Baker-Polito Administration Awards $1.8 Million for Coastal Communities to Improve Climate Change Resilience
BOSTON – August 17, 2016 – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced over $1.8 million in funding to support local efforts to prepare for and reduce the impacts from coastal storms and climate change, including storm surge, flooding, erosion and sea level rise.
“Massachusetts is taking a leading role in understanding and preparing for climate change impacts like sea level rise and coastal flooding,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These coastal resilience grants are an excellent example of these efforts, providing direct funding and technical assistance to help our coastal communities address these issues in a pragmatic and proactive way.”
“Our coastal communities are on the front lines for coastal flooding and storm damage impacts,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “These grants recognize the local commitment to addressing the problem and adapting to changing conditions, while providing the necessary funding and support to achieve real results.”
These grants, provided by the Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), were awarded to Beverly, Boston, Dennis, Harwich, Ipswich, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Newburyport, Orleans, Plymouth, Quincy, Salem, Scituate, Swampscott, Truro, Wareham, Weymouth and Winthrop. Over $7 million has previously been awarded to communities and nonprofits through these grants, supporting 52 projects along the coast.
“Storm damage, erosion and flooding adversely affect all of our coastal communities and climate change has and will increasingly exacerbate these impacts,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Through these grants, we are supporting local efforts to plan for and manage risks to coastal development, beaches and natural resources that are essential to the quality of life and economy of Massachusetts.”
CZM’s Coastal Resilience Grant Program provides financial and technical support for innovative local efforts to increase awareness and understanding of climate impacts, plan for changing conditions, redesign vulnerable infrastructure and implement measures that use natural or non-structural approaches as an alternative to hard structures like seawalls and groins. Grants can be used for planning, public outreach and feasibility assessment and analysis of shoreline, as well as for design, permitting, construction and monitoring of projects that provide storm damage protection and enhance natural resources.
“Through the Coastal Resilience Grant Program, CZM works directly with communities to develop solutions to the difficult and expanding problems of coastal erosion and storm damage,” said CZM Director Bruce Carlisle. “We are thankful for the local commitment to addressing climate change impacts and look forward to sharing the techniques developed through these projects with other coastal communities to help them address similar issues.”
The following 19 projects have been funded in this new grant round.
Project: Beverly Waterfront Resiliency Project, $89,981
Description: The City of Beverly will identify climate change risks and develop preliminary strategies to protect the most vulnerable public infrastructure and critical facilities from flooding and sea level rise.
Project: Acting on Climate Ready Boston Recommendations - Priority Flood Mitigation in East Boston and Charlestown, $227,000
Description: The City of Boston will build on the vulnerability assessment developed through the Climate Ready Boston project and develop and design nature-based coastal resiliency strategies for two priority sites: The East Boston Greenway and Charlestown’s Schrafft site.
Project: Salt Marsh Pilot Restoration through the Beneficial Re-Use of Dredged Material, $22,750
Description: The Town of Dennis will evaluate, design and prepare permit applications for a pilot project on Stage Island and West Dennis Beach to determine whether the beneficial re-use of dredged material is an effective means of combating marsh losses and restoring storm protection functions.
Project: Planning for Resilience at Saquatucket Harbor, $187,500
Description: The Town of Harwich will prepare site plans, architectural drawings and permit applications for improvements to landside municipal facilities bordering Saquatucket Harbor to accommodate increased flooding and sea level rise.
Project: Ipswich River Coastal Resiliency and Coastal Bank Stabilization Pilot Project Phase I, $63,300
Description: The Town of Ipswich will assess areas along the Ipswich River that are vulnerable to erosion and sea level rise impacts and evaluate the feasibility of nature-based stabilization techniques to help protect critical roadways and utilities.
Project: Assessing Alternatives for Reducing Flooding within Green Harbor River Estuarine System through the Optimization of the Tide Gates Located on Dyke Road, $71,250
Description: The Town of Marshfield will evaluate modifications to the culvert and tide gate structure on Dyke Road under existing and future sea level rise conditions to address flooding issues and enhance ecological resources by improving tidal flow and flood storage capacity within the Green Harbor River estuary.
Project: Addressing Mattapoisett’s Potable Water Infrastructure Vulnerabilities at the Pease’s Point Water Main Crossing, $47,625
Description: The Town of Mattapoisett will assess beach stability under a range of sea level rise and hurricane conditions at Fresh Pond Cove and quantify coastal hazard risk to an existing exposed water main that traverses the beach from Pease’s Point to Point Connett. Modeling results will be used to help determine options for relocating the water main crossing to ensure service and water quality will be maintained in the two neighborhoods.
Project: West Rodney French Boulevard Beach Nourishment Project, $168,750
Description: The City of New Bedford will evaluate and design a beach nourishment restoration project along three armored sections of West Rodney French Boulevard that are particularly vulnerable to erosion and tidal impacts.
Project: Newburyport Dune Restoration and Beach Access Improvement Project, $78,400
Description: The City of Newburyport will prepare design plans for dune restoration and an elevated beach access structure to provide critical storm buffering to low-lying neighborhoods while maintaining beach access. Educational signage will also be installed to communicate the importance of vegetated dunes and maintain dune integrity.
