Corps Takes New Approach to Flood Control

by Frank Notardonato, Proj. Mgr.; U.S. Corps of Engrs., Waltham, Mass.,
Arthur F. Doyle, (M.ASCE), Chf.; Comp. River Basin Sect., U.S. Corps of Engrs., Waltham, Mass.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1979, Vol. 49, Issue 6, Pg. 65-68

Document Type: Feature article


As urban development increased storm runoff into the Charles River, a dam built in 1910 became inadequate to protect the Boston area from flooding. Boston suffered $5,000,000 in flood damage because of 1955 Hurricane Diane; at today's prices and level of development, the damage would have been nearly $100,000,000. To cope with the growing flood threat, the Corps of Engineers built a project to sluice and pump floodwater from the Charles into Boston Harbor. The project will also relieve the congestion of recreational boating at the existing navigation lock and will help clean up water in the Charles River Basin. And, because the project's success depends on having upstream wetlands store runoff, the Corps is buying thousands of acres of marshes and swamps to be preserved as wildlife refuges and natural storage areas. This is the first time the federal government has purchased land for nonstructural flood control.

Subject Headings: Rivers and streams | Water-based recreation | Floods | Runoff | Damage (structural) | Wetlands (fresh water) | Federal government | Storms | Boston | Massachusetts | United States

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