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Flooding on Behen and Market Streets in Everett.

Island End River

Flood Resilience Project

The Island End River Flood Resilience Project consists of the construction of a coastal storm surge barrier (flood barrier), storm surge control facility, riverfront nature-based solutions, and related amenities at the Island End River in the Cities of Chelsea and Everett to protect the surrounding area from flooding.

Historically, the IER region has experienced consistent flooding during relatively minor precipitation events, while experiencing significant coastal flooding during recent storm surge events and king tides. The projected storm impacts in the district would include flooded homes, roadways and parking lots, damaged facilities and utilities, and impacts to businesses.

MC-FRM Annual Coastal Flood Exceedance Probabilities for 2030, 2050, and 2070 Source: Woods Hole Group, 2023

Project Funding

Federal: Approx. $750,000

State & Local: Approx. $7 million

Recently applied for approx. $50 million from federal funding for construction.

Project Phase

The project is currently in the permitting stage and the final location is close to being finalized. Conversations about wall locations with stakeholders and abutters in regard to their current and future operations are happening now.

Flood Resilience is a term that generally covers strategies for reducing damage to homes, businesses, and roads that is caused when a river overflows. By ensuring ample natural landscape that can handle above average river levels and by building flood barriers the local community will be more protected from damaging floods.

A flood resilient community is able to quickly recover from substantial and frequent flooding with minimal damage, disruption and cost.

The Island End River Flood Resilience Project will protect:

  • 5,000+ Residents in Underserved Communities

  • Nearly 500 Acres of Land and 800+ Buildings

  • More than 2 Acres of Ecological Improvements

  • 11,000+ Jobs & Regional Food Security

IER Today

The IER is a tributary to the Mystic River and is tidally influenced. The IER is abutted by Everett on its western bank and Chelsea on its eastern bank. It has a Federal Navigation Channel that consists of a six-foot-deep, 2,500-foot-long channel extending from the Mystic River to the Admirals Hill Marina in Chelsea. The channel is 75 feet wide at its upstream end and 100 feet wide at its downstream end. The surrounding area is heavily developed with high amounts of impervious surfaces and undersized stormwater infrastructure.

The area is home to critical infrastructure including the New England Produce Center, the regional FBI headquarters, Massachusetts General Hospital’s (“MGB”) Chelsea HealthCare Center, the City of Chelsea’s Carter Street Pump Station, Williams Middle School, and Chelsea High School. The Project Site itself contains facilities ranging in uses from industrial, such as cold storage and liquified natural gas distribution, to recreational, such as Island End Park.

As a historically industrial area in a coastal setting, associated environmental impacts include trash and debris, nutrients and sediments from untreated stormwater runoff, and coastal bank erosion. The existing banks of the river are stabilized with stones, but have been worn over time by a long history of storms and nearby industry. The area has become a trap for litter and debris.

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