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  • Feasibility of harbor-wide barrier systems: Preliminary analysis for Boston harbor
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Feasibility of harbor-wide barrier systems: Preliminary analysis for Boston harbor

Source(s):  ARCADIS
University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass Boston)
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)

The aim of this study is to provide the City of Boston with a preliminary assessment of the feasibilities and potential benefits, costs, and environmental impacts of three harbor-wide barrier configurations. The analysis was conducted by a multidisciplinary team of environmental scientists, engineers, economists, planners, and lawyers, drawing upon a wide range of data about engineered flood protection systems, climate change, coastal ecosystems, and economic impacts of flooding.

This study focused on barrier designs and configurations that would offer protection from coastal flooding while minimizing interference with Boston’s main shipping channels and the gains that have been made in water quality over the last several decades. This study also examined potential conflicts with various harbor uses, and conducted a preliminary comparison with shore-based adaptation solutions (which include district-level flood barriers as well as other structural and nonstructural actions), such as those already being investigated by the City of Boston along the inner harbor waterfront in East Boston, Charlestown, and South Boston.



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  • Feasibility of harbor-wide barrier systems: Preliminary analysis for Boston harbor
  • Publication date 2018
  • Author(s) Kirshen, Paul et al.
  • Number of pages 250 p.

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