every Sunday and Carson Beach in South Boston every Friday. Both programs run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Science Under the Sun is generously sponsored by the Lowell Institute.

A community member closely observes the animals for documentation. Science under the Sun
A community member closely observes the animals for documentation.

Community science, which is sometimes called citizen science, mobilizes community members to work alongside scientists to help answer questions about the world. You don’t have to be a biologist to contribute to scientific field research, our team will guide you through scientific practices to document marine life using the free community science app iNaturalist. You can view the project and add your own observations at www.inaturalist.org/projects/boston-harbor-biota. Watch the number of species your community observes along Boston Harbor increase throughout the entire summer!

A young explorer uses a kid-friendly microscope to make a closer observation of an algae sample
A young explorer uses a kid-friendly microscope to make a closer observation of an algae sample.

We are prepared to engage all levels of explorers from toddlers to adults. There is something for everyone. Our team will be equipped with scientific tools to document our animal explorations and provide free, take-home, family-friendly field guides, which contain an easy-to-use animal identification guide as well as fun, hands-on activities to encourage science skill use in even the youngest explorers.