Project Information

Background Information-

With climate change being an ever growing problem, it is important to ensure that coastal cities are well equipped to handle the increased storm frequency and water levels. The designated port areas(areas set aside for water dependent industrial use) within Boston Harbor need to be evaluated for vulnerability in order to ensure that the city as a whole is prepared for SLR and coastal storm surge.



We selected 18 representative parcels within Boston’s inner harbor DPAs. The vulnerability of these 18 parcels were evaluated on three dimensions, exposure, sensitivity, and ability to cope. We used preliminary information from Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management and NOAA to learn if parcels stored chemicals on site, and to identify parcels within predicted flood zones. We corresponded with business representatives over email to gather information on their emergency plans in the wake of flooding. We took a water taxi tour of the harbor to understand the current state of flood prevention infrastructure for the selected parcels.



We found that DPAs have the potential to be more vulnerable than other areas of the city. We found that there is still a gap in knowledge and we recommend that a more thorough and in depth investigation of the DPAs be conducted.


A complete version of our project paper can be found on the WPI library website.