This year, the ACE New Haven Wednesday Team chose to address rising sea levels and increased storm frequency, two aspects of climate change that are affecting Connecticut’s shoreline directly. The students worked with mentors to respond to a “Shoreline Design Challenge” and master‐planned 10 blocks of the Fair Haven neighborhood which sits at the convergence of Long Island Sound, the Mill River, and the Quinnipiac River. The students chose this historic site due to is history of flooding and erosion damage. Additionally the students addressed the social aspects of revitalizing this culturally significant neighborhood. By developing diagrams, visiting the site, and researching historical data, the students were able to design solutions in the following three zones:
Historic District (Protected): Historically significant buildings which could not be relocated or raised are protected by an earth berm. When not actively protecting buildings the berm and associated amphitheater is a lively area for concerts and a place for the neighborhood to gather.
Buffer Zone (Semi Protected): New buildings designed as part of the development can tolerate some flood infiltration through ground level parking, raised structures, and construction which would not be damaged by flooding.
Flood Zone: By tracing flood and surge maps, an area of constructed wetlands and vegetated beaches strengthens the existing riverbank. This slows velocity of flood waters during a storm event, prevents erosion as flood waters recede, and filters pollutants. This soft edge, and the proposed inlet gives residents of the neighborhood access to the water for fishing, boating or general recreation.