Boston North Shore Study

Regional Saugus River Floodgate Project - Everett, Lynn, Malden, Revere and Saugus, Massachusetts

Project Status & Updates

GENERAL 

Revere officials and others requested Senator Edward Markey to sponsor legislation for a regional investigation for coastal flood protection and environmental enhancement, which he and Representative Katherine Clark did in the Water Resources Development Act of 2022, which President Biden signed with the National Defense Authorization Act on 23 Dec 2022.  Funding is now needed for the Boston North Shore Study from both the Federal and state governments in order to sign a cost sharing agreement for the study.  This  "New Study Start" process was initiated by a joint letter request by the five communities.  The Feasibility study process would develop, evaluate and update alternatives and impacts.  Public involvement is required in order to evaluate alternatives and environmental concerns and to renew support from the Commonwealth and communities.  This support, an approved Feasibility Report and EIS/EIR are required before the design process can begin.  The city of Revere has taken the lead for the region.   Since no funding is in the Corps budget for this fiscal year, and it's uncertain when funds will be made available, it has been recommended that Revere officials consider obtaining state and local funds, and then, in coordination with the Corps and with their oversight, proceed with the study.   This recommendation was made in light of the danger which the region is facing with accelerated sea level rise and frequent flooding, and since it will likely take until 2030 before a Regional project can be completed.

12-23-22 -- A detailed 20 page draft scope of work and schedule for accomplishing the feasibility study was prepared by the former Corps project manager of the project and sent to Revere for coordination and to the Corps for review.  The objective is to expedite the study as soon as funding is received by making making maximum use of existing reports, and after public/agency coordination and hopefully renewing state support, and then move quickly into final design.

12-23-22 -- On this date President Joe Biden signed H.R. 7776, the National Defense Authorization Act 2023 which includes the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA 2022), Sec. 8202, “Expedited Completion”, which states: “The Secretary shall expedite the completion of a feasibility study for each of the following projects, and if the Secretary determines that the project is justified in a completed report, may proceed directly to preconstruction planning, engineering, and design of the project:  …  Project for flood and coastal storm risk management and ecosystem restoration, Boston North Shore, Revere, Saugus, Lynn, Malden, and Everett, Massachusetts…”

11-29-22--A zoom meeting was held with Revere's Planners Elle Baker and Frank Stringi, Ofsthun Conor, Coastal Scientist with the Woods Hole Group, the Corps of Engineers' John Kennelly, Chief of Planning and Chris Hatfield, Chief of Plan Formulation Branch, and Bob Hunt, former Corps Project Manger.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Connor's flood risk study, and the pending authorization for the Corps' Boston North Shore Study requested by the five communities.  Since John is retiring in a few weeks, Chris will be the point of contact with the Corps.  If the Corps study is authorized this year, the next step will be for the communities to obtain funding to match the Federal funds once they are appropriated.  Several participants requested participation in the meetings with Revere's Working Group which represent the five communities.  Also requested was information on other Revere's flood studies.  John mentioned that this web site had been very well done, especially useful was the availability of the documents.

11-16-22--SEA LEVEL RISE PROJECTIONS:  The NASA Sea Level Change Team recently confirmed near term catastrophic and nuisance flooding, evidence indicates the rise is accelerating, and findings confirm the higher rates developed by Federal agencies in a Feb 2022 report by NASA, NOAA, and the US Geological Survey that over the next 30 years, by 2050, sea levels on the East Coast will rise 10 to 14 inches, a rise historically seen over 100 years. This rise closely aligns with the Corps of Engineers High curve projection which the project will be evaluated to protect against, and likely evaluated for even one foot higher forecasted to be reached in 2070.  As previously designed the project would be designed to be easily modified for about a five foot rise, possibly to be achieved in 2100.  Of even more concern, "..by the mid-2030s, every U.S. coast will experience more intense high-tide floods due to a wobble in the Moon's orbit that occurs every 18.6 years."

