In April of 2014, the current flood zone and future coast was marked by members of the River Wards along the Delaware River in Philadelphia. HighWaterLine | Philadelphia was presented by Chemical Heritage Foundation as part of the Sensing Change exhibition. The project was done as part of the Philadelphia Science Festival and created in partnership with New Kensington Community Development Corporation, Climate and Urban Systems Partnership and the Franklin Institute.
The line followed a route through neighborhoods whose waterfront is dotted with industrial sites, including several superfund sites. The neighborhood is already suffering from frequent basement flooding and Philadelphia was named the third most vulnerable city to “nuisance flooding” caused by climate change in the US. In addition to drawing the line, representatives from community groups and organizations working on solutions, including the Philadelphia Water Department, Fairmont Waterworks, Franklin Institute, CUSP and NKCDC all participated in a Green Block Party at a model park with green infrastructure at the Shissler Center.
Sadly, a few days after drawing the line, Philadelphia suffered major flooding (primarily from the Schuylkill River) in many neighborhoods and the Fairmont Waterworks suffered millions of dollars in damages. We plan to return to Philadelphia and continue to engage communities in learning about their vulnerabilities and solutions available to them.
Learn more at HighWaterLine.org