GBH, December 2021
Storms along the Charles River will flood dozens of critical facilities such as fire stations, hospitals and schools in towns down the riverbed, from Newton to Dedham to Franklin. The only grocery store in Wellesley is at risk for flooding, too. And as the decades pass and the climate crisis worsens, the effects will be more significant. At least, that’s what a recent flooding model from the Charles River Watershed Association projects.
The climate crisis is often looked at through a global lens. But the changing climate feels less global and more local for those getting hit hard by more common and more damaging natural disasters — which is where projects like the flooding model come in.
Massachusetts municipalities are taking a regional approach to address climate change. More than a dozen municipalities worked together to create the flooding model through the Charles River Watershed Association, conducted by environmental consulting firm Weston & Sampson, to assess their collective needs. Local governments are also jointly applying for grants, collaborating on plans to reduce emissions and advocating for policy changes at the state level in the face of a monumental challenge with limited resources at their disposal.