BOSTON -- The Patrick Administration today announced nearly $1 million in funding to support local climate preparedness efforts to address the effects of coastal storms, flooding, erosion and sea level rise. The funding for this first-ever round of Coastal Community Resilience Grants was made available through Governor Patrick's $50 million investment in climate change initiatives and will be awarded to of Barnstable, Boston, Brewster, Gloucester, Hingham, Hull, Oak Bluffs, Provincetown, Salem and Weymouth.
"We were thrilled with the local response to this program," said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan. "These projects will result in important, on-the-ground strategies for climate preparedness in coastal communities, keeping residents, homes, businesses and natural resources safer up and down our coastline. We look forward to continuing our partnership with communities on the Patrick Administration's comprehensive plan to protect Massachusetts from the damaging effects of climate change."
The goal of this new program, administered by EEA's Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), is to provide financial and technical resources for advancing new and innovative local efforts to increase awareness of climate impacts, identify vulnerabilities and implement measures to increase community resilience.
"Erosion, flooding and storm damage are serious problems in coastal communities, and with a changing climate and sea level rise, the challenges posed by these hazards are projected to worsen and broaden," said CZM Director Bruce Carlisle. "Through the new Coastal Community Resilience Grants Program, we are providing these forward-thinking coastal cities and towns with much-needed assistance in identifying and implementing effective solutions."
"I'd like to thank the Patrick Administration for investing in coastal infrastructure improvements that will protect cities and towns from climate change," said Senator Marc R. Pacheco, who chairs the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change and co-chairs the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. "We must defend our planet to prevent the economic damage and potential loss of human life that may occur as Mother Nature intensifies her defense against all of us."
In January, Governor Patrick announced a coordinated plan for climate preparedness to increase resiliency across the Commonwealth. Included within that plan was the funding to reduce risk associated with coastal storms and sea level rise invest in critical coastal infrastructure, and advance green infrastructure pilots to protect key public assets, help restore ecological systems and benefit public safety in coastal communities.
The following projects will be funded through the first round of Coastal Community Resilience Grants:
Town of Barnstable
Project: Community Rating System Application Assistance and Outreach, $52,560
The town will put together an application for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS), a program that encourages community floodplain management activities. CRS-rated communities receive discounted flood insurance premium rates to reflect the reduced flood risk. The application will include an analysis of existing and potential flood risks due to seal level rise to help the town better prepare future adaptation planning efforts. The project will also include a CRS application template for other communities and a workshop for regional and municipal officials on changing coastal flooding and sea level rise impacts and the CRS application process.
City of Boston
Project: Designing for the Rising Tide: A Climate Change Preparedness Competition for Boston Harbor, $86,000
The city will host a design competition with The Boston Harbor Association for three sites in Boston vulnerable to increasing risk of flooding from sea level rise and more extreme storm events.
Town of Brewster
Project: Building Coastal Resilience in Brewster, $200,000
The town will study sand volumes and movement along the shoreline, identify beaches and other natural systems at risk of erosion and sea level rise impacts, and plan to relocate or adapt most vulnerable beach parking areas and access sites. The project will include design plans to move one of the town's largest beach parking lots to a more inland and elevated area.
City of Gloucester
Project: Gloucester Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment, $50,000
The city will conduct a climate change vulnerability assessment to develop targeted strategies aimed at reducing risks from flooding and increased storm intensity. The project will also use scenario planning to help the public and local officials understand the range of possible future conditions.
Town of Hingham
Project: Hingham Climate Change Vulnerability, Risk Assessment and Adaptation Study, $44,461
The town will identify infrastructure and facilities vulnerable to sea level rise and climate change. The goal of the project is to assess levels of impact in vulnerable areas, develop recommended strategies to manage existing infrastructure, and natural resources and plan for future adaptation.
Town of Hull
Project: Gun Rock/Atlantic Avenue Storm Damage Adaptation Project, $41,250
The town will redesign a revetment and seawall along Crescent Beach to account for sea level rise and reduce property damage, environmental impacts and public safety threats. The project will also include outreach to the neighborhood impacted by overwash during storm events to educate residents about strategies to limit the flow of overwash material into Straits Pond. -
Town of Oak Bluffs
Project: Town of Oak Bluffs Pump Station Hazard Mitigation Projects, $200,000
The town will improve three wastewater pump stations to mitigate existing flood hazards and address future sea level rise impacts. These pump stations serve nearly the entire sewered population in Oak Bluffs.
Town of Provincetown
Project: Coastal Resiliency Assessment and Strategic Beach Stabilization Pilot Project, $100,000
The town and its partners will complete an analysis of sand volumes and transport from Wellfleet to Provincetown and develop a management plan for Provincetown Harbor that identifies potential areas for dune restoration, beach stabilization and other natural approaches to mitigating coastal erosion and flooding problems.
City of Salem
Project: Rosies Pond Neighborhood Resiliency Project, $200,000
The city will redesign a flood control project for the Rosies Pond neighborhood to account for climate projections and increase the neighborhood's ability to endure impacts associated with storms and the effects of flooding and sea level rise. The project will include public presentations and a workshop series, which will be open to other communities.
Town of Weymouth
Project: Fore River Avenue and Fort Point Road Seawall Reconstruction, $22,605
The town will develop final design plans, permit applications and bid package materials for seawall reconstruction projects at Fore River Avenue and Fort Point Road.
The Office of Coastal Zone Management is the lead policy and planning agency on coastal and ocean issues within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Through planning, technical and grant assistance and public information programs, CZM seeks to balance the impacts of human activity with the protection of coastal and marine resources. The agency's work includes helping coastal communities anticipate and plan for sea level rise and other effects of climate change, working with cities and towns and the federal government to develop boat sewage no discharge areas and partnering with communities and other organizations to restore coastal and aquatic habitats.