City, GreenRoots join with MRWA for coastal cleanup at Island End Park

The City of Chelsea collaborated with the non-profit GreenRoots organization, the Mystic River Watershed Association (MRWA), engineering firm Weston &  Sampson, and One Architecture for a coastal cleanup event Saturday at the Island End River Park salt marsh.

Island End Park is situated behind the Marina at Admirals Hill office building on Justin Drive.

Ben Cares, planner and project manager for the Chelsea Department of Housing and Community Development, was pleased to see a large turnout at the cleanup. Cleanup volunteers wore face coverings and adhered to social distance guidelines.

“We’re doing a community engagement exercise coupled with a cleanup crew and event,” said Cares. “Island End Park is one of the major flood pathways into Chelsea, so the City is embarking on the design and implementation of a coastal flood barrier.

“The project will be coupled with open space so the flood barriers will bridge together the existing open space of Island End Park with something that’s functional that will help reduce flooding into Chelsea and Everett,” said Cares.

Melanie Garate, climate resilience project manager at MRWA, said the coastal cleanup event was being held to try to connect folks to Island End River Park.

“There is a salt marsh here that helps protect against coastal flooding, but it also unfortunately gets a lot of trash and so we’re hoping that people will come here and get connected to this area and be part of the public process to renovate the park – and it creates climate resiliency here at the salt marsh,” said Garate.

Garate is originally from Chile and holds a Master’s Degree in Marine Ecology from URI. “I’m an immigrant and I know that it’s really important for immigrant communities in Chelsea and Everett to get involved and a good way to do that is through their children,” said Garate. ‘Two of the important community members that we reached out to were Chelsea High School and Everett High School and the students are excited to participate and we hope they can bring information about our cleanup efforts to their families.”

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