- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces $3 Million in Funding for Coastal Communities to Address Climate Change and Water Quality Issues
GLOUCESTER — Building on a commitment to safeguard residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced the availability of $3 million in funding through two grant programs for coastal projects that promote climate change resilience or improve coastal water quality. Under the program, Requests for Responses (RFRs) will be solicited from municipalities and eligible non-profit partners for grants awarded through the Coastal Resilience Grant Program and Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program. The announcement was made by state environmental officials during an event in Gloucester as part of the Commonwealth’s celebration of Earth Week.
“The Commonwealth’s coastal communities continue to face the persistent challenges of climate change as they work to ensure the safety of residents and the health of critical environmental resources,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Through funding opportunities to promote resilience and improve water quality, along with our Administration’s Environmental Bond Bill which makes strategic investments to better safeguard critical infrastructure and environmental assets, the Commonwealth remains committed to preparing for the impacts of climate change.”
“This past winter underscored the profound impact that climate change has on our state, and especially our coastal communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By ensuring cities and towns along the coast have access to funding to ensure the safety of residents and infrastructure, as well as the integrity of their drinking water, our Administration has demonstrated our continued willingness to work collaboratively with municipalities to provide them with the resources necessary to prepare for the challenges ahead.”
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, $2.5 million in funding is available with up to $500,000 per project. Applications are due by May 25, 2018 and links to the RFR are available on the Coastal Resilience Grant Program website.
“While climate change continues to impact the entire Commonwealth, our coastal communities continue to experience the impacts of intense and prolonged weather events,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The funding made available through the Coastal Resilience Grant Program and Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program allows the Baker-Polito Administration to work directly with communities to implement projects that protect coastal water quality and help coastal municipalities prepare for climate change impacts.”
“Adapting climate change is on the forefront of all of our minds after this winter, and coastal water quality is critical to our quality of life, environmental health and economy,” said CZM Director Bruce Carlisle. “These grants help ensure that we are successfully protecting coastal resources now and into the future.”
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, 2018, and links to the RFR are available on the CPR Grant Program website.
“We are very thankful to the Baker-Polito Administration for their continued support of the Coastal Resilience and Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant programs,” said Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. “Without these resources, we would not be able to undertake these initiatives. We are grateful to have such a strong state partner helping us remediate water pollution and achieve our climate resilience goals.”
“Confronting the challenges of climate resilience requires us to find the resources now to plan and take action. Doing so will make a real difference for the future, and these modest grants will pay large dividends in the years to come,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “Hopefully local officials will seize upon this great opportunity to partner with state government to chart a course toward sustainable communities and infrastructure.”
“On behalf of the City of Gloucester, I am pleased that the Baker/Polito Administration is commitment to providing funding to address these important environmental issues affecting our coastal communities,” said State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester). “Secretary Beaton and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs have worked in partnership with Gloucester stakeholders to fund projects that will have lasting benefits for Gloucester’s critical coastal resources. I am looking forward to working with the Secretary and the Baker Administration to address issues of rising sea levels and the comprise of Cape Ann's infrastructure along our coast.”
As part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to combat and prepare for climate change, Governor Baker recently filed legislation to authorize over $1.4 billion in capital allocations for investments in safeguarding residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, protecting environmental resources, and investing in communities. The legislation would put into law essential components of Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569, which established an integrated strategy for climate change adaptation across the Commonwealth, including the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program and the Statewide Hazard Mitigation and Adaptation Plan – a blueprint to protect residents, communities, and local economies. The funding available through these grant programs builds upon the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
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.