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letters | girding for future storms

Greater Boston strategy calls for cooperation across city, town borders

RE “SCIENTISTS want city to gird for storms” (Page A1, Nov. 2): In the aftermath of Sandy, Friday’s article underscores Boston’s vulnerabilities and the risk of more severe hazards as a result of climate change. However, it’s important to remember that these threats affect the entire metropolitan area, from Plum Island to Cape Cod, from Downtown Crossing to MetroWest. The most effective preparation often calls for cooperation across city and town borders.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council is helping communities reduce their vulnerability to natural hazards by preparing mitigation plans, with support from both the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. These plans identify actions cities and towns can take now to reduce the impact of natural hazards, such as protecting wetlands and forests as natural buffers, improving drainage infrastructure, and coordinating the action plans of emergency responders.

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Looking to potential future threats, the council is developing a regional climate change adaptation strategy with support from the Obama administration. The strategy will assess vulnerabilities throughout Greater Boston and will identify actions that state and local officials, institutions, businesses, and households can take to increase our resiliency in the face of increasingly frequent and severe storms.

New York and New Jersey learned some lessons last week the hard way.

Greater Boston can prepare for the challenges of the future, but it will take planning and region-wide cooperation.

Martin Pillsbury

Director of

environmental planning

Metropolitan Area

Planning Council

Boston

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