Tidal Wetlands, the Value of Pier 5

Tidal Wetlands, the Value of Pier 5

Why city dwelling fisherman come daily to this location on foot and bicycle carrying buckets and rods to fish the waters near the pier. It has teaming with marine life for many years now?

Pier 5 steel piles themselves form a unique and dense human constructed intertidal zone reef structure that is nourishing marine life throughout the harbor.

Pier 5 in the Charlestown Navy Yard is different from most of the waterfront piers. It was re-constructed during the heroic war effort in World war II to bear the weight of ships placed on its surface. Rather than using creosote laden preserved and toxic piles, it was constructed with concrete and steel with piles placed at high density.

Pier 5 extension and rebuilding during WWII

It served its industrial purpose for the war effort and for an additional 30 years until Richard Nixon ordered the Boston Naval Shipyard to be closed. For 50 years following those steel piles have created a dense intertidal wetland zone, the harbor waters have been cleaned, and sediments have settled over and capped the industrial waste that has 35 feet below the low tide line on the harbor floor below.

-Christopher Nicodemus