10-12-22 -- "Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed (R-RI) opened debate for the Senate's version of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  ..substitute amendment includes.. reauthorize critical programs such as the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).."  WRDA 2022 includes the Corps of Engineers programs and projects with the Senate version (S.4137) stating in "Section 203 Expedited Completion of Studies:  The Secretary shall expedite completion of a feasibility study for.. (3)  Project for flood and coastal storm risk and ecosystem restoration, Boston North Shore, Revere, Saugus, Lynn, Malden and Everett, Massachusetts."  The House version (HR 7776) is slightly different.  Legislators plan to have NDAA passed by 16 Dec 22, as usual, with the WRDA attached.

9-7-22 -- Revere Journal reported:   "The City of Revere received state Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) funding as part of a regional effort to help people and places prepare for extreme weather.  The Cities of Revere, Malden, and Everett, all longtime members of the RMC (Resilient Mystic Collaborative), are working with their coastal neighbors to the north, Saugus and Lynn.  The cities secured $151,000 to begin work on a regional Saugus River Watershed Vulnerability and Adaptation Study to help these coastal communities manage coastal flood damage."

July 2021 -- Senators Markey and Warren submitted a $1.5 million funding request to the Senate Appropriations Committee for the intended recipients of Revere, Saugus, Lynn, Malden and Everett to support the Regional Saugus River Flood Protection Project and study in partnership with the Corps of Engineers.  If funded, "The project aims to analyze current and future flood risk region and recommend a hybrid solution..to advance regional strategies for climate adaptation and flood mitigation measures.  The Saugus and Pines River area has sustained repetitive flood damage for decades and the recent MA-Flood Risk Model predicts that the already vulnerable conditions are exacerbated by climate change and sea-level rise impacting Environmental Justice populations and Area of Critical Environmental Concern."

5-24-21 -- Elle Baker, Revere Environmental Planner, advised that she "..was able to secure funding to establish a new regional working group of stakeholders for the project and I hope to have this kick off in June.. likely vis zoom."  

3-30-21--The city of Revere and Corps of Engineers believe an existing study authority can be used to start the Feasibility study sooner than waiting the anticipated 3 or 4 years for authorization and funding.  The attached letter from Revere's Mayor, on behalf of the five communities, requests the Feasibility study for a regional flood protection project be investigated as part of the Corps' North Atlantic Coastal Comprehensive Study.  If approved the cost of the Feasibility study would be shared 50-50 between Federal and non-Federal interests.  View Letter

3-23-21--The city of Revere arranged a zoom meeting with Mr. Greg Robbins, Director, Division of Waterways, Dept of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).  Attending the meeting were:  Mr. Robbins; Ms. Elle Baker with Revere’s Planning Office;  Ms. Mary Lester with the Saugus River Watershed Council & Lynn Conservation Comm.; Revere’s consultants; and Bob Hunt, Senior Project Manager ACOE Retired.  The purpose of the meeting was to obtain guidance from Mr. Robbins on the city’s plans for development in the Riverside and Point of Pines area, as well as his concerns for the Regional Floodgate Project. The attached document “Environmental Benefits and Mitigation”, prepared by Mr. Hunt at Revere’s request, was sent to participants by Ms. Baker, and lists the 16 major environmental benefits and mitigation measures of the Regional Project.   Mr. Robbins was very interested in the information, admitting he wasn’t that knowledgeable on the project.  He was aware that, at several public meetings, folks were quite supportive of the Regional Project as a panacea for their flooding problems.  He cautioned us that regulations have changed over the past 30 years and there is concern whether the Regional Floodgate Project could have a significant detrimental impact on the Rumney Marsh ACEC estuary, and whether it would ultimately be acceptable because of new regulations and its cost.  He agreed that DCR would have a major part in this project.  Ms. Baker advised that she was: concerned that without the Regional Project, we might as well pack up and move out of the floodplain; hoping funds would arrive next month to fund a consultant who’d organize/manage an Advocacy Group to coordinate a regional flooding solution; and also, she’s coordinating with the ACOE to expedite study funds.  The city is also coordinating letters to the Governor and Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs.  Mr. Hunt explained the background on the project, advised coordination was needed with state agencies, and that all of the Planning Reports and Design Documents on the physical and numerical modeling of the floodgates, estuary, breaching I-95 embankment, Revere Beach and dunes at Point of Pines had links on the Project’s web site for their use…which they appreciated. View Environmental Benefits & Mitigation

