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Cambridge Creek is lined with bulkheads and predominantly newer construction built to code. This planning area includes large condominium buildings and multi-unit commercial structures that are too large to elevate.  Therefore, no overarching flood risk reduction strategy can be implemented along Cambridge Creek.  The most practicable approach is to undertake various flood risk reduction measures in Cambridge Creek including wet and dry flood proofing, individual flood barrier installations, and the installation of green infrastructure measures.

Wet Floodproofing

Includes permanent or contingent measures applied to a structure or its contents that prevent or provide resistance to damage from flooding while allowing floodwaters to enter the structure or area. Generally, this includes properly anchoring the structure, using flood resistant materials below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE), protection of mechanical and utility equipment, and use of openings or breakaway walls. 

Dry Floodproofing

Includes measures that make a structure watertight below the level that needs flood protection to prevent floodwaters from entering.  This type of floodproofing is often used to protect non-residential structures, water supplies, and sewage systems.

An example of a dry floodproofing measure is to apply a waterproof veneer, such as a layer of brick backed by a waterproof membrane, directly to the outside surface of an existing structure.

Flooding can cause sewage from sewer lines to back up through drainpipes. These backups not only cause damage that is difficult to repair, but they also create health hazards. One way to protect against this hazard is to install backflow valves, which temporarily block drainpipes if water travels up them the wrong way. If a structure’s lowest level has a floor drain that empties to the exterior of the building, installing a floating floor-drain plug can also prevent flood waters from backing up the drainpipe and entering the structure.

Flood Barriers

Barriers around any opening, preventing water leakage or redirects water around.

Green Infrastructure

In 2019, Congress enacted the Water Infrastructure Improvement, which defines green infrastructure as "the range of measures that use plant or soil systems, permeable pavement or other permeable surfaces or substrates, stormwater harvest and reuse, or landscaping to store, infiltrate, or evapotranspirate stormwater and reduce flows to sewer systems or to surface waters."

Cambridge Creek Watershed Assessment

The "Cambridge Creek Watershed Assessment" provides guidance on the restoration of the Cambridge Creek Watershed. The Plan outlines a series of recommendations for watershed restoration, describes management strategies, and identifies priority projects for implementation. Planning level cost estimates are provided, where feasible, and a preliminary schedule for implementation by 2025 is outlined. Financial and technical partners for plan implementation are suggested for various recommendations and projects. The watershed plan is intended to assist ShoreRivers, the City of Cambridge, Dorchester County, and the members of the Cambridge Clean Water Advisory Committee in moving forward with restoration of the Cambridge Creek Watershed.  

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Elements of the Cambridge Creek Watershed Assessment have been incorporated into the "Make Cambridge Resilient" initiative.  We will continue to review and reference the Plan going forward.  

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