For two days in May the East Boston Neighborhood of Affordable Housing held a Flood Prevention Design Workshop to get more residents involved in designing the best ways to protect the community from sea-level rise and climate change.
On Friday, May 18 NOAH started with a tour of areas in the community that have been identified as entry points for flood waters. Then on Saturday, May 19, NOAH hosted a public design workshop where residents will be asked to offer ideas and input on how to best protect the different parts of the community from flood waters.
As a follow up to those two events in May, NOAH will host an East Boston Flood Prevention Design Workshop on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at the East Boston Social Centers in Central Square from 6 to 8 p.m.
At the event, NOAH’s Climate Care officials will present a draft of the results and ideas from May’s design workshop and will share them with the community for input.
“First we want to thank everyone who participated on May 18 and 19 in our East Boston Flood Prevention Design Workshop,” said NOAH’s Climate Program Manager Gabriela Boscio. “We know a lot of folks weren’t able to make it who wanted to. So we would like to invite you to join us back at the Social Centers on September 19 for an Open House where you can view designs and give your input.”
Boscio said everyone living here knows because Eastie is surrounded by water it is prone to flooding.
“We are very much at risk for flooding,” said Boscio. “Earlier this year, with the two Nor’easters that hit the area, various places in East Boston saw flooding after those January and March storms. We have been able to identify lots of different places that water will be coming as we have more and more big storms.”
Since the May event Boscio said NOAH has been actively trying to work on what kind of solutions can the neighborhood have to protect Eastie, its homes, its businesses and its schools from flood water.
“The City of Boston has done a great job of conducting a study on East Boston and came up with some specific ideas,” said Boscio. “One of those ideas was a deployable flood wall that will placed at the entrance of the Greenway during storms because it is one entry point for storm water into the neighborhood. With the event and May we wanted to build on some of those ideas. We don’t want the conversation to stop and we know one deployable flood wall is not enough. So last May we had an event and brought together community members and flood design and engineering experts from across Boston. We brought these groups together and came up with some design solutions to protect the neighborhood.”
Boscio said there’s a misconception that when people think of flood prevention they think of walls.
“But it can be so much more than a wall,” she said. “It can be a park or green space that can be enjoyed for the rest of the year aside from the two or three times we experience a severe storm. We really want to make sure people who live in east boston are part of the conversation around the design of these solutions. So at September 19th’s event we will present some of the ideas from May and then take these comments and incorporate them in our report.”
If you are interested in attending Boscio said to RSVP to [email protected] and indicate whether you plan to attend. Food will be provided, and daycare and translation are available.