Meet the 2021 Campaign Cities

Mystic River Watershed, Massachusetts

Year: 2021

Campaign Lead Organization(s): Resilient Mystic River Collaborative, Museum of Science, Boston, Mystic River Watershed Association

Get Involved:

Melanie  Gárate, Museum of Science:

Sara Benson, Museum of Science:


More hot days by the end of the century compared to the beginning (US CRT Climate Explorer)


Population that does not speak English "very well" compared to 8.4% national average. (2019 ACS - US Census)


Population living in poverty, compared to 12.5% national average. (2019 ACS - US Census)


Population living alone, compared to 15% national average. (2019 ACS - US Census)


Located in the Greater Boston Area, the Mystic River watershed is home to over half a million diverse residents within 76 square miles and 21 communities.

The Greater Boston Area is known for its cold winters, snowy city streets and Nor’Easter storms. We know to budget for salt on our roads, keep warm indoors and do the “penguin shuffle” to get to the car. Summers, however, are becoming increasingly important to plan for since they are getting longer, hotter, and more humid. We need to understand how it impacts our built environment and the health of people in order to plan for it. Surprisingly, extreme heat, sometimes known as the “silent storm of extreme weather” causes more deaths in the US than all other weather hazards combined. As daily temperatures continue to increase in Massachusetts, Wicked Hot Mystic is focused on building a community of resilience to prepare for a hotter Greater Boston Area within the Mystic River Watershed. 

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This work is branching off of the previous Wicked Hot Boston project, which MOS and partners completed in 2019. You can find more information about the project, data and final maps here:

Lead Organization(s)

  • Resilient Mystic River Collaborative is a partnership among neighboring communities in Greater Boston’s Mystic River Watershed working to protect our people and places from climate-intensified risks. The City of Arlington of the RMC is the municipal lead.
  • Museum of Science, Boston One of the world's largest science centers and New England's most highly attended cultural institution, the Museum of Science is ideally positioned to lead the nationwide effort to promote engineering education awareness, bringing science, technology, and mathematics alive through its exhibits, programs, and more.
  • Mystic River Watershed Association is an environmental nonprofit with a mission to protect and restore the Mystic River, its tributaries and watershed lands for the benefit of present and future generations and to celebrate the value, importance and great beauty of these natural resources. 


Partner Organizations

  • Metropolitan Area Planning Council is the regional planning agency serving the people who live and work in the 101 cities and towns of Metropolitan Boston.
  • GreenRoots is a community-based organization dedicated to improving and enhancing the urban environment and public health in Chelsea and surrounding communities. 

Campaign Goals / Anticipated Outcomes

For Wicked Hot Mystic, we will collect air temperature, humidity, wind, and air quality data in the summer. In the Fall and Winter of 2021, the Project Team will lead a community engagement process to identify and prioritize solutions based on priority populations. These efforts will provide the cities with high resolution temperature data throughout the entire day and area, which can then be layered with other factors such as tree canopy, surface temperature, income level, elderly population, or emergency room visits. It is important to compare maps of extreme heat “hot spots” in the Boston area with maps of where people are in order to understand what neighborhoods and people are the most impacted.



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Silver Spring, MD 20910

About Us

NIHHIS is an integrated information system that builds understanding of the problem of extreme heat, defines demand for climate services that enhance societal resilience, develops science-based products and services from a sustained climate science research program, and improves capacity, communication, and societal understanding of the problem in order to reduce morbidity and mortality due to extreme heat.  NIHHIS is a jointly developed system by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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