A23 – Chelsea Salt Marsh Restoration

Chelsea Salt Marsh Restoration

Project Overview

Our Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) encompasses a comprehensive overview of the Mill Creek Salt Marsh in Chelsea, Massachusetts. The core objectives include conducting extensive surveys and interviews to gauge the impact of the marsh’s poor condition, exploring potential mitigation actions that the city can take, and assessing residents’ sentiments towards the creek.

The challenges we anticipate addressing encompass salt-marsh deterioration, the management of stormwater run-off contributing to water pollution, and combating coastal erosion. These issues stem from the significant influence of urban infrastructure and development projects near Mill Creek, exacerbating pollution and erosion in the marsh areas.

The Mill Creek marsh system is situated adjacent to environmental justice communities in the north and southeast, with Mill Creek itself serving as a tidal tributary to the Chelsea River. Currently designated as an impaired waterbody, the creek’s deterioration is attributed to unfair urban policies, land use practices, and the development of urban infrastructure leading to industrial pollution.

The primary beneficiaries of this project are the residents of Chelsea residing along the marsh’s edge. Our efforts are geared towards gaining insights into the impact of the creek’s condition on their lives and attitudes, with the goal of informing potential mitigation actions by the city.



About our Team

About our Sponsor

Chelsea Housing and Community Development

  • Provides physical, infrastructural, and socioeconomic needs for their residents
  • Goal: Create equitable communities and provide equitable housing.
  • Mill Creek Salt Marsh Stakeholders: GreenRoots, The Nature Conservancy, and the Mystic River Watershed Association (myRWA)

Sponsor’s Projects (Relevant to Mill Creek)

  • Building a boardwalk along the stretch of Mill Creek 
  • New park at 88 Clinton St
  • Investigating the removal of berm in Mill Creek to improve tidal flow and water quality 
  • Conduct a study to identify the causes of poor water quality in Mill Creek 
  • Address invasive species encroachment and bank erosion along the riverbank


The overall goal of the team for this project was to engage and educate residents on the history and conservation efforts to preserve the creek. Furthermore, the conclusions drawn from this project will be used to influence future technical restoration initiatives and to promote a broader understanding of the restoration methods around Chelsea.  An overview of this project, with background on other Mill Creek Projects, can be found on the following link:  Chelsea Mill Creek Web Page