Regional Saugus River Floodgate Project

Protecting the Communities of Everett, Lynn, Malden, Revere and Saugus, Massachusetts

Project Milestones - Saugus River and Tributaries, MA

Aka. Regional Saugus River Floodgate Project 

Flood Damage Reduction Project, Lynn, Malden, Revere, Everett and Saugus, MA

Reports located in items #3 to #8

View Environmental Benefits & Mitigation

  1. 6- 7 Feb 1978--Blizzard of ’78 caused record coastal flooding damaging 3,100 buildings up to 6 feet deep, 4,000 people evacuated, 10,000 residents, 20,000 employees & 400,000 commuters affected, from flooding of five major arteries,  $ 288 million in damages (’20 price level) 

  2. 1985-1990--Saugus River & Tributaries, MA --Corps of Engineers’ feasibility study with 5 steering committees, conducted at $2.6 million which recommended the Regional Saugus River Floodgate Project (aka. Saugus River and Tributaries Flood Damage Reduction Project), and enjoyed wide community & legislative support by Sen. Markey & Cong. Mavroules et al.

  3. 22 Aug 1988--The extensive environmental investigation conducted during the study revealed the value of resources in the Saugus/Pines River Estuary and the continued loss of wetlands over the years.  The study's coordination with agencies resulted in the realization that the estuary needed additional protection.   As a result the state gave the estuary, aka. Rumney Marsh, the highest protection possible as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) on August 22, 1988.  The Saugus River Flood Damage Reduction Project was exempted from the designation (ACEC page 4). View ACEC

  4. Dec 1989 (Revised 4/90) Feasibility Report & Final EIS/EIR completed by New England Division recommends Regional Project to protect 5,100 buildings against worst coastal storm likely to occur with depths to 12 feet and damages at $1.3 billion. Protects 5 major arteries: Rt.1, 1A,107, Blue Line, Commuter Rail & GE Jet Engine Plant.  Project produced highest net economic benefits of all plans. View EIS/EIR  View Feasibility Report   View Appendices

  5. 20 Feb 90-- Certificate of the Secretary of Environmental Affairs on Final EIR:  “…project adequately and properly complies with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act and with its implementing regulations..”  View Certificate

  6. 5 Mar 90--MDC, under Secretary John DeVillars, provided letter supporting the project and indicating that they were designated the local sponsor.  View MDC Letter

  7. Mar ‘90-- report approved by Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, and Final Design starts. Detailed design included physical and numerical models of floodgates, estuary, shorefront and sand dunes, also borings, surveys, et al. at a Federal cost of $6 million until stopped in 1993. 

  8. Aug ‘90--Chief of Engineers Report submitted to Asst. Sec. of the Army for Civil Work (ASA(CW)).  ASA and OMB reviewed and approved the Saugus River and Tributaries, MA report.  Design efforts were underway from 1990 through Dec. 1993. Design Documents

  9. 15 May 91--OMB concurred that report is consistent with the President’s budget.

  10. 26 Aug 91--report transmitted to U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee by ASA (CW) for authorization as a Federal project. 

  11. 12 Nov 91--State Rep. Steven V. Angelo, Chmn, Comm. on Natural Resources letter: “strong support” and “..ready to sponsor legislation to fund the State’s share of the funding (35%) through appropriations.” 

  12. 31 Oct 92-- President Bush authorized project in WRDA1992, Public Law 102-580.

  13. August 1993--During final design of the Regional Project, renewed support was requested from Gov. Weld’s newly appointed Secretary of Environmental Affairs Trudy Coxe.  In a meeting with the Corps’ New England Division Commander and Project Manager Bob Hunt, Sec. Coxe, an environmental activist from Rhode Island, stated she did not support construction along the Massachusetts coast and would not support this project.

  14. 31 Aug 93--After the meeting, an MDC letter advised that the state must “...consider more fully nonstructural alternatives before making a final decision...”.  The Regional project had thoroughly evaluated Nonstructural Plans; however the project was stopped by the Corps of Engineers at that point to await the State’s decision, which has not been received.  (State and 4 local sponsors not likely advised that the project would be de-authorized.)

  15. 29 Mar 2009--Saugus River and Tributaries, MA project was de-authorized, since  Congress requires that projects that are inactive without funding for about 7 years be de-authorized---reported in Federal Register Vol. 74, Issue 126 on July 2, 2009.   (Previously, projects stayed authorized on the books for years, like Revere Beach was authorized for 30 years before being constructed.)

  16. Jan & Mar 2018--“Bomb Cyclone” storm easily exceeds 1978 tide levels due to fast moving coastal storm and accelerated sea  level rise, and a second storm nearly reached that level.

  17. Feb 2019--Gov. Baker testified before Congress, supports Fed. Funds / actions to protect against flooding and sea level rise, and ‘20 Budget addressed climate change, and flooding to protect the coast.

  18. Mar 2019--Because of rising sea level threat & Gov. Baker’s support, Corps former Project Manager starts reminding public of  Project’s benefits to protect them from coastal flooding. Over 100 letters & packages, and power points sent out, and the web site was developed. 

  19. July 2020--Corps advised communities that since the project was de-authorized it is no longer a Federal project.   A “New Study Start”, which could start in 3 to 4 years, would need to be requested and proceed again through the complete planning process.  This could take up to 13 years and $ 13 million cost shared for planning, design and plans & specs (PE&D) before start of construction. 

  20. Jul-Aug 2020--Presentations were made to Revere  City Council and Saugus Selectmen and Town Meeting Members.  Letters of support received from the Mayor, and City Council.  Revere and Saugus  supported  the Congressional Delegation to Re-Authorize the Regional Project and also supported a New Study Start in the event it can‘t be re-authorized.  Rep. Rose LeeVincent letter requested Gov. Baker to reactivate the Regional Project and restore portions of the Estuary on behalf of Saugus’ overwhelming support.  (MA Department of Conservation and Recreation would be the state sponsor.)

  21. 26 Aug 2020--Mayors of Everett, Lynn, Revere and Malden and Town Manager of Saugus sent a letter to the Corps of  Engineers supporting a “New Study Start” .  The letter states that “This study is necessary ..to protect the region from increased flood losses and promote environmental restoration of the upper Saugus/Pines River Estuary.   A regional flood protection project is necessary...”  

  22. 5 Dec 20--These "Milestones" prepared to help with Re-Authorization effort--Saugus  River and Tributaries, MA project is recommended for WRDA 2022 to be Re-Authorized to prevent years of delay since the Region is threatened with frequent coastal flooding and accelerated sea level rise-- ranked among the most vulnerable along the US coast.  This Regional Project at $231.5 million (’20 p.l.), (includes the cost of environmental restoration of 500 acres of the estuary by removing I-95 fill & improvements in East Saugus) would take about a year to update design & permits plus complete the remaining two years for PE&D, total 3 years at an estimated remaining cost  of  $7.5 million of which $4.7 million is a non-Federal cost before start of construction. 

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