Grant Will Help Design Flood Resilience Strategies for Areas in Eastie and Revere

By Michael Coughlin Jr.

The Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) grant awarded to the City of Boston from the state for $330,500 will provide the funding to develop schematic designs for a project that would bolster flood protection at Bennington Street, Frederick’s Park, and the Belle Isle Marsh.

Catherine McCandless, a Climate Resilience Project Manager who works on the Climate Ready Boston team, shared her excitement about the grant, explaining that a coastal resilience plan from last year identified the aforementioned areas as a priority.

“The coastal resilience plan that came out last year that covered this area recommended this area as being a priority, and within a year of that plan coming out, we were able to secure funding to move that idea that was put forward in the plan forward,” said McCandless.

Moreover, this is the first grant through Climate Ready Boston — a city initiative focused on climate change preparedness — that has a project crossing two municipalities.

“That’s a big deal because a lot of times when we’re doing work as a municipality, we’re very much focused on everything that’s within the boundary of our municipality, but things like climate change don’t really care that we’ve drawn these lines on a map,” said McCandless

Essentially, this grant will help begin the next step toward implementing resilience strategies in the priority areas.  

Moreover, these schematic designs will build off recommendations and strategies developed through two studies, the aforementioned 2022 coastal resilience plan from Climate Ready Boston — Coastal Resilience Solutions For East Boston And Charlestown (Phase II) — and a regional study of the Belle Isle Marsh.

“It’s basically taking that next level of advancing the studies of options for an area that we’ve identified through other areas of work,” said McCandless.

“We’ve developed different conceptual strategies, but this is the next step in the implementation phase. So, really advancing that design, working with engineers and architects, wetlands ecologists to develop that strategy even further and make something that we can actually build,” she added.

Specifically, McCandless explained that a few different options would be deeply explored for the project to curb flooding vulnerability in the priority areas, thanks to the MVP grant.

One option is elevating Bennington Street. “That would be an option that we might have and that we’re going to be looking at through this study to essentially raise it out of that low-lying elevation so that it’s not vulnerable to flooding, at least not for many, many years,” said McCandless.

Another option is constructing a landscaped berm between Bennington Street and Belle Isle Marsh. “This would create more opportunities for things like walkways on top of the berm, or more tree canopy, more vegetation along that berm that would support the marsh’s health,” said McCandless.

She also mentioned two options for building the berm: one steeper and another more gradual.

Finally, there is also the possibility of combining both in that Bennington Street would be elevated, and something like a berm could be built off the slope of the elevated road.

“This grant is going to enable us to hire a team that can go out and do site investigations to kind of explore the area in greater detail and really flesh out the feasibility of each of these options,” said McCandless.

Once more information is gathered on how these options would perform, they then would be analyzed comparatively, taking into account things like cost, length of construction, benefits achieved, and more to determine the best option.

Moreover, McCandless explained that while there has been community engagement through the aforementioned studies, the community will continue to be part of this process.

Specifically, a Public Information Session is slated for Wednesday, November 15th, at 6:00 p.m. to share more information about the project. To register for the meeting, you can visit

According to McCandless, the work that will be completed because of this grant is essential for a few reasons.

This work will help ensure that Bennington Street — a major evacuation route — and the infrastructure around it, such as the Blue Line, remains operational as sea level rises or during storms.

Moreover, the work will protect valuable open spaces such as the Belle Isle Marsh and Frederick’s Park in Revere, which McCandless described as “one of a few active recreational fields for the community.”

“If we were to do nothing, these areas would be seeing a lot more frequent flooding, and from an infrastructure standpoint — infrastructure might not be usable — but the open spaces themselves might also be degraded by repeated flooding,” said McCandless.

Currently, the plan is to come back to the community in the Spring of next year with more information on the aforementioned options for the priority areas, get feedback, and then return to the community again with a preferred design.

“By getting this grant, we’re going to hopefully be able to deliver something really great for the community that will enable this area to continue to thrive as climate change continues to worsen,” said McCandless.

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