Pier 5 Association Makes a Splash

At the Head of Boston Harbor

Pier 5 Association is returning the Boston Naval Yard Historic Pier 5 Park to the Public. Imagine a climate resilient inclusive waterfront. Pier 5 Park offers significant healthful public equity and compliments other efforts to preserve a climate resilient Boston Harbor. Boston is rated by FEMA to be in Retrograde. Library to learn more about the missions and interests of various community initiatives and institutions. Open urban space is invaluable.
Every day of action counts.

History Honored

Pier 5 is a place of Historic Honor, Value, and of global interest. Pier 5 played a variety of strategic roles from Colonial times thru WWII. Collaborations for global solutions. Preservation of Boston’s Sea Based Community Heritage.

  • Veterans, Gold Star Families.
  • Women Rights History

Economic Legacy

Pier 5 is a central hub to historic economic arteries of Boston’s tourism market.

  • Freedom Trail
  • Bunker Hill
  • Harbor Walk
  • Secure Viewshed Easements – An invaluable Legacy Asset (Seeing to the Boston Islands Corridor from Pier 5.

Socio-ecological Equity

  • Charlestown Community and Environment
  • Public Waterfront Access
  • Heat Island Effect Detriments Study
  • Sealife
  • Birds habitat and nests
  • Coral
  • Shellfish/Crustaceans
  • Insect management

Socio-economic Equity

  • Civic Recognised National Park (Tourism Asset).
  • Maritime DOT Operations (Ferry, Taxi)
  • Shipping Lane (Commerce Vessels)
  • Specially Designated Place

Waterfront Law Preserves Public Access to – Chapter 91

Mass. Gen. Laws Chapter 91 – Preserves Public Access Waterfront

  • Chapter 91 codifies the public trust doctrine.  
  • Chapter 91 protects the public’s rights and waterfront access. 
  • All land under Pier 5 is public land.
  • Flowed Tidelands for Water Dependent Use
  • Courageous Sailing full operations protection
  • Charlestown Ferry docking station.
  • Water dependent uses are the focus.

Preliminary Impact Studies

  • Environmental (Issues of toxic waste removal)
  • Vehicular + Pedestrian Traffic
  • Tourism Economics
  • Park vs Private Public Equity Value
  • Wind + Flood Resilience
  • LOMR of Flagship affect Pier 5

Our Team

  • We are a community of Neighbors and Friends with over 200 years of local residency
  • We represent over 3,200 Petition Supporters
  • Join us and Help make Pier 5 Park Public Again.
  • Online Petition at Change.org


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  • The Boston Redevelopment Authority- plans to develop Pier 5 as Affordable Housing
  • 3 RFPs (request for proposal) for Pier 5 from 2019 are still pending.
  • DEP- Dept of Environmental Protection (in charge of preserving public rights to waterfront) has been found to have violated the law in the creation of the MHP (Municipal Harbor Plans) in a lawsuit by Harbor Towers residents and the Conservation Law Foundation challenging MHP. Case is on appeal.
  • DEP is now trying to add the Illegal MHPs into the DEP regulations to fix this problem. The regulation changes are pending.
  • Charlestown MHP is from 1991 and expired in 1996 which BPDA denies.
  • Using a Waterfront Activation Plan from 2007 for Charlestown which  is probably illegal but would have to be subject of a lawsuit.

Pier 5 Association issues with the Authority plan

  • No parameters for any developments of  Pier 5
  • Current zoning height 55 ft plus mechanicals plus 5 feet for FEMA zone
  • Ch. 91 requirements –Water Dependent Uses Required
  • MHP – Coastal Development Overlay, etc. blockage of waterfront
  • Coastal Zone Management or Federal Navigation Servitude
  • Fire, Police, Traffic, Parking etc..
  • Conflicts with the Flagship Wharf c.91 licensing. 
  • Toxic Waste Release if Pier 5 disturbed
  • Flooding and Climate change
  • Structural Damage to surrounding Buildings
  • Recreation and 60% of Head of the Harbor is Private use for Marinas and Limited Memberships Commercial.

BRA Vision “Imagine Boston 2030” 

Image from Boardwalk of viewshed Nitzan did.

