Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.2 Million for Coastal Communities to Prepare for Climate Change
BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced more than $2.2 million in funding to support local efforts to increase community preparedness and resilience to coastal storm and climate change impacts, including storm surges, flooding, erosion and rising sea levels. These grants, provided by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), are being awarded to Dennis, Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc., Eastham, Essex, Falmouth, Gloucester, Kingston, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Northeastern University, Salem, Scituate, Wareham, Weymouth and Winthrop. Fifty-one resilience projects have been completed under the Baker-Polito Administration with an investment of over $6.8 million for these projects.
“Protecting and preparing Massachusetts’ extensive residential and commercial developments, port facilities, habitats and natural resources from changing climate conditions along our coast is a priority for our administration,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are committed to addressing these challenges and pleased to provide more than $2 million to coastal communities to adapt and prepare for future storms.”
“Massachusetts is home to 78 coastal communities with unique economic assets that drive sustainable growth,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, who also serves as Chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “Today’s grants will help more than a dozen communities from Cape Cod to the North Shore and the South Coast better protect the assets that help drive their local communities.”
The funding continues the commitment of the Baker-Polito Administration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, and build a more resilient Commonwealth. Earlier this year, the Administration awarded over $1 million in grant funding and designation status has been awarded to 71 towns and cities across the Commonwealth to provide communities with technical support, climate change data and planning tools to identify hazards and develop strategies to improve resilience.
“The Commonwealth’s coastal communities are leading by example to proactively integrate climate change projections in planning, infrastructure improvements and the stabilization of natural coastal buffers like salt marsh and barrier beaches,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Through these grants, we are helping to enable communities to become more resilient to coastal storms and sea level rise over time.”
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 community facilities and infrastructure and implement non-structural measures to increase natural storm damage protection, flood and erosion control and community resilience. Grants can be used for planning, public outreach and feasibility assessment and analysis of shoreline vulnerability, as well as for design, permitting, construction and monitoring of projects that enhance or create natural resources to provide increased shoreline stabilization and flood control.
“Through the Coastal Resilience Grant Program, CZM actively works with communities and other partners to develop effective strategies to address shoreline erosion, flooding and climate change issues,” said CZM Director Bruce Carlisle. “We recognize the tremendous efforts and commitment at the local level needed to complete these projects, and we look forward to sharing project results with other coastal communities experiencing similar issues.”
The following 16 projects have been funded in this grant round:
Dennis - $133,300
- Project: Improving the Coastal Resiliency of Dr. Bottero Road and Chapin Beach - Coastal Structure and Beach Nourishment Design and Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Compliance
- Description: The Town of Dennis will study the effect of waves and the movement of sand along Chapin Beach and develop engineering design plans for a small-scale beach nourishment project with a new groin to mitigate severe erosion at Dr. Bottero Road and maintain access to the beach and Aquacultural Research Corporation.
Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc. - $36,340
- Project: Duxbury Beach Dune Restoration Project
- Description: The Duxbury Beach Reservation will design and permit a 1,700-foot-long dune restoration project between the first and second crossovers on Duxbury Beach to strengthen the resilience of the barrier beach dune system and protect the Duxbury Beach access road.
Eastham - $79,676
- Project: Assessment of Multi-decadal Coastal Change - Eastham to Wellfleet
- Description: The Town of Eastham will study the volume, rate and direction of sand moving along a six-mile stretch of Cape Cod Bay shoreline in the towns of Eastham and Wellfleet. This data will help inform future design, evaluation and implementation of regional shoreline management efforts.
Essex - $71,450
- Project: Improving Coastal Hazard Management along the North Shore - Integrating Science, Outreach and Education to Increase Ecosystem and Community Resiliency
- Description: The Town of Essex will develop a comprehensive database of flooding, erosion and other coastal hazard data specific to the Great Marsh, conduct regional workshops on emergency management and coastal resilience planning issues and design and install educational signage on future climate change projections and local adaptation efforts.
Falmouth - $124,695
- Project: Assessment of Shoreline Stabilization Alternatives for Menauhant Beach
- Description: The Town of Falmouth will evaluate engineering alternatives to increase protection of Menauhant Beach and associated roadway infrastructure located west of the Bournes Pond Inlet to address current flooding and erosion concerns and potential future sea level rise impacts.
Gloucester - $97,500
- Project: Gloucester Pump Stations - Floodproofing Redesign and Retrofit
- Description: The City of Gloucester will design and prepare bid specifications for infrastructure improvements at five of its most vulnerable pump stations. The floodproofing measures will be designed to protect the long-term function of the pump stations from anticipated sea level rise impacts.
Kingston - $497,725
- Project: Gray’s Beach Park Coastal Restoration, Retreat and Site Improvement Project
- Description: The Town of Kingston will restore Gray’s Beach to a more natural environment by replacing a deteriorating stone revetment with a marsh and dune system and relocating an existing concession and restroom facility farther inland to accommodate future flooding, erosion and sea level rise impacts.
Marshfield - $36,000
- Project: Feasibility Assessment and Design for Beach and Dune Enhancement through Beneficial Reuse of Dredged Materials from Green Harbor
- Description: The Town of Marshfield will analyze existing conditions along the shoreline and conduct a feasibility evaluation of potential town-owned locations to place sand and other sediment that is routinely dredged from Green Harbor for future beach and dune enhancement.
