The Future of Boston Harbor

THE FUTURE OF BOSTON HARBOR

"We're not just planning for the next storm we will face, we're planning for the next storms the next generation will face.”

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced his plan to protect 47 miles of shoreline from flooding, known as “Resilient Boston Harbor”, with this remark. The plan’s “toolkit” includes elevated roadways, flood barriers, and strengthened seawalls.

Strategies like this have been made necessary by an unfortunate reality. The earth’s environment is a dynamic system, and our species has reached the point in its evolution when we can collectively affect changes within that system. Humanity’s insatiable appetite for fossil fuel has pumped so much CO2 into the atmosphere that the resulting greenhouse effect is raising the average temperature worldwide. Temperatures rise, ice melts, sea levels rise, shorelines become submerged.

Visible near the center of the image are Logan Airport, whose elevation spares it in the short term. The circular lagoon off to its right is home to Fort Independence and Castle Island Park, areas that are much more vulnerable.

Image Link:https://www.windowsonearth.org/Expeditions/037-favs-091013-111013/i-8R3ZRCn/A

Science Link:https://www.boston.gov/departments/environment/climate-ready-boston-map-explorer