Living Shoreline Construction Update at Wynn Site

Written by Allie Kulich, intern, as part of MyRWA's work to document the transformation of the Mystic River. Learn more about the Wynn Boston Harbor remediation.

Wynn Site Remediation June 2017 Update

Over the past several weeks, construction crews have been working to create a living shoreline along the southwest edge of the Wynn property, something that MyRWA has strongly advocated for during the planning and design phase.

Unlike many hardscaped urban waterfronts, the more natural “living shoreline” will promote biodiversity, provide habitat, offer flood storage, and improve water quality.  When the project is completed,  ~600 ft. of shoreline will be restored!

The diagram below (photo taken 6/15/17) shows the main components of the living shoreline, behind which will be the harborwalk.

Credit: Allie Kulich

Credit: Allie Kulich

To protect against erosion, a small rock berm lines the shoreline. The berm is covered with coir wrap, a natural matting made from coconut fibers.  

The saltmarsh is a sandy area of saltwater tolerant grasses, which will be visible during low tide. Two small existing salt marshes are being preserved during construction. New saltmarsh will be planted around it in the coming weeks.

Slightly up the shoreline is the coastal bank, which will include a variety of grasses and shrubs, including berries, roses, and juniper. (See below for a complete list). 

The planting for the coastal bank, however, will have to wait until later this fall when the weather is cooler and more suitable for planting. 

Approximately 25-30 ft. of saltmarsh sand and coastal bank soil is placed each day. The work for the living shoreline is expected to be complete later this summer.

(For a more in-depth description on how living shorelines can be beneficial, please visit http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/living-shoreline.htm)