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    Group protests city’s development amid climate change

    Mike Prokosch (right) led members of Boston Climate Action Network and waterfront residents on Sunday as they called on the city to address climate change concerns.
    Pat Greenhouse/globe staff
    Mike Prokosch (right) led members of Boston Climate Action Network and waterfront residents on Sunday as they called on the city to address climate change concerns.

    About 30 people gathered Sunday outside the Aquarium MBTA stop, where flood waters surged into the station Friday, to call on the city to better protect its residents from climate change.

    “We’re hoping to raise the priority of climate action for the city,” said Andy Bean, the campaign coordinator for the Boston Climate Action Network, which organized the protest.

    “It’s affecting us already. It’s not something that’s off in the future.”

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    The protest was organized after the storm on Jan. 4 that flooded Long Wharf and other areas of the city, Bean said, but Friday’s nor’easter and its resulting floods gave the protest new meaning.

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    Protesters donned life vests and wooden, painted kayaks while holding signs with messages such as “Ain’t No Seawall High Enough.”

    Bean said he hopes the city this year implements the Community Choice Energy plan that Boston’s City Council approved in October 2017, which would increase the amount of renewable energy residents and businesses use without raising costs.

    The grass-roots organization also partnered with concerned residents in the North End to call on the city to cease new waterfront development until it has a master plan for protecting residents and existing infrastructure from the effects of climate change — predominantly rising sea levels.

    The city has a Climate Action Plan, which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020 and be carbon neutral by 2050, but Bean said it is overdue for an update.

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    Kent Lawrence, 82, who has lived in the North End’s Lewis Wharf area for 21 years, was one of the concerned residents at the protest.

    “I’m here to make a pitch for a master plan before going ahead with all of this development willy-nilly,” said Lawrence, who said his building had some minor flooding in Friday’s storm.

    Dave Barlow, 61, echoed Lawrence’s concerns. He said risky development included a proposed 300-room hotel at Lewis Wharf, which he said would be “swimming in the water right now” if it had already been built.

    “I just see that as an example of rushing to put the shovel in the water, let alone the ground,” Barlow said.

    Dylan McGuinness can be reached at dylan.mcguinness@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DylMcGuinness.