Obear Park - Coastal resilience

Check out the Preserving Obear Park Story Map here! This educational resource was developed by Salem Sound CoastWatch to show and tell the story of Obear Park, and how this project sought to understand how best to protect it.


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Obear Park is a coastal park located along the Danvers River, and includes infrastructure for active and passive recreation, including a bathhouse, a playground, and a beach. In 2017 the City prepared its Coastal Resiliency Plan, followed in 2018 by an update to its original Hazard Mitigation Plan. Identified in this update, Obear Park was classified as a high priority to the City and its stakeholders, with a need to mitigate the ongoing erosion and complete some salt marsh restoration. Climate change, and sea level rise in particular, is anticipated to cause additional negative impacts over the next few decades, including further damage to the natural environment and impacts to the park equipment and infrastructure. As identified in the Coastal Resiliency Plan, parts of the park are inundated in the 2030 projections including the entire beach area. By the 2070 projections, the majority of the park will be within the flood plain. This feasibility assessment and conceptual design for resilience-focused improvements is the first part of a multi-phase project to establish a path forward to protect the park and surrounding natural environment from climate impacts. 

This first phase, will include a detailed analysis of the site, collaboration with stakeholders and the public to establish goals and opportunities for resilience, and the development of recommendations and conceptual designs for green infrastructure and retrofits to ensure the resilience of the park, including expected costs for future phases including design, permitting, construction, and maintenance. 

In summer 2023, the City applied for grant funding to prepare and submit regulatory permitting documents and develop plans for construction. Grant awards will be made in fall 2023. 

FINAL REPORT for the Obear Park Coastal Resiliency Feasibility Study is available here

 


PUBLIC FORUMS: 

Two public forums for the Obear Park coastal resilience project took place through Zoom in Spring 2021. 

  • April 15, 2021: Click here for the PowerPoint presentation, and here for a video recording of the meeting on YouTube. During this forum, community members learned about the ongoing impacts that climate change has had on the park, how the City is evaluating these impacts and possible solutions, and potential actions to protect the park such as living shoreline techniques, culvert alterations, and retrofits to existing park facilities. 
  • June 10, 2021: Click here for the PowerPoint presentation, and here for a video recording on YouTube. During this forum, community members learned about the short- and long-term solutions that have been identified as most likely to protect the park from additional impacts of storms, sea level rise, and more.