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Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.4 Million for Projects Promoting Coastal Resilience to Climate Change

For immediate release:
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.4 Million for Projects Promoting Coastal Resilience to Climate Change

Katie Gronendyke

KINGSTONThe Baker-Polito Administration today announced more than $2.4 million in funding to support local and regional efforts to proactively plan for and reduce coastal storm and climate change impacts, including storm surge, flooding, erosion and sea level rise. The Coastal Resilience Grants, provided by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), are being awarded to Braintree, Chatham, Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc., Eastham, Essex County Greenbelt Association, Gloucester, Hull, Ipswich, Kingston, Marblehead, Marshfield and Duxbury, Mattapoisett, Nantucket, Oak Bluffs, Scituate, Tisbury, The Trustees of Reservations, Wareham and Wellfleet. Eighty-six projects funded through this grant program have been completed under the Baker-Polito Administration, representing an investment of over $12.4 million in five years.

“Massachusetts coastal communities face significant challenges with adapting to climate change impacts, such as sea level rise and increasingly severe storms,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These projects underscore our administration’s continued commitment to work with Massachusetts communities to develop and implement local solutions that address current and future risks to infrastructure and developed and natural areas along the coast.”

“Frequent flooding and storm damage is motivating coastal communities to consider new solutions to protect people and property,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “These grants provide necessary support to communities and nonprofits to pursue more balanced nature-based approaches that help create a more resilient Commonwealth.”

“Communities along the coast are proactively identifying climate change vulnerabilities, implementing more resilient actions and making climate adaptation a reality,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “I am proud that our team is working hand in hand with these local efforts that serve as models for other communities facing similar issues.”

CZM’s Coastal Resilience Grant Program provides financial and technical support for innovative local efforts to analyze vulnerabilities to climate impacts, increase awareness and understanding of these issues, plan for changing conditions, redesign vulnerable community facilities and infrastructure and implement nature-based measures. Grants can be used for feasibility assessments, design, permitting, construction and monitoring of projects that enhance or create natural buffers to provide increased shoreline stabilization and flood control.

“Through the Coastal Resilience Grant Program, we encourage communities to partner regionally, leveraging resources and expertise to advance effective shoreline management strategies,” said CZM Director Lisa Berry Engler. “CZM looks forward to continuing the significant progress made by cities, towns and nonprofits on their climate adaptation efforts and collaborating with our local partners on new projects to help advance on-the-ground improvements and resilience.”

The following 21 projects have been funded in this grant round.


Watson Park Shoreline Erosion Mitigation and Coastal Resiliency Improvement, $79,624

The Town of Braintree will advance a coastal bank stabilization project through final design and permitting. When constructed, the project will address flooding and erosion impacts, restore salt marsh and provide area for landward marsh expansion at Watson Park.


Feasibility Assessment for Shore Protection of the Chatham Mainland Using Nourishment to Enhance Existing Island and Shoal Resources, $51,666

The Town of Chatham will analyze physical data and models to evaluate alternatives for reducing erosion along the mainland shoreline while assisting threatened and endangered shorebirds. The project will focus on restoring and enhancing degraded shorebird nesting and foraging habitat, including potentially augmenting the shoals and flats north of Tern Island to naturally protect the mainland shoreline from wave impacts.

Chatham, on behalf of the Pleasant Bay Alliance

Helping Salt Marsh Keep Pace with Sea Level Rise in Pleasant Bay: Assessing Salt Marsh Vulnerability and Living Shoreline Suitability, $70,050

The Town of Chatham, in partnership with the three Pleasant Bay Alliance communities of Brewster, Orleans and Harwich, will assess the extent and vulnerability of salt marsh resources in Pleasant Bay, develop a methodology for evaluating the suitability of the Pleasant Bay shoreline for potential treatments to prevent salt marsh loss and design a pilot project to test the effectiveness of salt marsh protection through a nature-based approach.

Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc.

Design and Permitting for Nature-Based Storm-Damage Protection Measures for the Duxbury Beach Reservation Property, $131,894

The Duxbury Beach Reservation will design and initiate permitting for a comprehensive management approach that will increase resilience at vulnerable locations along Duxbury Beach, including the Atlantic Ocean facing beaches and dunes, High Pines marsh area, cobble berm along the bay-side of the access road, Powder Point Bridge abutment and pilings on the barrier beach and low areas of the access road vulnerable to flooding.


Targeted Vulnerability Assessment of Low-Lying Roadways in the Town of Eastham, $149,014

The Town of Eastham will perform a targeted vulnerability assessment of four critical, low-lying roadways—Dyer Prince Road, Bridge Road, Samoset Road, and Smith Lane/Rt. 6—to identify risks to public infrastructure and coastal resources located along the roadways and prioritize adaptation strategies with respect to future tidal, sea level rise and storm surge scenarios.

