Study for City of Boston Coastal Storm Risk Management

The Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) Feasibility Study led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District will assess coastal storm risks to the City of Boston, the 23rd largest city in the United States, home to Boston Harbor the largest regional port in New England. The Study will consider near-term and long-term risks that include routine storms; nor’easters; storm surge; as well as incorporating sea level change along the 47 miles of coastline in the city. It will consider existing city, federal, state, and local plans and projects to ensure a complete system approach toward community resilience. It will assess the effects on populations, ecosystems, property, transportation and infrastructure across the city. The Study will result in a recommended plan to manage coastal storm risk that may include construction.

Through an integrated Feasibility Study with a NEPA document, the project team will develop recommendations for structural, non-structural, as well as natural based features to reduce the risk of coastal flooding on the community, the economy, and the infrastructure.  Evaluations will be made to assess impacts to the Nation, socio-economic impacts to the community, environmental impacts to the natural resources, as well as impacts to the cultural and archaeological resources in the project area. 

The Study is authorized under a 1969 Senate Resolution and funding was received in 2022 to initiate and execute the study.  

Partnership with City of Boston

The U.S Army Corps of Engineer's partnership the the City of Boston will build on the work of the Climate Ready Boston initiative. This initiative works to prepare Boston’s waterfront for the near- and long-term effects of climate change. Climate Ready Boston has completed neighborhood coastal resilience plans to protect Boston's 47-mile coastline from flooding. These plans include solutions for the East Boston, Charlestown, Downtown/North End, Dorchester, and South Boston waterfront.

Important Documents

Project Updates

February 2024 Status Update: Boston Coastal Storm Risk Management Study

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New England District and the City of Boston’s Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) Study is now scheduled for completion in 2028. Since the last community engagement in the winter of 2023, USACE Headquarters approved an extension from the previous 3-year timeline for study completion to 6 years due to the size, scope, and complexity of the project.

USACE is working closely with the city and stakeholders to collect data within the study area to develop our baseline conditions. Assessments under way include a biological habitat survey, underwater video, and photographic documentation in the study area; a structure inventory of the affected environment; a cultural resource and archaeological survey of the study area; cataloging existing and planned City of Boston development projects; as well as an inventory of subsurface utilities and critical infrastructure. Additionally, we have begun the process of identifying social characteristics within each neighborhood to better understand the diversity of the community. These characteristics include, but are not limited to, the socioeconomic characteristics, housing characteristics, mobility characteristics, and economic characteristics.

We’re using the information gathered above to identify the existing and potential future conditions without a project being implemented. This future without project conditions/no action alternative will serve as the baseline as we look to formulate strategies and build on the work already done in Climate Ready Boston. We will look to the community as part of this process to validate the information, engineering and data that we’ve put together over the past year.

Please continue to check back with us via project websites or email, the next round of community engagement will likely occur during the Spring/Summer 2024 before we start formulating alternative plans to address coastal storm risk in the community.

Connect with the USACE Team

Contact Phone Number