Head of Boston Harbor Library

FEMA considers Boston to be in retrograde. Yet, Boston is catching up to other coastal cities. Amongst many harborfront private and public private projects has hidden gems such as Piers Park in East Boston and the Revive Pier 5 initiative in the Boston Navy yard at the Head of the Harbor.

It’s important to act now. With current economic turmoil
private developers threaten public assets.

Industrial-InstitutionalGrey Boston WaterfrontHeat Study Pier 5 BostonHead of Boston Harbor Historic ViewshedCAT Infrared Pier 5

Learn more and participate in Boston adaptation.

Boston, as a coastal city, experiences a dichotomy between sociopolitical economic progress and the challenge to building equitable resiliency..

This will require shifting the narrative and making systemic changes in climate resiliency-building, multisector collaboration and developing more innovative models of stakeholder engagement.

– Magdalena Ayed, Founder and Executive Director of The Harborkeepers

Equitable Resiliency, Progress & Collaboration, Boston Rising Seas Response

Urge our Leaders

Harbor Habitat Factors

Building on Pier 5 compounds the problems below


Restoring and Reopening Landmark Park
Pier 5 catalyses the benefits below

Pledge to Protect Boston Harbor and the Public Waterfront.

Pier 5 Association Petition

We urge you to sign our petition, supporting green spaces and community resources, rather than privatization of the last open public waterfront area in the city.

Join Us

We welcome passionate volunteers to join us in our mission to inspire and affect resilient, revitalized, and accessible waterfront for all. You will be joining an alliance changing Boston’s public space for generations to come.


Visit our Maritime Library to learn more about the missions and interests of various community initiatives and institutions.

Public Waterfront Access!

Please reach out to the leaders and organizations beginning with the emails below.
Explain why you oppose privatization, what you would like to see in the pier and the area
Tell (or remind:)) the City/Boston Planning and Development Agency of their obligation to maintain public open areas.
Explain why you think it is important for the generations to come.
Please, don’t wait and send your comments ASAP.

Over 200 Bird Species depend on the Harbor Habitat. In late fall and winter, great flocks of waterfowl gather in harbor waters.

– National Park Service Massachusetts

  • Birds depend on the pier for play, biodiversity, to hunt, feed, and breed
  • Birding (Bird Watching) – Audubon Auspices
  • Absence of bird songs is noise pollution
  • Absence of Natural Sounds such as Birds affects Mental Health
  • It is an urgent ecological warning like a bird in a mine.
  • Loss of Birds is Loss of Habitat
  • To build a bird sanctuary cost……
  • Gulls, terns, herons, ducks, geese, hawks, cormorants, plovers, sandpipers, doves, owls, woodpeckers, hawks, songbirds and perching birds to name a few

Be Aware of the Birds!

What to do?

Do what we know is right.
Use our toolkit to reach out to decision makers
Sign the CLF Pledge
the Pier5.org Alliance Petition

Coastal cities around the world are realising forward oriented climate resilience, adaptive Nature Based Urban Planning Solutions. Boston is considered by FEMA to be in “retrograde” in global context.


  • Acoustical Impacts of Overdevelopment
  • Recovering from a Pandemic, open space is critical
  • Sounds are important for public mental health
  • Noise reflection and echoing perpetually increase
  • Building on Pier 5 would compound and perpetuate sound festering problems
  • Due to increased commercial operations at Pier 6, group visitors have escalated noise decibels and litter

Harborside Education

Pier 5 Landmark Park offers endless educational programming opportunities. For example, New York’s Waterfront Alliance integrates the study of harbors, rivers, and estuaries into the everyday curriculum of elementary, middle, and high school students with it’s Harbor Literacy Points which outlines key topics, learning opportunities, and resources offered by proximity to the waterfront. Harbor Literacy Points aims to increase interactive learning with urban waterways.

Harbor Literacy outlines a five-point progressive agenda for a harbor that is: strong, healthy, open, working, and managed.

Courageous Sailing, beloved and globally recognized public sailing center, provides valuable learning for children. With private development of public Pier 5 would have ended Courageous Sailing Center. Would more buildings have gone up on Pier 4 if Courageous couldn’t call it home any longer?

Survey suggestions for educational programming and collaborative ideas include:

  • Climate Ready Boston program Resilience Fellowship
  • Historic Architecture
  • Citizen Science
  • Academic Programs
  • Mentorship
  • Maritime Learning
  • Outdoor Art programs
  • Ecological Innovation competitions.
  • Constitution Museum
  • Art/Science Programs
  • See NSF in our library.


