Located on a small peninsula between South River and Palmer Cove, El Punto (“The Point”) is a coastal neighborhood of the Salem that has undergone many transformations over the decades—by turns an Indigenous fishing place, a settler colonial shipyard, and a hub for Salem’s maritime economy throughout the 18th century. Today, it’s a vibrant, close-knit international community, predominantly comprised of Dominican and Spanish-speaking residents, with a robust civic and cultural presence. It’s also a designated Environmental Justice (EJ) community that, despite recent improvements in housing equity and economic development, faces disproportionate climate risks and socioeconomic challenges.
The first neighborhood-specific component of the City of Beverly and Salem’s wider climate adaptation efforts, Resilient Together: El Punto is a multi-lingual action plan that presents a range of risk reduction strategies across the neighborhood. Informed by months of in-person and virtual engagement led in Spanish and English by the Gastón Institute at UMass Boston, the plan proposes actionable strategies in response to a range of physical risks—including the impact of flooding and extreme heat to homes and businesses—as well as the visceral psychological toll of climate change on residents.
Grounded in science and policy, the resulting plan pairs risk reduction projects with community reinvestment, addressing specific hazards while enhancing public spaces, mobility, and connectivity across the neighborhood through a combination of gray and green infrastructure. Each strategy is linked to potential funding sources, as well as a set of recommendations for related social programs (including a ‘resilience hub’ feasibility study and workforce development program) that tie into local priorities. Completed in 2022, the plan was developed through a grant from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM).
- Visit the overall Resilient Together website to learn more about the City of Beverly and Salem’s wider planning efforts.
- City of Salem, Massachusetts
Woods Hole Group (Prime)
Gastón Institute at UMass Boston
Salem Sound Coastwatch