“Green Area” at the Head of the Harbor for Public Uses. This huge mural was hung at the BRA entrance for years.

Community Engagement Ideas

  • Save Pier 5 for future for generations
  • Marine life education and research
  • Historical exhibits, art presentations
  • Cafe, pop-ups, fresh air venues
  • Underwater viewing: Ecology, Technology 
  • Complete Public Access and Views

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  • NYC and Philadelphia piers are iconic models
  • Lots of other examples
  • History with BPDA
  • 2015 Director Brian Golden meeting Golden Promise  to welcome the opening of Pier 5 as public park 

“An activated waterfront is anchored by varied types of open spaces, featuring cultural resources and year-round programming and connecting people with the natural, cultural, and economic history of the region.“ 

Source: Imagine Boston 2030 | Boston.gov

We urge you to sign our petition, supporting green spaces and community resources, rather than privatization of the last open public waterfront area in the city.

Join Us

We welcome passionate volunteers to join us in our mission to inspire and affect resilient, revitalized, and accessible waterfront for all. You will be joining an alliance changing Boston’s public space for generations to come.



Open urban space is invaluable.
Every day of action counts.

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  • No repairs done from 1975 to present
  • 43 years since first evaluation (April 15, 1987)
  • BPDA ONLY solutions –Build or Bulldoze 
  • Pier 5 unique fireproof construction 
  • Steel pilings different from typical wood pilings
  • Need creative approaches
  • Unique challenge

Restoration Considerations


Our community collaborative for socio-ecological justice includes

  • Feasibility Visions
  • Strategic planning
  • Repeated communication with the Authority
  • Thousands of Boston Redevelopment Authority Documents Reviewed
  • Several Thousand Petition Signatures
  • Community Events & Engagements
  • Fighting Disinformation (Bullying from Developers on Several occasions including physical threat)
  • Several Independent Engineering Firm Engagements

Insert image of waterfront with three parts circled in colors. Rosemary made?

Please help Keep Pier 5 Public

Many hands make light work. Can we count on you to help Save Pier 5 for future for generations?

  • Sign the Petition at Change.Org 
  • Donate
  • Volunteer
  • Advocate and call your councilor, legislator, governor 
  • Explore Options for Making Our Vision a Reality
  • Multiply $$$$$, people and support 

This meeting request – BPDA adherence to the community promise

“The Charlestown Navy Yard Waterfront Activation Network Plan The 2007 plan’s overarching goal is to: 

  • enhance the Navy Yard’s waterfront with uses that are appealing to both local residents and workers, as well as visitors. 
  • The plan seeks to fulfill the promise made upon decommissioning to make this site of national significance open and welcoming to all. 

while doing so in a way that is compatible with the needs of those who have chosen to live and work in the Navy Yard

Strategies from the 2007 plan include: 

  • the creation of year-round public destinations
  • improved access, wayfinding, and signage; and 
  • increased water-dependent uses such as sailing facilities, marinas, and water transit facilities.”

Source: http://www.bostonplans.org/neighborhoods/charlestown/navy-yard-master-plan-implementation

Child’s Engineering Study is Insufficient

A second technical opinion with a detailed analysis of the risks and benefits of competing alternative restoration approaches is necessary

Anticipate an Economic Relief package with earmarks for  infrastructure repair

A public solution to include further detailed engineering & design work, with restoration approaches that address environmental risks, shoreline resiliency, and best community interest – will require prompt action

Harborside Education

Pier 5 Landmark Park offers endless educational programming opportunities. For example, New York’s Waterfront Alliance integrates the study of harbors, rivers, and estuaries into the everyday curriculum of elementary, middle, and high school students with it’s Harbor Literacy Points which outlines key topics, learning opportunities, and resources offered by proximity to the waterfront. Harbor Literacy Points aims to increase interactive learning with urban waterways.

Harbor Literacy outlines a five-point progressive agenda for a harbor that is: strong, healthy, open, working, and managed.

Courageous Sailing, beloved and globally recognized public sailing center, provides valuable learning for children. With private development of public Pier 5 would have ended Courageous Sailing Center. Would more buildings have gone up on Pier 4 if Courageous couldn’t call it home any longer?

