LYNN — Members of the city’s state delegation joined city leaders and other state officials at King’s Beach Friday.
The group visited the beach as part of a tour of beaches on the North Shore for members of the state Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources to discuss the status of beaches in the region.
State Rep. Dan Cahill serves as House chair of the joint committee. He was joined by other members of the Lynn delegation, including state Rep. Jenny Armini, whose district includes all of King’s Beach.
“This is not a new problem, but thankfully we’ve become more aware of it,” Armini said. “There have been major investments but it’s still not enough.”
Armini noted that the issues with the beach, which have persisted for more than a century, have been even more apparent this year.
“This beach was closed 90% of this summer, that is a travesty,” Armini said.
Armini, along with state Sen. Brendan Crighton and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay Executive Director Chris Mancini, explained the history of the beach’s environmental issues as well as the effects they have had on the communities that live near it.
“What we’re trying to do is bring so much focus to this specific issue,” Mancini said. “We have a mile of beautiful beach here.”
Crighton also pointed out that the consistent closures of King’s Beach in 2023 were unlike those of other beaches in the region.
“If you look at Long Beach in Nahant, every day this summer it was jam-packed with the parking lot full, which is what we want,” Crighton said. “It’s been a couple of decades of this, and everybody’s at their wit’s end.”
State Rep. Peter Capano was also in attendance, along with other Statehouse leaders from throughout the Commonwealth.
Ward 3 City Councilor Coco Alinsug said he was happy about the interest that city and state officials are showing in the beach’s issues.
“I’m the first person who gets all the calls,” Alinsug said.
Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Brian Arrigo also spoke to the group about the efforts DCR is taking to address the issues facing the beach, which is overseen by the state.
Arrigo stressed that going forward, working with the state’s communities and the legislature will be a priority for DCR.
Also in attendance was Andrea Amour, founder of the group Save King’s Beach. She asked officials to ensure that there are long-term solutions to the causes of the beach’s pollution, which have historically been antiquated sewer systems and combined sewage overflows that would likely take tens of millions of dollars to fix.
Overall, Armini stressed that it is imperative for state leaders to make cleaning King’s Beach a priority.
“The goal of the committee is to make this a priority for the Healey-Driscoll administration,” she said. “That involves coming up with a plan that is workable within a reasonable amount of time… This is in the Commonwealth’s best interest.”