2-9-21  An email entitled "Regional Floodgates: Corps Recommendation for Senator Edward Markey" was sent by the retired Project Manager to the Corps of Engineers with copies to: the Environmental Secretary; Dept. of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner; and officials of the five communities.  The purpose was to alert the Corps to Senator Markey's need for their recommendation on "Re-authorization' of the Regional Project, and reasons why the Corps should consider supporting "Re-authorization".  These  reasons include;  renewed public support, increasing flood threat from sea level rise and benefits, minimal increase in costs, no change in the minimal environmental issues, and that it remains the preferred alternative. View Email

 

12-10-20  Mr. Rupp reported that WRDA 2020 was impossible to modify at this point after discussing it with Senator Markey.  However, he reported that Senator Markey is supportive based on his historic involvement with Revere since he was a freshman Congressman, and they will aim for the 2022 WRDA which comes together mid 2021 legislatively.  Mr. Rupp will act as the liaison with the Senator's staff and the Staffs of Congressman Moulton and Congresswoman Clark per Markey's instructions, and coordinate with the Corps of Engineers' Planning Chief. 

12-5-20  Re-authorizing the Regional Project would save many years in lieu of re-planning the protection for the region, since the major change is the increasing risk from rising sea levels.  Mr. Paul Rupp, formerly Revere's Director of Planning and Economic Development during the investigation, offered to coordinate with Senator Edward Markey and his staff to attempt to re-authorize the project possibly by adding it into the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 Bill.  The Bill is scheduled to be voted on by the US Senate this month.  WRDAs are usually biennial legislation which authorizes US Army Corps of Engineers projects.  During the coordination, Mr. Rupp, currently with Community Reinvestment Associates, Inc., requested a chronological history of the project which would answer such questions as:  Why was the project de-authorized?; Where does the project stand?; What are the Federal and non-Federal costs before starting construction?; and What is the timeline?  See the attached "Milestones" .

11-24-20  The city of Revere initiated a request to Senator Markey to Re-authorize the Regional Saugus River Floodgate Project, possibly in the pending Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA), currently a bill before the US Senate--this approach is a long shot.  WRDAs are initiated by the Environment and Public Works Committees which include the Corps of Engineers' projects.  Senator Markey, a member of the Committee, was responsible for initially getting the project Congressionally Authorized in WRDA 1992.  Reauthorization could save an estimated 9 years of restudy effort and $6 million.

10-8-20  EPA's Ed Reiner advised the Project Manager (PM) that the MA Water Resources Authority was planning a major water line across the Saugus River which would conflict with the Floodgate alignment.  At the request of both Ed and Revere officials, the PM advised the Corps of the conflict since the Corps' Regulatory office was reviewing the application.  The PM reported that the water line would interfere with the extensive piles required to support the floodgate structure, and a million dollars had been spent on the borings, surveys, and physical and numerical modeling for this location.  

8-28-20  The city of Revere decided to take the lead to complete the application and coordinate a letter of support with the communities for a request to the Corps of Engineers for a "New Study Start".  The application and letter, coordinated by Revere's Elle Baker and Frank Stringi and Saugus' Peter Manoogian, was completed by the 31 August deadline with the Mayors of Everett, Lynn, Malden and Revere, and the Saugus Town Manager signing the August 26, 2020 letter.  The letter supported the study and a regional solution to the coastal flooding problem and environmental enhancement of the upper estuary.  The study would be called the Boston North Shore Coastal Flood Damage Reduction and Environmental Enhancement Study.  New coordinators with the study include:  Ms. Doloros Lattanzi - Executive Manager to the Mayor of Everett;   Mr. Aaron Clausen-Lynn City Planner; and, Ms. Michelle Romero - Malden City Planner. View Letter

