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Great Marsh restoration work should be a model for Boston resiliency plans

A boat speeds through the Great Marsh in Ipswich in August 2020.
A boat speeds through the Great Marsh in Ipswich in August 2020.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

John Laidler has done us all a service by chronicling the heroic efforts to restore the Great Marsh (“For the Great Marsh, a restoration project grows greater still,” Globe Local, May 30). This vast wetland north of Cape Ann demonstrates how human interventions have damaged our environment. But more important, the Trustees of Reservations and agencies involved in restoring the marsh are showing us how we can mitigate the destructive forces of climate change. Rather than adding additional human-made structures, they are attempting to restore the marsh as a natural buffer between human settlement and rising seas. Such a restoration project will reduce the losses due to climate change while preserving the austere beauty of these lands.

But let’s not stop at Newbury or Ipswich. Boston itself stands directly in the path of rising sea levels, with potential damage in the billions of dollars, not to mention the disruption of lives and communities. Will the next mayor take notice of the work being done in the Great Marsh? Only one candidate, Michelle Wu, has proposed an urban Green New Deal to develop Boston’s natural resiliency. Boston voters: This is a decisive moment. Study our mayoral candidates’ climate plans, and vote as if the future of our city depended on it. Because it does.


Brent Whelan