Principal & Chair of Design Culture Sasaki Boston, Massachusetts
The Charles River Conservancy believes that returning swimming to the Charles is the ultimate sign of a restored river. In the last 25 years, significant investment has brought this vision within reach, but challenges remain. Harmful algal blooms have emerged as the biggest barrier to regular river swimming and are only projected to increase, fueled by climate change’s rising temperatures and increased rainfall.
To address this growing issue, the CRC is partnering with Northeastern and Foth to pilot a floating wetland, the first of its kind on the Charles. Research will offer data that is needed to understand algal blooms, quantify the scale at which water quality could be improved, engage the public in a conversation about the relationship between ecology and water quality, and offer a model that can be used to strengthen other rivers’ ecologies, making them more resilient to the pressures of urban development and climate change.
Recognize the current condition and complexities of Charles River water quality.
Describe possible permitting paths for innovative resiliency pilot projects.
Demonstrate the ecological value of wetlands for urban adaptation.
Explore opportunities for building environmental literacy through partnerships.