8-24-20  Revere's City Council Legislative Affairs Sub-Committee:  Following a brief presentation, most councilors spoke in favor of the Regional Project and then unanimously voted to support a resolution for the actions proposed at the 7-27-20 City council meeting.  The resolution will then be presented to the full Council.  Meanwhile the Mayor's staff is completing the application for a "New Study Start" with a supporting letter for the five communities to endorse.  The Revere City Clerk sent a letter to the Corps of Engineers on behalf of the City Council to confirm their full support for the Boston North Shore Coastal Flood Damage Reduction and Environmental Enhancement Study. View Letter

Bob on zoom8-18-20  With the help of Vice Chair Corinne Riley and Peter Manoogian, following a brief zoom presentation, the Saugus Board of Selectmen voted  5-0 to support actions to: (1) send letters to the Congressional Delegation to sponsor a resolution to re-authorize the Regional Project, and (2) to send an application and supporting letter to the Corps for a new study start--- not knowing which avenue may prove more successful.

8-6-20  State Representative RoseLee Vincent sent a letter to Governor Baker, copy to the Secretary of Energy & Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides, supporting the Town of Saugus' request to reinstate the Regional Saugus River Floodgate Project, since it  would "..not only protect 5,000 coastal residential and commercial buildings in Saugus, Revere, Lynn and Malden, but would also be critical in restoring portions of the East Saugus Marshes...I can attest that this project is sorely needed now...the Wheelabrator Saugus incinerator, whose unlined ash landfill is adjacent to the banks of the river.  A major concern..is that one day, a severe coastal storm will breach the landfill, sending contaminates flowing into the river..and into their homes.." View Letter

 

7-27-20  The Revere City Council through the efforts of Councillor Jessica Ann Giannino requested a  presentation on the Regional Project.  After the presentation she said she "..was looking forward to working with Mr. Hunt and the Corps of Engineers to develop a solution to the flooding problems.."  Also it's "A great opportunity for all residents with over priced flood insurance..."  Councillor Richard Serino indicated his ward covered the Rumney Marsh and Town Line Brook and his "..goal is to alleviate flooding from Town Line Brook."  Council President Patrick M. Keefe, Jr. concluded with "The next action for us is to put it in Legislative Affairs because we're going to need Congressional support in creating the funding to help you start some of the processes that Mr. Hunt is recommending."  Recommended were: Avenue 1, the need to request a New Study Start since the project was de-authorized by Congress, which may take several years to fund; and Avenue 2, to request the Congressional Delegation to sponsor a resolution to re-authorize the project and prevent years of delays and restudy.

7-23-20  The City of Revere's Office of Community Planning and Development, Chief Robert O'Brien and his staff, Elle Baker and Frank Stringi, conducted a teleconference with this project manager, and the Corps of Engineers' Chief of Planning. It was recommended that the city, possibly with support of other communities, pursue two avenues to get a project started:  (1) Filing an application for a new study start next month which may take several years to get approved since Congress only approves a few new starts each year;  and (2) Requesting the Congressional Delegation sponsor a resolution to re-authorize the Regional Project to expedite it's start.

7-13-20 Thru the efforts of Town Meeting Member Peter Manoogian, the Saugus Town Meeting discussed and listened to a brief Project presentation for an article which then passed (43 to 1) to request the Governor to re-start the Regional Saugus River Floodgate Project with copies to Senators and Representatives.

7-2-20  Mr. John Kennelly, Corps' Chief of Planning, sent an email to Mr. Anthony Cogliano, Chairman of the Saugus Board of Selectmen, and to Ms. Elle Baker of Revere requesting a meeting with them.  He advised that, since the project was de-authorized, Federal funds would need to be requested as part of a 50/50 cost share with the non-Federal sponsor to complete a new Feasibility Report, which could be challenging as Congress annually only allows 5-6 new starts. 

7-1-20  Mr. Peter Manoogian of Saugus requested Bob Hunt discuss the project with Town Selectmen next week on a zoom meeting, and then present the project at the Town Meeting on 13 July.

