Climate Ready Charlestown - Phase II
The plan seeks to preserve the essential functions and historic character of our waterfronts. It also works to undo the harm of historical planning that unjustly placed certain communities at risk of environmental hazards.
Phase II of the plan includes near- and long-term solutions for the Navy Yard, Little Mystic Channel, and the Boston Autoport.
This Climate Ready plan builds on the first phase of the study in 2017. It is part of a larger citywide effort to address climate change in Boston. With this report, the City has completed coastal resilience plans for Boston’s 47-mile coastline.
Coastal Resilience Solutions
This report presents coastal resilience solutions in the Phase II of Charlestown’s coastline.
Stakeholder EngagementStakeholder Engagement
Community engagement was critical to the creation of this plan. The project team engaged with more than 550 community members through open houses, neighborhood presentations, and surveys. Climate Ready Boston incorporated community feedback into the design and implementation process.
Community Advisory Boards
Climate Ready Boston opened applications for Community Advisory Boards (CAB) for each neighborhood. The 10 members in the Charlestown CAB helped lead engagement and shared feedback. They participated in community events, shared information, flyers, and surveys to community members.
The Steering Committee consisted of representatives from City and State agencies. They defined goals and outcomes, discussed feedback, and guided the proposals and next steps. Through this partnership, they ensured practical solutions that align with City and State policy, planning, and investment.
COMMUNITY-SUPPORTED PRIORITIES THAT INFORMED THIS PLAN:
- Share a sense of urgency around the impacts of climate change and how it affects people, places, and services residents’ rely on
- Put in place effective solutions that provide more than one benefit
- Concern about new development and its impact on housing affordability and neighborhood character
- Improve access to the waterfront as a community resource
- Protect homes and essential infrastructure, such as public transportation and evacuation routes
- Restore natural habitats for plants and animals
- Address environmental and climate injustices, burdens, and hazards
Coastline Existing Conditions
Coastal Flood RiskCoastal Flood Risk
As the average tide rises, low areas along the shoreline that ere once dry will be flooded more often.
Storm surge is an increase in the water elevation above the normal everyday tide.
Coastal erosion is the process by which sea-level rise, wave action, and coastal flooding wear down or carry away rocks, soils, and sand along the coast.
Impacts low-lying areas along the waterfront, including parks, industrial uses, homes, and businesses. Coastal flooding occurs as water levels rise above the ground elevation.
Impacts low-lying waterfront areas and inland areas. Water enters over a discrete low-lying location on the waterfront, like a bulkhead or roadway. Water then flows inland and creates widespread impacts to homes, businesses, and infrastructure.
Neighborhood Resilience Strategies
Focus Area 1: Constitution Wharf and Boston National Historic Park
This focus area is along the southwestern part of the Navy Yard waterfront. It extends from the Boston National Historical Park to Paul Revere Park and the new Charles River Dam.
The Boston National Historical Park property is particularly low-lying. Several flood pathways enter Charlestown at this location today and contribute to flooding elsewhere in the neighborhood.
Solutions include options for floodwalls combined with walkways and a raised Harborwalk. In collaboration with the National Parks Service, the City will further develop these solutions and implement them at the National Historical Park.
Focus Area 2: Charlestown Navy Yard
This focus area extends along the waterfront from the Chelsea Street bridge at the northeastern edge of the Navy Yard to 5th Street at the southwestern edge of the Navy Yard.
Solutions include options for elevating the Harborwalk or raising 1st Avenue along with building-level adaptation. The strategy's goals are to reduce risk, address flood pathways from Boston Harbor, and enhance public access along the waterfront.
Focus Area 3: Little Mystic Channel
This focus area is along the Little Mystic Channel waterfront from Barry Field and the Chelsea Street bridge. It extends past the Charlestown Community Center and Little Mystic Boat Ramp, to high ground on the Lower Mystic Greenway.
The strategy includes options for a redesigned coastline and raised Harborwalk. It will improve public spaces to protect affordable housing developments and local amenities. It also plans for long-term ecological restoration. Over time, the strategy will integrate with solutions for the Navy Yard, preventing connected flooding from Little Mystic Channel and the Boston Harbor.
Focus Area 4: Terminal Street and the Boston Autoport
This focus area includes the waterfront along Terminal Street and the Autoport. Solutions here focus on building- and site-level adaptations for water-dependent industrial uses. Options for perimeter protection at the Autoport are also suggested but will need further coordination between the City, Massport, and Autoport businesses.