Rising Tides at Magazine Beach, June 20th


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Magazine Beach, a public park between Memorial Drive and the Charles River in Cambridge, hosted a summer opening celebration on Friday, June 20th. Yet amid the families picnicking on the grass and dancing to jazz music played by a vibrant Mardi Gras band was a reminder that public spaces like these are in danger of disappearing.

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Dozens of orange and red fish dotted the park in two lines, one among the bushes along the river and another halfway up a hill leading to the magazine that gives the park its name, marking potential flood lines due to climate change in 2050 and 2100.

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This Rising Tides installation was ephemeral, just lasting the duration of the event.

 

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The Magazine Beach event used data provided by the MWRA to demonstrate conservative estimates for 2050 and 2100, when flood levels are expected to reach at least 3 feet and 6 feet above ground, respectively.

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Energy Necklace Project interns Jake Scherlis and Kelly McGee helped produce and install the painted fish markers at the site.

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Juxtaposed with the festive celebration, the fish waving in the breeze served as a powerful reminder of the impact that climate change will have on the places we live.

 

 

 

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Rising sea levels may soon cause outdoor gathering spaces like Magazine Beach to disappear. Yet the event also made clear the strong sense of community present within our urban environments – a force that can take action to address the changes we face.

 

Written by Kelly McGee, Energy Necklace Project Community Liaison, Harvard College Class of 2017

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