Project: Design, Permitting and Public Education in Support of Phased Retreat at Nauset Public Beach, $27,000
Description: The Town of Orleans will survey, design and develop permit applications to enhance dunes and relocate facilities at Nauset Public Beach that are currently vulnerable to coastal storm damage and sea level rise, while maintaining recreation and public access to the shoreline.
Project: Evaluating Inlet Stabilization at Ellisville Harbor, $111,000
Description: The Town of Plymouth will assess structural and non-structural stabilization alternatives to allow for a more sustainable tidal inlet system at Ellisville Harbor and maximize the health of the salt marsh.
Project: Adaptation Alternatives for the Germantown Neighborhood, $67,500
Description: The City of Quincy will develop and prioritize climate adaptation strategies for protecting Palmer Street and surrounding water resource and utility infrastructure serving the Germantown neighborhood.
Project: Salem Collins Cove Bioengineering with Coir Rolls and Sea Grass Planting, $54,665
Description: The City of Salem will fully design and permit a bioengineering project using coir rolls with natural vegetation along the southern portion of Collins Cove to provide a more natural buffer to erosion from storm surge and wave forces.
Project: Evaluating Roadway Elevation Improvements and Dune/Beach Nourishment along North Humarock Beach for Improved Coastal Resiliency, $103,500
Description: The Town of Scituate will evaluate beach and dune nourishment alternatives and roadway elevation improvements along a low-lying area of Central Avenue on North Humarock Beach to provide storm damage protection for repetitively damaged public infrastructure.
Project: Waterfront Access Elevation and Flood Protection Project, $103,000
Description: The Town of Swampscott will develop design plans and permit applications for improvements to several of its waterfront access ways that have been identified as primary pathways for coastal flooding from storm surge and sea level rise.
Project: Mapping Inundation Pathways to Provide Communities with Real-time Coastal Flood Forecasts: A Pilot Project with the National Weather Service, $35,007
Description: The Town of Truro will identify low-lying flooding pathways under current and future storm conditions and incorporate mapping data on a town website as well as the Southern New England Weather Forecast Office’s inundation mapping webpage. The town will also install a tide staff and provide the public and local emergency responders with real-time forecasts of the heights, locations and pathways of coastal storm flooding.
Project: Permit Level Designs for Three Priority Pump Stations, $150,000
Description: The Town of Wareham will develop permit-level designs for retrofit measures at three of its most critical pump stations to remain operational during future storm events and help minimize public health and environmental risks.
Project: Puritan Road Flood Mitigation and Ecological Resilience, $51,504
Description: The Town of Weymouth will prepare final design plans and permit documents for replacing a persistently collapsing culvert at Puritan Road and “daylighting” a portion of the Weymouth Back River to reduce flooding and restore the tidal creek to a more natural condition.
Project: Climate Change Vulnerability and Risk Assessment of Infrastructure, $165,000
Description: The Town of Winthrop will evaluate the vulnerability of critical public infrastructure to coastal flooding and sea level rise and develop conceptual designs for adaptation strategies at up to five priority locations.
“As a representative of a coastal community I am acutely aware of how important these projects are,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “These funds give the Commonwealth the tools to proactively respond to climate change and to help us to guard against the risks inherent to natural disasters. I thank the Baker Administration for its foresight and vigilance in prioritizing coastal protection.”
“I am thrilled to finally have a solution for this inlet at Ellisville Beach Harbor,” said State Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth). “This has been a challenging area for many years, and this funding provides a step forward in helping us protect this unique marshland from being choked off from tidal waters due to storm damage.”
“The Office of Coastal Zone Management’s Costal Resilience Grant Program will help Plymouth develop and improve infrastructure to combat coastal erosion,” said State Representative Mathew Muratore (R-Plymouth). “Ellisville Harbor will benefit greatly from the grant program to improve the health and stability of the salt marsh ecosystem.”
“Coastal communities face many challenges and risks associated with changing weather patterns, erosion, and flooding all of which require monitoring and action,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester). “These grants provide important resources to allow towns and cities to take thoughtful and proactive steps to comprehensively pursue effective measures to deal with these threats and protect and preserve important resources and infrastructure.”
“Our coastal communities are regularly affected by storm surges, flooding and beach erosion,” said State Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “The coastal resilience grant funding will help address the ongoing impacts from flooding and sea level rise in the South Shore communities and I’m happy to see these investments in the Marshfield, Scituate and Weymouth coastal projects.”
“I want to commend the work of our local officials, including Scituate’s Tricia Vinchesi and Nancy Durfee and Marshfield’s Jay Wennemer and Rod Procaccino, for developing outstanding coastal grant proposals,” said State Representative Jim Cantwell (D-Marshfield). “I am grateful Governor Baker, EEA Secretary Beaton, and CZM Director Carlisle are continuing to prioritize forward thinking investments along our coasts. These grants will support smart efforts to protect lives and property from encroaching seas and extreme storms.”
“With the erosion issues that have long plagued coastal communities, this funding will go a long way in taking proactive measures to slow down the effects of adverse weather condition,” said State Representative Brad Rill (R-Ipswich). “I commend the Baker-Polito Administration for recognizing the needs of so many communities across the Commonwealth.”
The Massachusetts Office 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 address the challenges of storms, sea level rise and other effects of climate change; working with state, regional and federal partners to balance current and new uses of ocean waters while protecting ocean habitats and promoting sustainable economic development; and partnering with communities and other organizations to protect and restore coastal water quality and habitats.
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