Rising Sea Levels Threaten Boston Development

Boston (CBS) – Experts say the threat of a rising sea level is very real to downtown Boston’s buildings and future development. Some business owners are already preparing for trouble.

Lisa Van Der Pool of the Boston Business Journal reports this poses a threat to Boston real estate that could cost millions.

The key is that not only is the threat real, but it’s really growing. Because of several different factors, like melting glaciers and climate change, the sea level is expected to rise gradually in the coming decades, putting buildings on Boston’s waterfront at severe risk of being flooded.

The forecast calls for the sea level to rise 2.5-feet to 5-feet between the next 40 to 90 years. The worst fear is that the sea level will rise and a severe storm will hit, and not only downtown Boston will flood, but surrounding areas like Cambridge will flood too.

Boston businesses are taking this very seriously and paying attention to it. The Boston Harbor Association had a meeting about the rising sea level in November.

A recent report from the World Wildlife Fund found that rising sea levels could put $463 billion in Boston assets at risk by 2050. A new development, a $3 billion Seaport Square project on Boston’s waterfront, is expected to have protections against severe flooding, and according to the BRA it’s the first time that such a large project is putting in such protections.

Obviously it’s going to be building owners and developers who are really concerned about this type of thing, but some environmental experts are worried that because the average time to own a large building in downtown Boston is less than 10 years, that some owners might not be willing to invest in protection against current buildings.

  • skeptic

    It boggles the mind to listen to UNPROVEN nonsense like this. Where’s the proof? Has the sea level in Boston risen over the last 40 years? If so, I’d like to read the report. There is just as much scientific data refuting these “predictions” as there is supporting them – but you never hear that angle. Speculation is killing gas prices right now…..let’s do the same thing with real estate prices and drive the economy right into the ground. Fabulous.

  • Dave

    Skeptic, you’re an idiot! It IS proven data! Clearly you need to go back to school and learn ===>

    Let’s build more on the coast and fill in more wetlands!! Go Boston! IDIOTS!

  • Bruce

    Skeptic…your a person who reasons for themselves and has avoided the nectar of the “Warmists” Kool-Aid. Congratulations for paying attention and reaching your own conclusions. It is sad to see policy driven by such outdated “Political Science.”

  • Stephen

    Skeptic is right, these are predictions, as he put it. And this article doesn’t site any scientific study, but in fairness neither does Skeptic or Dave. Also, to say that “speculation is killing gas prices right now,” and I’ll assume you are referring to rising costs in fossil fuels, is highly inaccurate. The price of any commodity is regulated by supply and demand. The demand for oil and gas has done nothing but increase over the years while it’s supply dwindles. That is proven.

  • Peggy

    I wonder how many of these buildings will be standing 40-90 years from now? The Travelers Insurance Building was imploded after 30 years.

  • Thos Weatherby.

    The ice cap is growing. Try the site iceagenow.com

    There is no gullible warming. There are no rising sea levels.

  • mitchel44


    At your current average of 2.63 mm per year, you will hit a whole 1 inch of sea rise in just under 10 years.

    Pretty much the same as has been going on for decades, long before man had any influence.

    Get a grip.

  • Charlie

    Keep letting companies not be able to build there high-rises, expect more to leave the state, people don’t like stumpy buildings, they like tall slender nice buildings,

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