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Boston Looks At Plans To Deal With Rising Ocean


Ideas to solve the problem include raising the entrances to the city’s subway and highway tunnels, moving electrical equipment out of downtown basements and onto roofs and zoning changes that discourage construction in high-risk areas.

“This isn’t just an environmental issue,” says James W. Hunt III, the city’s chief of environmental and energy services.

Agencies involved in the effort include the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security, office of Environmental and Energy Services, transportation department and public health commission.

Boston isn’t the only city trying to figure out how to head off a flooded future. In New York City, one team of architects has proposed lining lower Manhattan with wetlands to absorb the rising waters of New York Harbor.

A winner of a competition in San Francisco last year was a design for a ventilated levee that would maintain different sea levels in different parts of the bay.

There’s no shortage of challenges. Decades will be required to design and build massive projects and the threat from the ocean is uncertain, politically contentious and unlikely to hit with force for decades.

In the absence of an immediate problem, elected officials and others could simply delay a decision.

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