Survey suggestions for educational programming and collaborative ideas include:

  • Climate Ready Boston program Resilience Fellowship
  • Historic Architecture
  • Citizen Science
  • Academic Programs
  • Mentorship
  • Maritime Learning
  • Outdoor Art programs
  • Ecological Innovation competitions.
  • Constitution Museum
  • Art/Science Programs
  • See NSF in our library.


  • Vehicle Traffic. Increased number of golf carts zipping around on the boardwalk and doing a cordial job. But they’re there. Did the slips number increase with the overhaul? Was there a traffic study?
  • Pedestrian – Minor streets are primarily residential in character with cul-de-sacs designed to preserve a major portion of the water’s edge for pedestrian activity. Pedestrian oriented. From that description, it is clear that Eighth Street was never meant to be a highly trafficked area. Pedestrian oriented. It is clear that Eighth Street was never meant to be a highly trafficked area. Minor streets are primarily residential in character with cul-de-sacs designed to preserve a major portion of the water•s edge for pedestrian activity.
  • Water Traffic. Higher capacity commercial marine activities increases parking demands and foot traffic. It also increases detrimental impact on the Pier 5 reef.
  • This is one example of the increased activities of 2021.
  • Educational Programs include Vessel traffic beyond recreational such as tankers. Broaden the lense of what the waterfront means.
  • Experiential, practical lessons about Maritime Commerce, Shipping, Logistics, Safety, and how it integrates with every day regional economy.
  • Also, play with birds and fishies and learn biology.
  • Maybe pushcarts of sorts : )
  • Pier 6 has rebuilt in full force and increasing structural capacities plumbed for a summer boom post covid.
  • More people want to be outdoors and the park behind flagship is becoming a destination point.
  • 2021 Pier 6 marina increased commercial operations. (Paddle Boat, Commercial Charters, etc.)
  • People liking the existing park behind the pump house because of sun and breeze and a last glimpse of blue with green.

Parks + Recreation

  • Fishing Loss
  • Pollution from Marina
  • Shade ratio on the North sides of each Pier catalyzes algae.
  • Tidal clogging scum and litter clusters on North sides.
  • Boaters pay for ablative paint to keep off boat bottoms. Bilge/Septic/Fuel mishaps.
  • Sewage from runoff pipe in Northern Navy Yard
  • Street Runoff
  • Flagship Wharf Garage Vents (natural filters)

Climate Factors

Flood Resilience Factors

  • Pier is a most substantial existing breakwater and barrier.
  • Pier 6 built dock breakwater helps buffer stormwater velocity, not height.
  • Piers 4-7 indicate resilience problems also faced by the boardwalk overall.
  • At the end of the Boardwalk is the exceptional Spaulding development. It is on par with urban development practices well implemented elsewhere in the world.


Nature Based Factors + Solutions
Environmental Impact Cost/Benefit equity basis factors

  • Heat Island Effect
  • Windage
  • Demolish
  • Partial De-Construct
  • Re-Construct
  • Waste Management/Hazardous
  • Build-Over Method ie: Helical pilings to bedrock at strategic positions.
  • Educational, Ecological value
  • Pier 5 Park renewal will include pier core samples taken for study.

Local Dedication. Pier 5 provides reflection on the heroes of industry and warfare that brought us here today. Saving public space for generations, waterfront experience access with a natural solution benefiting all residents and visitors.

Sailing School

  • Open to the public and educational, the renown Courageous Sailing Center would not be able operate with any development other than a park on Pier 5.
  • With privatization, the center would lose 50% of the water used by the sailboats for basic departure powered by wind and return for dockage in groups.
  • See Courageous Mission in the Harbor Library.
  • The new innovative East Boston city unto itself across the harbor has public sailing programs rivaling Courageous. Have friendly races started yet? They should. Bring East and West together.

Sea Life

  • Fish abundant in the Pier 5 reef.
  • Loss of Birds will disrupt symbiosis.
  • Pier 5 provides bioremediation for all of the boats and traffic pollution.
  • Aquatic Vitality – Dense pilings provides a significant intertidal zone providing important aquatic vitality
  • Natural bioremediation of runoff, boats etc.
  • Aquatic Vitality – Dense pilings provides a significant intertidal zone providing important aquatic vitality and natural bioremediation of runoff, boats etc. for the frequent fishing for recreation and sustenance for the public. 


