Massachusetts coastal communities face significant risks from coastal storms, flooding, erosion, and sea level rise—challenges that are exacerbated by climate change. To help address these issues, the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) administers the Coastal Resilience Grant Program to provide financial and technical support for local efforts to increase awareness and understanding of climate impacts, identify and map vulnerabilities, conduct adaptation planning, redesign vulnerable public facilities and infrastructure, and implement non-structural (or green infrastructure) approaches that enhance natural resources and provide storm damage protection. Managed through CZM’s StormSmart Coasts program, grants are available for a range of coastal resilience approaches—from planning, public outreach, feasibility assessment, and analysis of shoreline vulnerability to design, permitting, construction, and monitoring.

The Fiscal Year 2018 Request for Responses (RFR) is now available.
For more information, to view the RFR, and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website.
Proposals are due by June 5.

Questions may be sent to Patricia Bowie, Coastal Resiliency Specialist, Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 800, Boston, MA 02114 or to until May 8 at 4:00 p.m. Answers to all questions will be posted on COMMBUYS.

Who is eligible and what types of projects are funded?

The Coastal Resilience Grant Program is open to the 78 municipalities located within the Massachusetts coastal zone. Certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations with vulnerable coastal property that is open and accessible to the public are also eligible for funding for natural storm-damage protection (or green infrastructure) projects (project category #5 below).

Eligible projects must fall under one (or more) of the following five categories:

  1. Vulnerability and Risk Assessment - Projects that map and evaluate vulnerable community facilities and infrastructure using best available techniques and climate projections. Proposals to model flooding and erosion from future coastal storms, taking into account sea level rise, waves, and natural systems, and evaluate the socioeconomic impacts of coastal storms are strongly encouraged. Communities interested in assessing other extreme weather, natural, and climate-related hazards, are encouraged to apply to the Commonwealth’s new Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program.
  2. Public Education and Communication - Projects that increase public understanding of climate impacts and develop support for management measures and other actions to address coastal impacts. Creative communication products that provide ongoing benefits and can be adopted by other communities are strongly encouraged.
  3. Local Bylaws, Adaptation Plans, and Other Management Measures - Projects to develop, amend, and implement community-based resilience plans, local ordinances, bylaws, standards, and other management measures to reduce coastal storm damages and climate impacts. Projects that result in formal local adoption are strongly encouraged.
  4. Redesigns and Retrofits - Engineering and construction projects that produce designs and plans, and retrofit existing community facilities and infrastructure (e.g., coastal structures, wastewater treatment plants, pump stations, and critical roadways/evacuation routes)  to function properly given higher tides, greater storm surges, and more intense precipitation. Projects that evaluate and implement removal or relocation of facilities and infrastructure outside of hazardous areas, where feasible, are strongly encouraged.
  5. Natural Storm-Damage Protection Techniques - Coastal green infrastructure projects that evaluate, design, permit, implement, and monitor non-structural approaches to enhance or create natural erosion and flood protection services provided by public beaches, dunes, coastal banks, salt marshes, shellfish, and other habitat types. Projects must specifically address documented erosion and flooding issues that impact community facilities and infrastructure.

What projects have been funded?

What resources are available to help identify issues and develop resilience strategies?

CZM strongly encourages applicants to review the following information when developing a proposal for this grant program:

What is the proposal deadline (and other important dates)?

Applications are due by 4:00 p.m., Monday, June 5, 2017. Questions may be directed in writing to Patricia Bowie by 4:00 p.m. Monday, May 8, 2017 (see Contact Information below). Awards are estimated to be announced by July 28, 2017, with contract negotiations to begin immediately thereafter. Projects must be completed before June 30, 2018.

What is the level of funding?

CZM expects to award up to $2,100,000 in grants for FY 2018 Coastal Resilience projects. Applicants may request up to $500,000 in funding and are required to provide at least 25% of the total project cost. The 25% local match could be cash or in-kind contributions or a combination of the two.

What do proposals typically include?

The FY 2018 RFR is available on the COMMBUYS website and will provide specific proposal requirements. The RFR includes the following proposal requirements:

  • A brief description of community’s current vulnerability and approach to management of erosion and flooding hazards including any climate adaptation efforts.
  • A description of the issue(s) or problem(s) and the need for assistance.
  • A detailed description of the proposed project that identifies the project type. If applicable, the proposal should also explain which sea level rise scenario from Sea Level Rise: Understanding and Applying Trends and Future Scenarios for Analysis and Planning pdf format of Sea Level Rise Guidance
file size 3MB will be used for the project.
  • A description of the transferability of the proposed project (i.e., how the project approach, techniques, and products can be used by other coastal communities facing similar issues).
  • A detailed timeline with anticipated completion dates for the project.
  • A detailed budget and explanation of how the funding and other support provided by CZM or other project partners will ensure success of the project. Applicants are required to match at least 25% of the total project cost with in-kind services and/or cash not committed for other project funding.
  • The name of a qualified individual who will serve as the local project manager and point of contact, along with resumes for the local project manager and other staff who will work on the project.
  • Support letters from all relevant local boards, departments, commissions, and other partners that include their commitment to participate in the project as necessary.

Contact Information

Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management

Patricia Bowie
Coastal Resiliency Specialist
Phone: (617) 626-1186
Kathryn Glenn
North Shore Regional Coordinator
Phone: (978) 281-3972
Stephen McKenna
Cape Cod & Islands Regional Coordinator
Phone: (508) 375-6856
Jason Burtner
South Shore Regional Coordinator
Phone: (781) 546-6012
David Janik
South Coastal Regional Coordinator
Phone: (508) 291-3625 x12
Lisa Berry Engler
Boston Harbor Regional Coordinator
Phone: (617) 626-1230