Bostonians don’t love easy things, they love hard things — blizzards, the bleachers in Fenway Park, a good brawl over a contested parking space. Two different friends texted me the identical message yesterday: They messed with the wrong city. This wasn’t a macho sentiment. It wasn’t “Bring it on” or a similarly insipid bit of posturing. The point wasn’t how we were going to mass in the coffee shops of the South End to figure out how to retaliate. Law enforcement will take care of that, thank you. No, what a Bostonian means when he or she says “They messed with the wrong city” is “You don’t think this changes anything, do you?”
Moving piece in The NYTimes,
“Messing With the Wrong City.
" I was born and raised in Massachusetts. It’s a great state - a model of resilience. Rough (by design) on the outside, heart of pure gold on the inside. We fight with each other, but love each other as equals. Education, hard work, and family are paramount. American’s could look north to learn how to stick together thick and thin.
In the lobby, there were bleeding runners—not, it turned out, hurt by the explosions, but who had been in the medical tent next door, being treated for such comparatively mundane maladies as dehydration. They’d ripped out their IVs and made space on the cots for the injured…. Patriots Day in Boston is a treasured date. Half a million people come to watch the marathon. There are parties all along the route. The final stretch, on Boylston, is a cacophony of joy. It represents this city’s confluence of youth and tradition, its crazy obsession with fitness, its elation at the start of spring. For runners from around the world, the marathon is a life goal. They train not for months, but years, to meet the daunting qualifying times. Crossing that small strip of pavement is an accomplishment that’s as hard to explain as the attack that bloodied it is impossible to understand.
I'm studying the storm-surge buffering capabilities of the Boston Harbor Islands as well as possible plans to install barriers and sea gates between the islands in the future. What is the feasibility of such plans? How big of a role do the Harbor Islands currently play in protecting Boston Harbor? Do you have any suggested resources? Thank you for any help you can give.
I’m going to assume you’ve done a lot of research on climate, so I’ll just point you to some sources.
For climate science and some good maps, I’d check Woods Hole/USGS, MIT, and UMass.
Boston Harbor Association put out a brand new adaptation report, but on first glance it looks vague.
You might be surprised by calling the folks at Mass/DCR, they’re actually real friendly on the phone.
You may want to look into orgs that do disaster, conservation, and beach erosion management work on the Cape (possibly Manomet, but definitely check with MassDOT).
And I’m sure the Army Corps of Engineers has their hands in the harbor (the Corps websites are a nightmare, so be persistent. There are hidden gems!).
The City of Boston’s climate report is embarrassingly weak. But, you should scour the authors and sources of the report for leads.
VHB, an engineering firm, does a lot of work on infrastructure using climate data, and I believe they have several contracts with the City of Boston, Logan Airport (in fact, Logan and VHB hosted me on a tour of the airport’s infrastructure and facilities). VHB has a strong climate division, and they’re very friendly folks and if you ask nicely, they’ll send you some climate CDs and climate reports by mail.
And finally, check with MassPort Authority. You’ll run into roadblocks when calling them directly, so you should target specific people in the organization and be persistent. Nothing gets built in the harbor without MassPort’s blessing.
That’s all I got off the top of my head. Good luck and let me know how it goes!