  • Vehicle Traffic. Increased number of golf carts zipping around on the boardwalk and doing a cordial job. But they’re there. Did the slips number increase with the overhaul? Was there a traffic study?
  • Pedestrian – Minor streets are primarily residential in character with cul-de-sacs designed to preserve a major portion of the water’s edge for pedestrian activity. Pedestrian oriented. From that description, it is clear that Eighth Street was never meant to be a highly trafficked area. Pedestrian oriented. It is clear that Eighth Street was never meant to be a highly trafficked area. Minor streets are primarily residential in character with cul-de-sacs designed to preserve a major portion of the water•s edge for pedestrian activity.
  • Water Traffic. Higher capacity commercial marine activities increases parking demands and foot traffic. It also increases detrimental impact on the Pier 5 reef.
  • This is one example of the increased activities of 2021.
  • Educational Programs include Vessel traffic beyond recreational such as tankers. Broaden the lense of what the waterfront means.
  • Experiential, practical lessons about Maritime Commerce, Shipping, Logistics, Safety, and how it integrates with every day regional economy.
  • Also, play with birds and fishies and learn biology.
  • Maybe pushcarts of sorts : )
  • Pier 6 has rebuilt in full force and increasing structural capacities plumbed for a summer boom post covid.
  • More people want to be outdoors and the park behind flagship is becoming a destination point.
  • 2021 Pier 6 marina increased commercial operations. (Paddle Boat, Commercial Charters, etc.)
  • People liking the existing park behind the pump house because of sun and breeze and a last glimpse of blue with green.

Parks + Recreation

  • Fishing Loss
  • Pollution from Marina
  • Shade ratio on the North sides of each Pier catalyzes algae.
  • Tidal clogging scum and litter clusters on North sides.
  • Boaters pay for ablative paint to keep off boat bottoms. Bilge/Septic/Fuel mishaps.
  • Sewage from runoff pipe in Northern Navy Yard
  • Street Runoff
  • Flagship Wharf Garage Vents (natural filters)

Climate Factors

Flood Resilience Factors

  • Pier is a most substantial existing breakwater and barrier.
  • Pier 6 built dock breakwater helps buffer stormwater velocity, not height.
  • Piers 4-7 indicate resilience problems also faced by the boardwalk overall.
  • At the end of the Boardwalk is the exceptional Spaulding development. It is on par with urban development practices well implemented elsewhere in the world.


Nature Based Factors + Solutions
Environmental Impact Cost/Benefit equity basis factors

  • Heat Island Effect
  • Windage
  • Demolish
  • Partial De-Construct
  • Re-Construct
  • Waste Management/Hazardous
  • Build-Over Method ie: Helical pilings to bedrock at strategic positions.
  • Educational, Ecological value
  • Pier 5 Park renewal will include pier core samples taken for study.

Local Dedication. Pier 5 provides reflection on the heroes of industry and warfare that brought us here today. Saving public space for generations, waterfront experience access with a natural solution benefiting all residents and visitors.

Going Green

All of the fun growing green

  • Learning from plants. Native species.
  • Ecological resilience and adaptation.
  • Overdevelopment Surface pollution/poor aeration stagnant water build up. Insects increase.
  • Marina activities/facilities contribute to pollution.
  • Reduced sunlight on North face of piers brings algae blooms congealing with surface pollution.
  • Increase boat bottom ablative paint consumption, time, servicing.
  • Pier 5 provides the city with symbiotic services at the Head of the Harbor.
  • Imagine a fish tank filter, or, a natural reef in the pacific.

Sailing School

  • Open to the public and educational, the renown Courageous Sailing Center would not be able operate with any development other than a park on Pier 5.
  • With privatization, the center would lose 50% of the water used by the sailboats for basic departure powered by wind and return for dockage in groups.
  • See Courageous Mission in the Harbor Library.
  • The new innovative East Boston city unto itself across the harbor has public sailing programs rivaling Courageous. Have friendly races started yet? They should. Bring East and West together.

Sea Life

  • Fish abundant in the Pier 5 reef.
  • Loss of Birds will disrupt symbiosis.
  • Pier 5 provides bioremediation for all of the boats and traffic pollution.
  • Aquatic Vitality – Dense pilings provides a significant intertidal zone providing important aquatic vitality
  • Natural bioremediation of runoff, boats etc.
  • Aquatic Vitality – Dense pilings provides a significant intertidal zone providing important aquatic vitality and natural bioremediation of runoff, boats etc. for the frequent fishing for recreation and sustenance for the public. 


  • Deconstruction involves taking a building apart while carefully preserving valuable elements for reuse purposes, such as a park.
  • Demolition, or razing, involves tearing down of buildings and other artificial structures leaving nothing more than recycling and landfill.
  • Demolition = Severe Ecological Impact
  • “As Built” and other records missing responsibility.
  • The significant costs of demolish.

Local Business

  • Wider base of customers by renewal of Public Park Pier 5.
  • Rather than finite number of units of a development.
  • Beloved Style Cafe will benefit from increased pedestrian visitors by renewing the Pier 5 Park.
  • Pier 6 Restaurant with renown view of the city would have been lost with privatization of Public Pier 5 Park.
  • Pier 6 Restaurant view, air quality, health sounds will improve by a park.
  • With any other development the view, health and draw would be significantly diminished.
  • Parking on Pier 6 is likely not economical use of the property. More people could be customers in the space used for parking now. Parking monthly rentals available next door.
  • More customers by foot would depend on public parking in the Navy Yard as a whole.
  • What is the Pier 6 weight capacity? What about all other piers? Last thorough inspections for each?

