2014 Coastal Community Resilience Grants Awarded

On April 4, Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan announced nearly $1 million in funding through CZM’s Coastal Community Resilience Grants Program to support local climate preparedness efforts to address the effects of coastal storms, flooding, erosion, and sea level rise. The 10 grant recipients are the communities of Barnstable, Boston, Brewster, Gloucester, Hingham, Hull, Oak Bluffs, Provincetown, Salem, and Weymouth. Projects include local efforts to increase awareness of climate impacts, identify vulnerabilities, and implement measures to increase community resilience. For more information on this year’s Coastal Community Resilience Grants, see the EEA press release.

Each year, Massachusetts coastal cities and towns experience coastal storm damages to property, infrastructure, and natural resources, along with associated economic disruptions. These impacts are projected to worsen and broaden with the effects of climate change. To help communities address these issues, the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) is administering the Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program through its StormSmart Coasts program. This new grant program provides financial and technical resources to advance new and innovative local efforts to increase awareness of climate impacts, identify vulnerabilities, and implement measures to increase community resilience (i.e., the ability to endure impacts associated with coastal storms and the effects of erosion, flooding, and sea level rise and to respond, recover, and adapt to consequences).

For more on the Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program, see:


Who is eligible to apply for grants?

The Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program is open to the 78 municipalities located within the Massachusetts coastal zone. (See CZM coastal communities for a full list.) While proposals must be submitted by cities or towns, municipalities are encouraged to partner with nonprofit or regional planning partners.

What types of projects are eligible for grants?

Projects must implement one (or more) of these five StormSmart climate adaptation actions:

  1. Conducting public education and awareness or other communication initiatives - Communication projects to increase public understanding of climate impacts and support for management measures and other adaptation actions. Creativity and project longevity are strongly encouraged.
  2. Assessing vulnerability and risk - Vulnerability and risk assessment projects to evaluate and map vulnerable critical facilities, public infrastructure, other development, and natural resources using reasonable techniques and climate projections for the study areas. Consideration of human and natural system dynamics is strongly encouraged.
  3. Identifying and implementing management measures, standards, or policies - Projects that work to review, draft, and implement recommended new or amended local ordinances, bylaws, and other tools that can be used to reduce future vulnerabilities. Projects that include plans for formal local adoption are strongly encouraged.
  4. Redesigning to accommodate changing conditions - Engineering projects will produce construction designs and plans to retrofit municipal facilities and infrastructure (e.g., wastewater treatment plants, stormwater systems, tide gates, and pump stations) and other assets with significant public services and benefits to function properly given higher tides, greater storm surges, and more intense precipitation.
  5. Enhancing natural storm-damage protection - Green infrastructure projects will produce plans and implement projects that serve to restore, enhance, or re-create the natural storm surge and flood protection services provided by public beach systems, including berms, dunes, and banks. Projects that propose to add sediment to armored beaches, or those with seawalls and revetments, to restore the dry beach and reduce erosion impacts on neighboring properties are strongly encouraged.
Click on the links below to view past Coastal Resilience project summaries:

What information is available to support the development of effective proposals?

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

  • Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report - This 2011 report provides a broad overview of climate change impacts and includes a coastal chapter with a range of potential strategies to address sea level rise and coastal storms. Applicants are encouraged to review this report and demonstrate that one (or more) of the coastal zone recommendations have been considered when developing a potential project.
  • Sea Level Rise: Understanding and Applying Trends and Future Scenarios for Analysis and Planning pdf format of    Sea Level Rise Guidance  file size 3MB - This 2013 document provides background information on local and global sea level rise trends, summarizes the best available sea level rise projections, and provides general guidance in the selection and application of sea level rise scenarios for coastal vulnerability assessments, planning, and decision making for areas that may be at present or future risk from the effects of sea level rise. Applicants should specify which scenario(s) they are utilizing in their proposed projects.
  • StormSmart Coasts - This website includes information on assessing the vulnerability of coastal properties to erosion and flooding, tools for local officials to improve coastal floodplain management, options for coastal property owners to effectively reduce erosion and storm damage while minimizing impacts to shoreline systems, information on landscaping options for controlling erosion and storm damage, interactive maps of erosion along the Massachusetts coast, and more. Applicants are encouraged to review the website and familiarize themselves with tools, resources, pilot projects, and other support and guidance available to communities.

What is the deadline for proposals (and other important dates)?

Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on February 28, 2014. Questions may be directed in writing to Julia Knisel by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 7, 2014. Awards are estimated to be announced by April 14, 2014, with contract negotiations to begin immediately thereafter. Projects must be completed on or before June 30, 2014, or June 30, 2015, depending on the specific project.

How much can I ask for?

CZM expects to award up to $1 million in grants and applicants may request up to $200,000 in funding. Applicants must provide at least 25% of the total project cost. The 25% match may be cash or in-kind contributions or a combination of the two.

What should a grant proposal include?

The Request for Responses (RFR) is available on the COMMBUYS website. The RFR requires the following to be included in the grant application:

  1. Brief description of community’s current approach to management of erosion and flooding hazards including any climate adaptation efforts.
  2. Description of the issue(s) or problem(s) and the community’s need for assistance, including an explanation of its understanding of potential future vulnerability and risk from sea level rise, storm surge, and precipitation, as well as the primary drivers (e.g., economic, environmental, political, or other) for engaging in climate adaptation activities.
  3. Detailed description of the proposed community resilience project within the context of the five StormSmart climate adaptation action(s) listed above, as well as the selected sea level rise scenarios if applicable. If the project addresses one (or more) of the coastal zone and ocean adaptation recommendations contained in the Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report, please describe. If the project utilizes, transfers, or builds-on the pilot projects, tools, or resources of CZM’s StormSmart Coasts program, please describe. Describe how the project will improve community resilience and the outcomes and benefits.
  4. Description of transferability of proposed project (i.e., how the project approach, techniques, and products can be used by other coastal communities facing similar issues).
  5. Detailed time-line with anticipated completion dates for the project.
  6. Detailed budget and explanation of how the funding and other support provided by CZM or other project partners will ensure success of the project. The 25% in-kind and cash match that has not been used for other projects must be documented.
  7. 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.
  8. Support letters from all relevant local boards, departments, commissions, and other partners with a commitment for these entities to participate, as necessary, in the project.

A question and answer period for this RFR was held through February 7, 2014. All questions submitted and answers provided are posted on the COMMBUYS website. Select the File Attachment ENV_14_CZM06_QA.

Contact Information

Julia Knisel
Coastal Shoreline and Floodplain Manager
Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management
251 Causeway Street, Suite 800
Boston, MA 02114
julia.knisel@state.ma.us
617-626-1191