  • Deconstruction involves taking a building apart while carefully preserving valuable elements for reuse purposes, such as a park.
  • Demolition, or razing, involves tearing down of buildings and other artificial structures leaving nothing more than recycling and landfill.
  • Demolition = Severe Ecological Impact
  • “As Built” and other records missing responsibility.
  • The significant costs of demolish.

Local Business

  • Wider base of customers by renewal of Public Park Pier 5.
  • Rather than finite number of units of a development.
  • Beloved Style Cafe will benefit from increased pedestrian visitors by renewing the Pier 5 Park.
  • Pier 6 Restaurant with renown view of the city would have been lost with privatization of Public Pier 5 Park.
  • Pier 6 Restaurant view, air quality, health sounds will improve by a park.
  • With any other development the view, health and draw would be significantly diminished.
  • Parking on Pier 6 is likely not economical use of the property. More people could be customers in the space used for parking now. Parking monthly rentals available next door.
  • More customers by foot would depend on public parking in the Navy Yard as a whole.
  • What is the Pier 6 weight capacity? What about all other piers? Last thorough inspections for each?

Sun + Air

  • Shade increase propagate algae, on the North Side of Navy Yard Piers with developments.
  • Wind Tunnel
  • Air quality…. remember parking vents at pier 5.
  • Healthy Viewshed of Home and City
  • Views from the park in front of Paris Landing would be lost without a park.
  • Views walking along the boardwalk would be lost.
  • Healthy historic honoring and preservation
  • Vitamin D
  • Meditative walks, yoga and picnics
  • Global value of open space has skyrocketed given climate change and covid reverberations of mass mental health challenges.

Value of the View

Calculate all constitution, flagship etc. units to have property value loss.

  • Loss of sense of place
  • COMPOUNDING SEGREGATION Community Resentment
  • Pier 5 redevelopment can continue the progress made in the Navy Yard OR disrupt it



  • Loss of sense of place
  • COMPOUNDING SEGREGATION Community Resentment
  • Pier 5 redevelopment can continue the progress made in the Navy Yard OR disrupt it

Encroaching on Public Waterfront,
Removing Historic Landmark Parks is

Ill conceived and Wrong

Boston is beginning to implement
critical long term Nature Based
climate resilience

Boston Harbor Public Waterfront

New York City is a beacon of Nature Based Solutions
for urban renewal and generations ahead of Boston.

The recent “Little Island” is the latest inspiring waterfront
urban renewal achievement realised by New York City.
A public space resilient to climate change using
Nature Based Solutions.

Nature Based Solutions are also taking root
just across the harbor in East Boston. Partial De-construction, historical, nostalgic, maritime folk culture.

Boston Head of Harbor
Parks Chronology

Public Values

Pier 5 Reimagine Challenge!
Harbor Park Pier 5 Autumn Competition
This fall we will begin a collaboration with Universities and Public institutions to create a Nature Based Solutions
competition for Pier 5.

Waterfront Alliance outlines a five-point progressive agenda for a harbor – Strong, Healthy, Open, Working, and Managed.

Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities) aims to support cities and their CROs in future-proofing their communities and critical infrastructure. In this new stage of our work, we are guided by four principles.

  • 1.0 City-led. Cities, represented by their CROs, participate in the governance of the network.
  • 2.0 Impact-focused. We prioritize resilient projects that aim to improve the lives of city dwellers.
  • 3.0 Regionally driven. Activities are designed with more flexibility to cater to member cities’ needs.
  • 4.0 Partnership-based. Cities’ resilience activities aim to become self-sustainable in the near future.
  • Three themes Biomimicry, Buckminster, Olmstead.

Years of past proposals for renewal of Pier 5 have not been implemented.
The imagination and implementation ideas competition begins soon!
There are many visions that are being revisited.

We are working with internationally recognized engineer firms to determine the basis for design. Any design decisions are for naught until buildability is realised.

Imagination + Implementation