NOAH Holds Second Climate Ready Workshop

By John Lynds

Residents pick from a variety of waterfront designs and ideas that could potentially prevent flooding in Eastie.

Amphitheater-like seating on the water’s edge, community swimming pool docks, hilly lawns, a living marsh were some of the ideas that community members came up with at East Boston’s Neighborhood of Affordable Housing’s first Climate Ready Workshop to protect the vulnerable community from sea-level rise.

Last Thursday, some of these ideas were presented at NOAH’s second workshop at Maverick Landing’s Community Room.

Over 100 people attended last week’s workshop and saw first hand what the flood prone areas of Eastie may look like in 50 years. The maps showed entry points around Eastie’s waterfront and how sea-level rise and storm surges could have potentially devastating impacts on areas like the Greenway and the surrounding homes and businesses.

The ideas put forth by the community showed how something like a hilly lawn built up along these sea-level rise and storm surge entry points could divert water from flooding a good portion of the neighborhood.

“I am delighted to see increasing community participation in the design of our waterfront in ways that we the residents of East Boston can benefit from while also protecting the neighborhood from coastal flooding due to sea level rise,” said NOAH’s Community Building and Environment Consultant Kannan Thiruvengadam. “I appreciate NOAH’s partnership with the city to make extensive community outreach possible. Both NOAH and the city of Boston continue to welcome East Boston residents’ feedback on resilient waterfront design options presented at the Climate Ready East Boston Open House on July 13 as well as the process in general. We need to work harder to ensure more participation by the most vulnerable segments of our population.”

Thiruvengadam said NOAH and the city are still welcoming feedback from residents and can email suggestions and comments to [email protected]

“At the open house, residents gave their preferences on several flood mitigation design options identified by the consulting team,” he said. “I can’t wait to see the final recommendations made to the city. I know there will be several implementation challenges, ranging from financial to political, no matter what those recommendations are. I am sure we can tackle those challenges if we all come together.”

NOAH Executive Director added, “We think the second climate workshops continue to be useful and informative for residents, businesses and government alike. The visual representations, the options available for resident choices and the ability to speak with knowledgeable staff seem to generate real understanding of this complex issue, especially as it affects the Greenway and flood path entry points.”

Giffee said NOAH will continue to find ways to present climate change threats and issues to East Boston so we can all work to preserve our wonderful community.

“For example, there will be a Climate Summit at the Umana in late October or early November and all will be invited,” he said.

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