Left color

EBC Climate Change Program: Protecting Boston – The Boston Harbor Barrier Study

June 22, 2018 @ 8:00 am – 12:30 pm
Nixon Peabody LLP
100 Summer St
Boston, MA 02110

View the Attendee List

For over 30 years, various concepts for a harbor barrier system to protect Boston from the combined impacts of sea level rise and storm surge have been proposed and received limited consideration.  Acknowledging Boston’s location as both a strength and a vulnerability, and noting that the City’s current 1% annual chance flood may be the 10% event of 2050 or the monthly event later this century, the Climate Ready Boston report catalyzed a range of resilience initiatives – including a  feasibility study for a harbor-wide flood protection system.

Led by UMass Boston, a team of coastal adaptation professionals, scientists, engineers, planners, and economists evaluated the feasibility, benefits, costs, environmental impacts, and potential use conflicts of Outer Harbor and Inner Harbor flood protection systems.  The analysis also compares these harbor-wide alignments to the district-scale solutions currently being developed for vulnerable neighborhoods through Climate Ready Boston.  In this program, authors of the Harbor Barrier Study will present methods and results of these economic, hydrodynamic, environmental, social, non-governance analyses, and discuss next steps with regard to building coastal resilience for Boston and the region.

General Continuing Education Certificates are awarded by the EBC for this meeting (3.5 training contact hours). Please select this option during registration if you wish to receive a certificate.

Program Chair:

  • Joseph Famely, Project Manager, Woods Hole Group

Speaker Agenda:

Preliminary Analysis for Boston Harbor

  • Paul Kirshen, Ph.D., Professor, School for the Environment, UMass Boston; Academic Director, Sustainable Solutions Lab

Hydrodynamic and Closure Analyses

  • Kirk Bosma, PE, MCE, Senior Coastal Engineer / Innovation Director, Woods Hole Group

Environmental Impacts

  • Bob Chen, Ph.D., Professor, School for the Environment, UMass Boston

Ecological Economics

  • Di Jin, Senior Scientist, Marine Policy Center, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Recreational and Commercial Harbor Use Impacts

  • Kimberly Starbuck, Research Associate, School for the Environment, UMass Boston

Economic Analysis and Comparison to Shore-Based Solutions

  • Paul Kirshen, Ph.D., Professor, School for the Environment, UMass Boston; Academic Director, Sustainable Solutions Lab

Following the Speaker Presentations will be a Panel Discussion moderated by Joe Famely of Woods Hole Group.


  • Austin Blackmon, Chief, Environment, Energy & Open Space, City of Boston
  • Kirk Bosma, Woods Hole Group
  • Bob Chen, UMass Boston
  • Di Jin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Paul Kirshen, UMass Boston
  • Kimberly Starbuck, UMass Boston

Final Agenda – EBC Climate Change Program – Protecting Boston – The Boston Harbor Barrier Study

Program Details

Registration, Continental Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Program: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Individual Registration

If registration occurs  ——–> Through June 8 Through June 20 After June 20
EBC Member: $100 $120 $140
Non-Member: $145 $165 $185
Government/Non-Profit: $30 $50 $50

Group Registration
For EBC Members only – register five attendees for the price of four!
Discount will automatically be applied during online registration.

Fine Print
Cancellations must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20 for a refund. No-shows will be charged. Please keep in mind that online registration for this program will close at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 21. Walk-in registration is accepted at the door.


Subsidized Registration

EBC Members Only – Ascending Professional Rate: $25
Attendees who have worked in the environmental/energy sector for less than 10 years.

Job Seeker Rate: $25
For attendees currently seeking employment, not for those currently self-employed.