Mattapoisett - $67,800
- Project: Addressing Mattapoisett’s Potable Water Infrastructure Vulnerabilities at the Pease’s Point Water Main Crossing
- Description: The Town of Mattapoisett will complete final design and permitting of recommended improvements to the water main crossing between Pease’s Point and Point Connett to help ensure that service and water quality will be maintained during storm events.
New Bedford - $153,045
- Project: West Rodney French Boulevard Beach Nourishment - Engineering and Permitting
- Description: The City of New Bedford will complete a detailed analysis of shore protection alternatives and develop permit-level engineering design plans for a preferred beach nourishment project along West Rodney French Boulevard.
Northeastern University - $202,950
- Project: Enhancement and Stabilization of Natural Cobble Shoreline at Canoe Beach
- Description: Northeastern University will evaluate, design and submit permit applications for a mixed-sediment (e.g., sand, gravel and cobble) dune and beach nourishment project that will provide increased storm damage protection for Canoe Beach and the surrounding public utilities, infrastructure and facilities.
Salem - $11,250
- Project: Salem Collins Cove Bioengineering with Coir Rolls and Sea Grass Plantings
- Description: The City of Salem will complete permitting activities and prepare final construction design plans to restore a fringing salt marsh using coir rolls and natural vegetation along Collins Cove to provide increased protection from erosion, storm surge and wave forces.
Scituate - $210,000
- Project: Engineering and Environmental Permitting for Roadway Elevation Improvements and Dune Nourishment along North Humarock Beach for Improved Coastal Resiliency
- Description: The Town of Scituate will develop engineering designs and preliminary environmental permit documents for dune nourishment and roadway elevation along a portion of Central Avenue on Humarock Beach to provide storm damage protection for repetitively damaged public and private infrastructure.
Wareham - $101,100
- Project: Coastal Resilience Improvements - Final Design for Three Priority Pump Stations
- Description: The Town of Wareham will obtain required permits and develop final construction plans, specifications and cost estimates for improvements at three of its most vulnerable pump stations to help endure future storm events and minimize public health and environmental risks.
Weymouth - $397,500
- Project: Puritan Road Flood Mitigation and Ecological Resilience - Construction
- Description: The Town of Weymouth will replace an existing, collapsing culvert at the entrance to Great Esker Park with a new culvert and “daylight” a portion of the tidal stream to mitigate flooding around Puritan Road and improve the health and function of the salt marsh.
Winthrop - $77,550
- Project: Coughlin Park Green Infrastructure Project - Design and Permitting,
- Description: Winthrop will finalize design plans and prepare permit applications for a coastal bank stabilization project using bioengineering techniques at Coughlin Park to minimize erosion and maintain public access to the beach and nearshore area.
“As a representative of a coastal community I am acutely aware of how important it is to proactively protect our natural resources, businesses and homes, and infrastructure,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “These funds give the Commonwealth the tools to 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.”
“This investment into Coughlin Park, enables the Town of Winthrop, specifically the neighborhood of Point Shirley, to take important step to ensure residents and future generations and have access to recreation areas and green space,” said State Senator Joseph Boncore (D-Winthrop). “I want to thank the Governor and his administration for this investment into the future of our Town.”
“The Town of Dennis has been wrestling with coastal erosion concerns in the Dr. Bottero Road and Chapin Beach area for years,” said State Representative Timothy Whelan (R-Brewster). “This funding will go a long way toward developing sustainable solutions and preserving our beautiful coastline. I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration, as well as Secretary Matt Beaton, for their continued strong support of mid-Cape communities and the concerns that are unique to coastal communities throughout the Commonwealth.”
“Cape Cod is blessed with over 500 miles of coastline, making our peninsula a maritime destination for millions of visitors each year,” said State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro). “I am encouraged by the ongoing commitment to promote coastal resiliency and combat the effects of rising sea levels. Grants to Dennis and Eastham will not only ensure that our coastline is safeguarded against the adverse effects of a changing change, but they will provide a boost to our blue economy: supporting tourism, research, and small business.”
“I thank the Baker-Polito Administration and Secretary Beaton for awarding these grants and for showing their continued commitment to protect the economic and environmental vitality of our coastal communities,” said State Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “Massachusetts has always been at the forefront of the fight against climate change and these grants will allow Duxbury, Marshfield, Scituate, and Weymouth to do even more at the municipal level to prepare for the unique challenges they face as seaside communities.”
“I am pleased Weymouth is receiving this funding to replace the culvert at Great Esker Park which is one of the town’s most important assets,” said State Representative James Murphy (D-Weymouth). “The grant will fund vital efforts to alleviate flooding and promote the productivity of the salt marsh. This is another great example of state funds investing in the Weymouth community.”
“Most of us don't realize that there are more possible consequences from coastal hazards than just residential and commercial interests. The possible compromise of infrastructure related to public health poses real threats to our communities,” said State Representative Susan Gifford (R-Wareham). “This grant is another step toward minimizing this risk in Wareham and I am grateful for the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to being prepared for what the future may bring.”
“We must work on local, state, regional and global levels to make our communities more resilient to the harmful effects of climate change,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton), founding chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. “If we do not, the costs will be astronomical. While these coastal resilience grants will help communities like Wareham endure future storm events and minimize public health and environmental risks due to climate change, we cannot neglect our responsibility to fight the root cause of these dangers. We have a legal and moral obligation to meet the emissions reduction requirements of the Global Warming Solutions Act, and we should never lose sight of that.”
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.