On Revere’s Pearl Avenue, Residents Grapple With The Rising Tide Of Climate Change

Waves crash over the seawall on Winthrop Parkway in Revere during a high tide on Dec. 17, 2020. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

In the Beachmont neighborhood of Revere, there’s a street called Pearl Avenue. It’s a wide quiet street with views of the Atlantic Ocean, Belle Isle Marsh and the Boston skyline — the sort of place that’s great to raise a family, residents say. And in fact, many of its residents are part of one big, extended family and have lived there for decades.

“I absolutely love this street. My whole family is on here,” says 22-year-old Samantha Woodman. She grew up in a small white house where you could see the ocean from the kitchen window.

“We always used to just go over each other’s houses at night and have family game night,” she adds, pointing out where her aunt, who had kids the same age as Woodman and her younger sister, lived. “We would play baseball on the street — it was just a very nice neighborhood to grow up in.”

But growing up on Pearl Avenue also meant that flooding was part of life. The low-lying street borders a tidal marsh to the south and ends a few hundred feet from the ocean.

Woodman says it was normal for peoples’ lawns to disappear under several inches of water during storms or when the tides were exceptionally high. She recalls a storm about a decade ago where waves carried several bins of toys from her neighbor’s backyard into the marsh.

Read the rest of the story at WBUR’s website.