Disaster in the sludge beneath Boston Harbor

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Author Neil Swidey

A quarter-century ago, Boston had the dirtiest harbor in America. The city had been dumping sewage into it for generations, coating the seafloor with a layer of “black mayonnaise.” Fisheries collapsed and wildlife fled.
In the 1990’s, work began on a state-of-the-art treatment plant and a 10-mile long tunnel to carry waste out of the harbor. With this impressive feat of engineering, Boston was poised to show the country how to rebound from environmental ruin. But when bad decisions and clashing corporations endangered the project, a team of commercial divers was sent on a perilous mission to rescue the stymied cleanup effort. Five divers went in; not all of them came out alive.

N—NeilSwideyTrappedDrawing on hundreds of interviews and thousands of documents collected over five years of reporting, award-winning writer Neil Swidey takes us deep into the lives of the divers, engineers, politicians, lawyers, and investigators involved in the tragedy and its aftermath, creating a taut, action-packed narrative in “Trapped Under the Sea: One Engineering Marvel, Five Men, and a Disaster Ten Miles Into The Darkness.”

Suspenseful yet humane, Trapped Under the Sea reminds us that behind every bridge, tower, and tunnel—behind the infrastructure that makes modern life possible—lies unsung bravery and extraordinary sacrifice. This Saturday, Swidey will be in Westport discussing his book and signing copies.

WHERE: Partners Village Store, 865 Main Road, Westport
WHEN: 4-5 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 22
MORE INFO: Call to reserve your seat, 508/636-2572; www.partnersvillagestore.com

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