Boston-Area Scientists Bringing Back City Swamp To Fight Climate Change

Emerald Tutu project lead Gabriel Cira points at a small mockup of his team's marsh pod system. The model is hanging upside down to simulate the stress of the water on the system.

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A group of Boston-area researchers and architects want to take the city back in time.

In the pre-colonial era, Boston was ringed by marshland which protected the shoreline from erosion and flooding. Now, with coastal storms growing more intense and frequent, the Emerald Tutu team wants to recreate the city's original ecosystem with a network of artificial marsh pods. The seven-foot pods are made of floating grasses and seaweeds, which would connect to the seabed by ropes.

The team says the name, "Emerald Tutu," is a climate-friendly take on on Fredrick Law Olmstead's "Emerald Necklace," which rings Boston on land.

"Green space has a sort of a biological function for the city itself," he said.

Project lead Gabriel Cira says he views the Tutu as a restoration project. He's joined by a team of researchers, including Northeastern University coastal engineer Professor Julia Hopkins.

Cira says the team is planning to install a hundred of the pods next year. The plan is to eventually develop thousands of the pods and set them along walkways in Boston Harbor.

WBZ's Madison Rogers (@MadisonWBZ) reports:

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