3-31-20  The web site was completed so I advised Federal & State legislators, City Councillors, Selectmen, community contacts and DCR of the purpose and web site name.

3-26-20 - Ashley Melnik, Clerk of Revere's City Council was advised by Councillor Giannino that my presentation to the City Council is being pushed back until May due to the virus outbreak and she would get in touch with me once a date is set. Also, there are two display TVs that can feed from a lap top. I told her I had made tripods for the displays to be set up in the lobby. 

-- Malden City Councilor Stephen Winslow advised that public forums of all types are on hold for awhile.

3/18/20 - Saugus' Peter Manoogian called requesting if ok to link web site to Facebook on Project, and Yahoo account.  I told him it was his Project.

-- Articles sent to Corp's Public Affairs Office to publish/inform all those from Waltham/Concord, St. Louis District, and Vicksburg who had  worked so enthusiastically on this project that communities are very interested in re-starting project.  Sally pleased to hear from me, grateful to receive articles & provided info to Scott.

3/17/20 - Revere's councilor Giannino advised Council meeting postponed till next month to have as much public input as possible.   City clerk Ashley advised presentation postponed to April 27th.  (City Hall closed due to Coronavirus.)

3/16/20 -Saugus announced all town buildings closed as of March 17 to help control spread of coronavirus.

-- Sent message to A2Z Computing Services, Inc. who are donating their time/talent to develop Web Site and worked hard and late all week/weekend to prepare Web Site ready for viewing by Revere & Saugus officials this week prior to their meetings: "An absolutely incredible Job!!!  It provides opportunity for Congressmen, State & city politicians .et al. to quickly access answers to any question, disseminate information throughout the region and Washington reviewers, provide location to update status, and provide a beautiful and meaning first impression for a very important Project!!  Now get back to work!"

3/15/20 - Advised Revere City Clerk and Saugus Board of Selectmen Clerk that if their meeting was cancelled (because of Coronavirus) that a conference call could be set up and use the well organized web site.

3/1-/20 - City Clerk Ashley helpful to set up meeting with Revere City council for March 23, 6pm.  I sent info sheet & map. Requested letter invitation to Corps.

3/12/20 - Received copy of Saugus' Selectman Cogliano's letter, dtd March 11th inviting Corps Commander or staff to Selectmen's April 7th meeting.

3/10/20 - Wendy, Saugus Selectmen Clerk, very gracious, scheduled Bd of Select. meeting 7 Apr at 6pm.  And will have lap top, projector, screen , mic & is looking for tripods to hold displays.   It was requested they send a letter to Corps requesting help to understand process.

 -- Learned from Ed Reiner, EPA, that the DCR owns 850 acres of the Estuary and another transfer of land from Revere was expected.  (This could reduce project costs by over $10 mill.)

 -- Working continued to complete the web site before meetings start.

3/9/20 - A letter & power point/flash drive  (pp) was sent to Jim Montgomery, Commissioner, Dept. Conservation & Recre. (DCR) with info and that the Project includes his Revere Beach Reservation.

3/7/20 - Peter Manoogian called w/ Revere City Councilor Jessica Ann Giannino who is very supportive, wants  to arrange presentation w/ Revere City Council

3/1/20 - A2Z Computing Services, Inc. offered to prepare a web site for the Regional Saugus River Floodgate Project, so to start it off he brought his drone to the region on this date and photographed the Revere, Lynn and Saugus shorefronts, estuary and some inland areas. The photos are shown on this web site as "Photos".  A2Z Computer Services, Inc. is located at 24 Center Street, Oakland, Maine 04963; phone: 207-465-8312;

2/27/20   Elle was contacted and she’s pleased to meet w ACOE and wants Project Manager to attend.

--   ACOE John Kennelly text back concerned activities are moving too fast for Corps to get up to speed, not want to send someone into crowd since don't know project that's unauthorized and a new study is needed. Wants to call & meet with non-fed sponsors to explain process. Gave him contacts. I requested to attend meeting.

