01/04/2023 |

2022 Research Highlights

by Rebecca Shoer
Education & Engagement Program Manager


A man stands at the railing of a boat, pointing to a floating buoy in the water.

This past year was an exciting one for Lab researchers, as our climate resilience work throughout Boston Harbor continues to grow and develop! Lab scientists collected data across the harbor, launched new projects, and developed new partnerships to expand our work with others around Boston and beyond.

  • MA Coastal Zone Management awarded a $355,550 grant a team that includes the Lab for a new, two-year project focused on monitoring cobble berms, a nature-based approach that could work well across New England shorelines. The project includes monitoring 6 locations along the Massachusetts coast and developing field courses and education opportunities for municipal employees across the state.
  • We’ve now been collecting meteorological and environmental data around Rainsford Island and the harbor for almost 2 years! We have robust data sets measuring weather data like temperature, humidity, wind speed, and barometric pressure; and ocean data like water quality, water level, wave height, topography, water depth, and current speed.
  • Our policy research around the local and regional government policies for nature-based approaches is well underway, analyzing of interests of various stakeholders and how they interact. The next phase beginning in 2023 is developing recommendation for changes to existing policies or new policies that can support broader implementation and research on nature-based approaches.
  • The three socio-economic research studies funded by our 2022 grants are continuing and wrapping up in 2023:
    • Greening Blue Line stations for stormwater management
    • Use of social media and cell phone data to estimate visitation at NBS sites
    • Recommendations of key policy and regulatory measures to better ensure that the benefits and co-benefits of nature-based systems can accrue to socially vulnerable populations
  • We announced a brand-new partnership with Living Seawalls to pilot their innovative habitat panels around Boston Harbor.
  • Finally, our second year of community science focused on rocky intertidal monitoring of Boston Harbor. Our participants recorded incredible surface temperatures during July’s heat wave, and you can explore all their findings here.
Two women on a rocky shore. One crouches and points at the ground, while another writes on a clipboard.

Even in winter, research doesn’t slow down! Lab scientists are still collecting and analyzing data in the field, preparing for the spring, and writing and presenting their findings at meetings and conferences. We are very interested to see what our data can tell us about nature-based approaches and climate change around Boston Harbor, and we are especially excited for our first in-person scientific conference coming up in April 2023. We hope to see you there!