Coastal Community Resilience Grant Awards

On August 17, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) announced over $1.8 million in funding through CZM’s Coastal Resilience Grant Program to advance local efforts to reduce risks associated with coastal storms, flooding, erosion, and sea level rise. Grants were awarded to Beverly, Boston, Dennis, Harwich, Ipswich, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Newburyport, Orleans, Plymouth, Quincy, Salem, Scituate, Swampscott, Truro, Wareham, Weymouth and Winthrop. See the EEA Press Release.

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.

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 critical facilities, public infrastructure, other development, and natural resources using best available techniques and climate projections. Proposals to model current and future coastal storms including wave run-up and sea level rise and evaluate the socioeconomic impacts of these dynamic water levels are strongly encouraged.
  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 review, draft, and implement recommended new or amended community-based resilience plans, local ordinances, bylaws, standards, and other management measures to reduce coastal storm damages. Projects that include plans for formal local adoption are strongly encouraged.
  4. Redesigns and Retrofits - Engineering projects that produce construction designs and plans to retrofit municipal facilities and infrastructure (e.g., wastewater treatment plants, pump stations, and critical roadways) and other public assets to function properly given higher tides, greater storm surges, and more intense precipitation. Projects that evaluate and implement relocation of facilities outside of hazardous areas, where feasible, are strongly encouraged.
  5. Natural Storm-Damage Protection Techniques - Coastal green infrastructure projects that evaluate, design, permit, and implement natural or nature-based (hybrid) approaches to restore, enhance, or create natural erosion and flood protection services provided by public beaches, dunes, coastal banks, salt marshes, shellfish, and other habitat types. Projects that add sediment to restore beach systems and reduce adverse impacts in areas armored with seawalls and revetments are strongly encouraged.

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)?

The application period is now closed. Applications were due by June 6, 2016. Awards are estimated to be announced by July 15, 2016, with contract negotiations to begin immediately thereafter. Awards were announced on August 17, 2016. Projects must be completed before June 30, 2017.

What is the level of funding?

Available grant funds and project limits will be provided when a Request for Responses (RFR) is released. In FY17, CZM awarded over $1.8 million in grants with applicants able to request up to $500,000 in funding. Applicants 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?

When released, an RFR will be available on the COMMBUYS website and will provide specific proposal requirements. Previous RFRs have included the following proposal requirements:

  • A brief description of community’s current 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 were 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 includes 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