2/26/20  Revere's Frank Stringi and Elle Baker called for about an hour to discuss mtg later in March w/ maybe 80 dignitaries, Congressional staff, legislators, mayor et al from 4 communities, possibly at Yacht Club. Frank thinks time is right.  Frank was the Revere prime mover and Steering Committee Member on the project in the 90’s.  Corps should be advise.

2/25/20   Chmn. Anthony Cogliano. Saugus Bd of Select. and Peter called anxious to move proj fast, can't believe project was stopped. He wants presentation at Board meeting.

2/24/20  Revere’s Elle Baker called to ask for presentation at Revere w/ reps from Revere, Saugus. & Lynn and to provide all correspond and send power point.

2/23/20. Sent offer to Revere's Elle Baker if she has questions or need help.

2/21/20  Peter & Saugus Selectwoman Corinne Riley called with many questions and she wants to support prj.

2/21/20  I advised Scott, DDE-PM, that Peter plans to contact him and have Pub Mtg.

2/21/20  Scott texted that:" Thanks . I've been keeping John Kennelly (Chief of Planning Div.) in the loop on this too. If they reach out to us, we'll get engaged in an official capacity."

2/3/20   Peter Manoogan called. He had read a copy of the letter sent to Ann Devlin (with Saugus Action Volunteers for the Environment, SAVE) , and Peter wants to promote prj,  wants my help at public mtg, and wants to sponsor resolution for Gov. to resume prj. He talked to woman in Revere Planning Ofc, Elle Baker, who is looking into prj.  He borrowed power point from her, advised him that Scott Acone best contact, since he wants to contact ACOE.  Peter was former SAVE President, Selectman, & Steering Comm. Member who strongly supported project in the ’90s.

2/2/20   A2Z Computing Services, Inc. was asked if they could put power point on web site. They agreed and so pp sent to them.

1/24/20   29 letters sent w/ pp flash drives to community officials and organizations w/ CZM letter to DEP, CZM, MEPA, Davis, Joe, Ed, DDE.

1/21/20    ltr sent to CZM Kathryn Glenn, cc to chiefs CZM, DEP, MEPA, Steve Davis, Joe, Col. Conde which addressed CZM issues because of her statement that CZM hadn‘t supported project and she should look at MEPA Certificate.

9/8/19   Sent Malden City Councilor a copy of pp to review, since can't reschedule forum till next spring due to election et al.

8/26/19   Sent a letter to Mary Lester, Saugus R Watershed Council w TM & Sec EEA letters.

8/24/19  Malden City Councilor Stephen Winslow advised public forum could not be held on Sep 28 since local tv not available.

8/16/19   Malden City Councilor Stephen Winslow called interested in public forum in Sep.

6/27/19 A  letter was sent to Elaine Hurley, Riverside Asssoc, former steering comm. mem, w mayor, Stringi & councilor letters.

6/10/19.   Sent letters to 39 state legislators, city councilors, town selectmen w copies of letters to mayors & TM.

5/10/19  Sent letter to Revere's Frank Stringi on danger of overtopping at Pt. of Pines.

5/8/19   Sent letters & project info to Gov. Baker. & Sec. EEA.

5/6/19  Sent letters to Lynn's Mayor McGee, Malden's Mayor Christenson, Revere's Mayor Arrigo, Saugus' TM Crabtree w/ project info pkg.

4/27/19   Started working on slides & power point.

3/21/19  Joe Horowitz and Steve Davis helped review letters.

3/18-26/19   The Corps was requested if there was any problem sending letters reminding folks of Regional Project. They had no problem with writer sending them out, but Corps can not promote project.  They would be happy to engage Secretary Beaton if the Commonwealth requests us to re-look at it.

3/18/19  Articles sent to Revere Journal, Saugus Advertiser and Lynn Item describing Project.

2/28/19  Globe reported Gov. Baker wants legislature to let proceeds to be spent on adaptation and mitigation measures to shore up seawalls, and protect wetlands.

2/6/19  Gov. Baker appeared before Congress supporting solutions to Climate  Change, include "funding dams and drainage improvements to address flooding, developing land use policies that protect coast..."

 

 

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