- Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management
- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces Funding for Coastal Communities to Address Water Quality Issues
Craig Gilvarg, Press Secretary
Salem — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $500,000 in funding is available through the Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program for projects within the coastal watershed that improve and protect coastal water quality. The announcement was made by state environmental officials during an event in Salem as part of the Commonwealth’s celebration of Earth Week.
“Clean coastal waters are a key component of what makes our Commonwealth a great place to live and to visit,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These grants directly support local efforts to capture and treat contaminants that would otherwise run to our rivers and out to the sea, improving water quality.”
“The Coastal Pollutant Grant Program forms a true partnership between the state, communities in the coastal watershed and local groups to improve water quality,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We encourage the Commonwealth’s coastal communities to apply for these grants, look forward to another successful year of funding important local projects.”
The Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant Program is administered by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) and 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 planning, water quality assessment and the design and construction of structural Best Management Practices (BMPs). The program also provides funding for commercial boat-waste pumpout facility construction, repair or retrofit. In the current grant round, $500,000 is available, with up to $175,000 per project. Applications are due by June 11, 2021, links to the RFR are available on the CPR 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,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The Baker-Polito Administration remains committed to helping all communities ensure a clean coast for all residents to enjoy.”
At the event today, CZM Deputy Director Tyler Soleau joined representatives from the City of Salem and Salem Sound Coastwatch to tour a rain garden at Winter Island Park in Salem, which was funded through $279,000 in Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grants. The event celebrates how coastal communities are working to address stormwater pollution, and CZM’s partnerships with cities, towns and local groups through the CPR program.
The event also showcases the CPR grant Salem received for capacity building in the last grant round—the first such CPR grant in the state. Through this $45,000 grant, Salem is creating an innovative database tracking system that records where stormwater infrastructure is located and when/where/how this infrastructure has been maintained. In addition, the City and Salem Sound Coastwatch are creating a series of videos in English and Spanish targeted to municipal staff that describe and demonstrate maintenance procedures for “green” stormwater infrastructure, practices that mimic natural processes to treat contaminants in runoff prior to reaching local waterbodies. The videos feature Salem’s rain gardens and other project elements constructed through CPR funding, and will be publicly available along with an associated story map to support the implementation of green stormwater infrastructure across the Commonwealth.
“Since 1996, CZM has awarded more than $12 million to communities in the coastal watershed, leading to the construction of over 150 projects to treat nitrogen, bacteria and other pollutants in stormwater runoff,” said CZM Director Lisa Berry Engler. “CPR’s strength lies in funding multi-year projects that are often collaborative efforts between municipalities, nonprofits and federal funding partners, leveraging state and federal funding, as well as local efforts, and forming true partnerships like this amazing collaboration in Salem.”
During this year’s Earth Week in Massachusetts, the Baker-Polito Administration is highlighting its commitment to supporting the Commonwealth’s Environmental Justice communities, and ensuring that all residents are protected from environmental pollution can enjoy a clean and healthy environment. During Earth Week, the Administration is holding events throughout the Commonwealth spotlighting important initiatives, including the expansion of tree planting through the Greening the Gateway Cities Program, increasing access to healthy, nutritious food by supporting urban farms, and ensuring clean water by providing grant funding to local municipalities.
On March 26, 2021, Governor Baker signed comprehensive climate change legislation that includes nation-leading provisions related to Environmental Justice. Recognizing the significant impact of climate change on Environmental Justice communities overburdened by poor air quality and disproportionately high levels of pollution, the legislation statutorily defines Environmental Justice and environmental burdens, including climate change as an environmental burden. The legislation also expands Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) review to require an Environmental Impact Report for all projects that impact air quality within one mile of an Environmental Justice Neighborhood, and requires the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a stakeholder process to develop a cumulative impact analysis as a condition of permitting certain projects. This change would, for the first time, require the agency to evaluate not just individual project impacts but also historic environmental pollution throughout the community through the permit process.