Green Harbors Project (GHP)

UMass Boston faculty
Biomimicry Fellow
Phone: (617) 287-4415
Fax: (617) 287-7474

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Green Harbors Project

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The Green Harbors Project (GHP)

The Green Harbors Project (GHP) is the core of my multidisciplinary research. My premise is that the environment sets the limits for sustainable development.

The GBH methodology is derived from a 1500 year old Native Hawaiian Ahupua’a approach. This approach defines sustainable relationships among land, water and humans from the tops of islands to the coral reefs and open ocean. The main connection - as well as impediment - among the different self-sustaining units in this approach was both the quality and quantity of the water.  Land stewardship practices were established to ensure that water used for agricultural purposes higher on the mountains was either unharmed or enhanced for downstream uses.

(Apuhua'a figure from

AhupuaGBH Ahupua

GHP seeks a similar interconnection between the City of Boston and Boston Harbor. Based on the Ahupua’a approach, the GHP initially envisioned five potential layers or units for a multidisciplinary project. This was narrowed to the three layers for the initial years of the project:

  1. The City’s and Harbor’s main watersheds – Neponset, Charles, Mystic;  the project focus here is on green roofs and other pervious surfaces to restore the watersheds self-sustainability
  2. Coastal intertidal areas – a) including the Harbor walk (potential sites for restoring native species of shellfish, e.g. oysters, mussels); b)salt marsh restoration sites; and c) tidal mud flats with soft shell clam restoration sites
  3. Eelgrass beds and their restoration in Boston Harbor

Graduate student work related to GHP includes:

Selected Publications

Frankić, A., L. *Greber, and M. Farnsworth. 2011. Teaching and learning with nature by using biomimicry approach to restore three keystone habitats: salt marsh, eelgrass and shellfish beds. In Proceedings of the First Annual Biomimicry in Higher Education Webinar. Biomimicry Institute. (PDF).

Frankić, A. and L. *Greber .2011. A Holistic Science Approach to Living within Coastal Ecosystems in Boston Harbor and Beyond. The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability (In press).

Frankić, A. *A. Alao, *T. Brown, *L. Greber, *J, Haskins, and *C. McIntyre. 2010. April is 'the month when the eelgrass seed is mature:' A holistic approach to sustaining eelgrass (Zostera marina). Encyclopedia of Earth. URL: to be assigned

*Greber, L., A. Frankić, and J. Muller. 2011. NERRs (National Estuarine Research Reserves) as Common Grounds: Towards a holistic science approach to research, education, and outreach with religious communities to enhance climate and eco-literacy at Waquoit Bay, Cape Cod MA, USA. (Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences, in press)

*Vella, P., R.E. Bowen, A. Frankić. 2008. “An Evolving Protocol to Identify Key Stakeholder Influenced Indicators of Coastal Change: The Case of Marine Protected Areas”, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 66: 203-213

*Peharda, M., I. Župan, L. Bavčević, A. Frankić and T. Klanjšček. 2007. Growth and condition index of mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis in experimental integrated aquaculture. Aquaculture Research. 38: 1714-1720

Bowen, B, A. Frankić, and M. Davis. 2006. Human development and resources use in the coastal zone: influences on human health. Oceanography, Vol.19, No.2:62-71

Frankić, A. 2005. "A Protected Environment in the Adriatic Area: A Key for Sustainable Economic Development"; Chapter 3, pp 96-102, In: Global Marketing Briefings: Doing Business with Croatia. GMB Publishing Limited, 392p. ISBN-13: 9781905050031