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Preparing for the Rising Tide

Author: Boston Harbor Association

This report shows how Boston's coastline,internal neighborhoods and important buildings will be impacted by flooding and sea level rise associated with climate change.  

The authors report:

  • A storm surge of 5 feet above the normal high water mark for Boston, 6.6% of the total city would be flooded including all coastal and most historical neighborhoods such as Back Bay, South End, North End, and beyond;
  • At a high water mark 7.5 feet higher than the current average, more than 30% of the city’s total land area would be under water affecting as much as 40% of all exempt, industrial, commercial and mixed-use land and buildings in Boston
  • Globally, we can reasonably expect a global sea level rise of 1 to 2 feet by 2050 and 3 to 6 feet by 2100, with higher levels in the US Northeast.
The report also details Boston's current level of preparedness for flooding, provides an initial city-wide vulnerability assessment for Boston Harbor and specific sites such as UMASS Boston, and offers recommendations for public-private partnerships based on their research.

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