Sun + Air

  • Shade increase propagate algae, on the North Side of Navy Yard Piers with developments.
  • Wind Tunnel
  • Air quality…. remember parking vents at pier 5.
  • Healthy Viewshed of Home and City
  • Views from the park in front of Paris Landing would be lost without a park.
  • Views walking along the boardwalk would be lost.
  • Healthy historic honoring and preservation
  • Vitamin D
  • Meditative walks, yoga and picnics
  • Global value of open space has skyrocketed given climate change and covid reverberations of mass mental health challenges.

Harbor History

  • Folklore
  • Maritime Traditions
  • Maritime Tools
  • Modern Maritime Commerce
  • Engineering of facilities and vessels

Celebrate Boston’s Maritime History

Local Dedication. Pier 5 provides reflection on the heroes of industry and warfare that brought us here today.

Saving public space for generations, waterfront experience access with a natural solution benefiting all residents and visitors.

Value of the View

Calculate all constitution, flagship etc. units to have property value loss.

  • Loss of sense of place
  • COMPOUNDING SEGREGATION Community Resentment
  • Pier 5 redevelopment can continue the progress made in the Navy Yard OR disrupt it



  • Loss of sense of place
  • COMPOUNDING SEGREGATION Community Resentment
  • Pier 5 redevelopment can continue the progress made in the Navy Yard OR disrupt it

Learn more about Nature Based Solutions and the challenges we face.

Encroaching on Public Waterfront,
Removing Historic Landmark Parks is

Ill conceived and Wrong

Boston is beginning to implement
critical long term Nature Based
climate resilience

Boston Harbor Public Waterfront

New York City is a beacon of Nature Based Solutions
for urban renewal and generations ahead of Boston.

The recent “Little Island” is the latest inspiring waterfront
urban renewal achievement realised by New York City.
A public space resilient to climate change using
Nature Based Solutions.

Nature Based Solutions are also taking root
just across the harbor in East Boston. Partial De-construction, historical, nostalgic, maritime folk culture.

Boston Head of Harbor
Parks Chronology

Public Values

Pier 5 Reimagine Challenge!
Harbor Park Pier 5 Autumn Competition
This fall we will begin a collaboration with Universities and Public institutions to create a Nature Based Solutions
competition for Pier 5.

Waterfront Alliance outlines a five-point progressive agenda for a harbor – Strong, Healthy, Open, Working, and Managed.

Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities) aims to support cities and their CROs in future-proofing their communities and critical infrastructure. In this new stage of our work, we are guided by four principles.

  • 1.0 City-led. Cities, represented by their CROs, participate in the governance of the network.
  • 2.0 Impact-focused. We prioritize resilient projects that aim to improve the lives of city dwellers.
  • 3.0 Regionally driven. Activities are designed with more flexibility to cater to member cities’ needs.
  • 4.0 Partnership-based. Cities’ resilience activities aim to become self-sustainable in the near future.
  • Three themes Biomimicry, Buckminster, Olmstead.

Years of past proposals for renewal of Pier 5 have not been implemented.
The imagination and implementation ideas competition begins soon!
There are many visions that are being revisited.

We are working with internationally recognized engineer firms to determine the basis for design. Any design decisions are for naught until buildability is realised.

Imagination + Implementation

About Us

  • We encourage rightful public access to the waterfront
  • We encourage access to the Head of the Harbor Piers at the finality of the Boston Harbor Walk
  • Our allies help build consensus on important waterfront policy and planning issues as well as coming together on events
  • We are opposed to further privatization and loss of public property
  • Our community of concerned citizens do not profit by our efforts

We all know what needs to be done.
Protect the waterfront from rising seas and privatization. Shovel Ready inaction is failing us.

Public Concerns

Open urban space is invaluable.
Every day of action counts.

Our Mission

We raise awareness about the imminent threats faced by the Head of Harbor and Boston Navy Yard. We are focused on Head of the Harbor progressive public park projects such as Piers Park in East Boston and the Revival of Pier 5.

We inspire and catalyse resilient, revitalized, and accessible waterfront through community engagement and education.

We foster the capacity of individuals, institutions, businesses, government and urban systems to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic climate stresses and acute shocks they might experience.

We bring together global knowledge, practice to learn more about the various communities, companies, Universities, institutions and groups involved in renewing Pier 5 Landmark Park.

Keep in Touch!


#HeadofHarbor Take the Helm!

Tools + Templates
To Make Change

Help the City of Boston prepare for climate risk
Keep important public space, public
Please learn more and make it happen.

Keep in Touch Head of the Harbor Picnic! Come Enjoy Sun, Air, Water and History.

Head of Boston Harbor Library
Boston Navy Yard
2 8th Street 02129


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