Resiliency Summit Set for Thursday

By Stephen Quigley

An East Boston Resiliency Summit, hosted by NOAH, focusing on preparing to mitigate local flooding and damage to property following a natural disaster will be held this Thursday evening, September 29, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Spinelli’s, 282 Bennington Street.

One of the goals in organizing this event is to alert the community to what will happen to the people and property in East Boston if the community doesn’t respond in an organized manner to climate challenges – or other natural catastrophes, including COVID.

The end of Portside at Pier I looking towards Clippership Wharf during the January 2018 flood.

Storm surges, the flooding of streets and tunnels, damage to critical infrastructure, plus extreme temperature rise are coming and East Boston will need to be prepared.

People and communities recover faster if they have a plan in place beforehand and if they operate collaboratively together in what is known as a Whole Community approach.

Sponsors of the Resiliency Summit point out that here is no secret sauce to resiliency. It is simply solid preparation for the execution of critical plans involving the active collaboration among community agencies/small businesses/ churches/elected officials, and first responders — and personally caring for one another’s well-being, particularly the most vulnerable among us.

NOAH will be a presenter and will  follow up in two areas: a) work with local leadership to promote more inter-agency Resiliency Planning, and b) continue to work on and promote Green/Gray infrastructure possibilities, especially focusing on Liberty Plaza, Border St., and the Maverick Sq area.

This Resiliency Summit will also begin to explore a variety of additional challenging issues which affect resiliency, such as dealing with extreme heat, flood prevention, critical infrastructure, evacuation preparations, air quality, food insecurity, pandemic planning, housing issues, youth concerns — all underlined with equity considerations.

In order to become fully-resilient, the goal is to establish a collaborative Resiliency Network to alert and involve our vulnerable community members.

Overall, climate resilience efforts improve the economic competitiveness of a city. This makes it more attractive for businesses and communities to settle there, increasing jobs, tax revenue, and services. In addition, it saves the local government money by reducing the damage from climate events. Collaborative community planning also improves community resilience to climate change. The organizers of the summit are encouraging every resident to work together to make all this happen for each other and for our neighborhoods.

Sign-up is strongly suggested and can be found at: https://forms.gle/QBsJYRFCVXdVnwHm6.

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