Paid Advisory Board Will Be Part of Next Charlestown Resiliency Effort

As the City readies to embark on a new effort to look at coastal resiliency in Charlestown this winter, they will be looking for community member to join a new, paid Community Advisory Board (CAB) to champion the cause.

Last month, Climate Ready Boston announced detailed plans from a study they did on downtown Boston, the North End and Dorchester. Now, they are moving on to Charlestown and East Boston – the place where one of the first Resiliency efforts began in 2017. Though that effort focused mainly on the backside along the Mystic River and Schrafft’s, Director Peyton Siler Jones said they will now be looking closer at other parts of the waterfront.

“In 2017, Climate Ready did work in Charlestown and East Boston,” she said. “That first phase organized around distinct parts of the geography – mostly the coast of the Mystic River. The second phase will focus on the Little Mystic Channel and up around Menino Park and Charlestown Navy Yard and the North Washington Street Bridge. We’ll want to talk about the frequency and locations of flooding with the new CAB, with residents and with those who work there. The idea is to design solutions to protect the neighborhood from sea level rise.”

That plan is part of Mayor Martin Walsh’s overall directive to activate the water’s edge using techniques that also can provide flood storage and protection.

What is extremely new will be the CAB and the top order of business is to get nominations and applications for that new board. Jones said they are budgeting for about 10 members of the Charlestown CAB, and she reiterated they will be compensated.

“Basically, we’re adding a new element for the Climate Ready Boston planning process,” she said.

The CAB’s primary focus would be to advise Climate Ready Boston on engagement, such as moving a meeting from a large Zoom to a video presentation with a poll that would be available for two weeks. That is just one example, but she said all types of engagement and meetings would be run through the CAB first to make sure it is consistent with the neighborhood needs.

A second part of the CAB would be acting as ambassadors for climate resiliency and the plan unfolding for Charlestown, so any nominee needs to be passionate about this issue.

“We would see the Board members as Climate Ambassadors to the community going forward,” she said.

The deadline at the moment for nominations or applications for the Charlestown CAB is Dec. 7. However, Jones said they would be open to taking applications after the process starts due to the fact that in COVID-19 times, many might not have Climate Resiliency as a top priority right now.

To apply for the CAB go online to www.boston.gov/departments/environment/climate-ready-charlestown.

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