For Immediate Release - April 18, 2017

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Funding for Coastal Communities to Address Climate Change and Water Quality Issues

SALEM – April 18, 2017 – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced today $2.6 million in funding is available through two grant programs for coastal projects that promote climate change resilience or improve coastal water quality. Under the program, Requests for Responses (RFR) will be solicited from municipalities and eligible non-profit partners for grants awarded through the Coastal Resiliency Grant Program and Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program. The announcement was made by state environmental officials during an event in Salem as part of the Commonwealth’s celebration of Earth Week.

“Our administration is committed to combating and preparing for the impacts of climate change,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These grant programs for coastal communities ensure a proactive and holistic approach, providing funds directly to the communities to identify and develop effective solutions for climate change and water quality issues that significantly impact their coastline.”

“Massachusetts’ 78 coastal communities confront the challenges of climate change and coastal protection every year,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are proud these grant programs will help provide resources to develop innovative and effective solutions to address local priorities for more resilient communities and economies.”

The Coastal Resilience Grant Program, administered by the Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), provides funding to the Commonwealth’s 78 coastal communities to reduce risks associated with coastal storms, flooding, erosion and sea level rise through innovative and transferable local initiatives. Eligible projects include efforts to increase awareness and understanding of climate impacts, assess vulnerability and risk, plan for changing conditions and redesign vulnerable community facilities and infrastructure.

Additionally, both coastal communities and eligible nonprofits may seek funding for non-structural (or green infrastructure) approaches that enhance natural resources and provide storm damage protection. In this grant round, $2.1 million in funding is available with up to $500,000 per project. Applications are due by June 5 and links to the RFR are available on the Coastal Resilience Grant Program website.

“Earth Week is the perfect time to announce new funding to support proactive local solutions that will protect our coastal water quality, and ensure our coastal communities are prepared for the effects of climate change,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Baker-Polito Administration remains committed to building a resilient Commonwealth, and helping all communities protect their residents as well as homes, businesses and infrastructure.”

“We are very grateful to the Baker-Polito administration for their continued support of the Coastal Resilience and Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant programs. As a coastal community, Salem has benefited immensely from these important initiatives, which have addressed shore erosion and water quality leading to a healthier Salem Harbor and Sound,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “We wouldn’t be able to undertake these programs without the state’s assistance and we are thankful to have such a strong state partner helping us remediate water pollution and achieve our sustainability goals.”

CZM’s Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant Program provides funds to municipalities within the Massachusetts Coastal Watersheds, which encompass 220 cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts. Eligible projects address local stormwater pollution issues, including water quality assessment and the design and construction of structural Best Management Practices (BMPs) and commercial boat-waste pumpout facilities. In the current grant round, $500,000 is available, with up to $175,000 per project. Applications are due by May 25, 2017, and links to the RFR are available on the CPR Grant Program website.

“CZM is committed to providing technical and financial assistance to support local efforts to advance strategies for increasing resilience to coastal flooding, erosion, and storm damage and restoring water quality and habitat in coastal waters,” said CZM Director Bruce Carlisle. “The partnerships created through these grant programs ensure that we are successfully protecting coastal resources now and into the future.”

“As a State Senator representing coastal communities, the Coastal Resilience and Coastal Remediation Grant Program has provided important funding to projects that protect local infrastructure, enhance natural resources and reduce risks associated with environmental conditions like flooding and erosion,” said State Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem). “I'd like to thank the Baker Administration and Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton for their leadership in prioritizing funding for these projects and commitment to improve our natural resources and infrastructure.”

“On behalf of the City of Salem, I am grateful to the Baker/Polito Administration for their commitment to providing needed resources to address these important environmental issues,” said State Representative Paul Tucker (D-Salem). “In particular, Secretary Beaton and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs have worked in partnership with Salem stakeholders to identify specific areas targeting resiliency and remediation which will have lasting benefits for Salem's precious waterfront and ecological system.”

The available funding builds upon the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. In September 2016, Governor Baker signed an Executive Order which lays out a comprehensive approach to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, and build a more resilient Commonwealth. 

The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) 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.