For the past 10 years, Everett officials, led by Mayor Carlo DeMaria, have been trying to get access to our City’s waterfront.
Piece by piece, they have been opening up the waterfront to Everett residents.
First, Seven Acre Park behind Santilli Circle had the promise to go to the waterfront. However, this waterfront plan was stalled until Steve Wynn stepped forward to clean-up this additional site that will be open in the near future..
Then in 2012 Steve Wynn promised and all plans definitely point to opening the basin of the Mystic River to residents.
Today, Everett officials have joined with a host of other partners to hire Utile Consultants to develop a plan to connect a series of open spaces along the Malden River.
If this last piece of access becomes reality, for the first time in one hundred years, Everett residents will have access to large sections of waterfront to enjoy.
Everett follows the lead of other neighboring communities in getting access to the waterfront. About 20 years ago, Chelsea Greenspace also undertook an ambitious plan to start opening parts of Chelsea Creek to the public.
First, there was a small access point at the old Parkway Plaza Shopping Center on Revere Beach Parkway. Then Eastern Salt funded a park that gave a much better access point to enjoy the waterfront.
In East Boston, Massport first built and then helped maintain Piers Park that enabled residents to enjoy sitting along Boston Harbor or taking part in the sailing program. Recently, many new developments in East Boston include public pathways along the waterfront.
Getting access to the waterfront is the first part of what must be a larger project.
Year after year, we read how polluted these waterways still are for swimming. Decades of dirty industries have left their mark.
There is hope.
One only has to remember that in the 1970s, the Charles River was so polluted that if you fell in the water while using the sailboats, you needed to get a tetanus shot. Today, people are actually swimming in the Charles River on a hot summer’s day.
In the late 1980s Boston Harbor was considered the most polluted harbor in the United States with beaches being closed more than being open during the hottest days of the summer.
Today, Boston Harbor is one of the cleanest in the country.
This teaches us that nature can be taken back from the brink of destruction to again thrive for the people and wildlife.
The first step to getting people to the water is access and we seem to be on that path.
We look forward when once again people can swim in these rivers.