Essex County Greenbelt Association

Essex County Coastal Resiliency: Education and Communication, $34,740

The Essex County Greenbelt Association will work with municipal partners in Gloucester and Essex to conduct outreach and education on land conservation for flood storage and coastal resiliency by developing maps, using interactive online media platforms and hosting public events to communicate climate threats and the role of land conservation in climate resiliency. 


Gloucester Water Pollution Control Facility Flood Mitigation, $70,650

The City of Gloucester will conduct a feasibility assessment and prepare conceptual design alternatives for protecting the long-term function of its primary wastewater treatment plant from current and future flooding. The design alternatives will consider the use of natural systems, such as earthen berms, in addition to structural techniques to retrofit the critical facility.


Dune Restoration and Accessibility at North Nantasket Beach, $118,936

The Town of Hull will design and permit a restored dune and accessible crossover ramp at A Street and Beach Avenue that closely matches the adjacent dune configurations to reduce flooding while providing public beach access. The project will seek a permit for the closure of a large, non-permitted path through the dune along Beach Avenue and continue public engagement efforts to involve year-round and seasonal residents in dune restoration, crossing design and long-term plans to add sand to the dune.

Hull Waste Water Treatment Facility (WWTF) Nature-Based Resiliency Measures, $259,896

The Town of Hull will prepare final design plans and permit applications for a combination of onsite adaptation measures, including vegetated berms, flood gates and low flood barrier walls, to improve the resilience of the facility to flooding and sea level rise impacts.

Ipswich and the Trustees of Reservations

Building Climate Resilience through Adaptation at Argilla Road and the Crane Estate - Expanded Alternatives Analysis, Design and Permitting, $163,732

The Town of Ipswich will partner with the Trustees of Reservations to perform additional evaluations of adaptive roadway design alternatives that balance access, resiliency and wetland health at Argilla Road, a key point of access for over 350,000 visitors to The Crane Estate. The project will advance a preferred alternative to permit-level plans and include opportunities for public engagement.


Continued Establishment of a Living Shoreline Project at Gray’s Beach, $28,458

The Town of Kingston will continue to refine and implement monitoring and maintenance methods for a recently constructed living shoreline project at Gray’s Beach. Tasks include assessing the health of planted vegetation, surveying dune and beach heights and managing invasive species to help ensure that the living shoreline project successfully gets established.


Increasing Resilience through Community Engagement: Facilitating Climate Adaptation Strategies for Marblehead and its Harbor, $93,545

The Town of Marblehead will assess the vulnerability of municipally owned facilities and infrastructure in Marblehead Harbor to current and future flooding and sea level rise. The project includes an extensive stakeholder and public engagement process to increase understanding and awareness of resilience-based adaptation concepts to address vulnerabilities.

Marshfield and Duxbury

Planning, Design, Permitting and Public Education in Support of Beach and Dune Nourishment at Critically Eroded Beaches in Marshfield and Duxbury, $175,842

The Towns of Marshfield and Duxbury will plan, design and begin permitting activities for nourishment and dune enhancement projects at vulnerable coastal beaches along their east-facing shorelines. The project will include necessary field investigations and coastal modeling so that nourishment alternatives can be evaluated for expected levels of storm damage protection and design life.


Eel Pond Wastewater Force Main Replacement - Permitting Level Design, $119,487

The Town of Mattapoisett will complete planning and engineering design plans for the replacement of a vulnerable section of the Eel Pond sewer force main, which crosses the West Channel between Goodspeed Island Road and Reservation Road. The sewer main has the potential to become exposed at this location due to inlet migration and coastal storm impacts. The project proposes to horizontally directional drill the force main at a lower depth to help safeguard public health and safety and environmental resources.


Design of Long-Term Protection for Polpis Road at Sesachacha Pond, $42,225

The Town of Nantucket will prepare engineering plans and file permit applications for a project to stabilize and reduce wave impacts to a coastal bank at Sesachacha Pond along a vulnerable section of Polpis Road. The project will help provide storm-damage protection to the critical roadway and maintain access to the village of Sconset and the Quidnet and Wauwinet areas.

Oak Bluffs

Assessment of Shore Protection Options to Improve Coastal Resiliency along the Oak Bluffs Harbor Shoreline, $138,396

The Town of Oak Bluffs will study the effect of tides, waves, storm surge and sediment movement along the harbor shoreline and develop conceptual shore protection strategies to enhance the stability of the barrier beach system, reduce wave impacts in the harbor and minimize coastal flooding impacts to areas surrounding the harbor over the next 50 years.


Community-Led 50-year Coastal Vision and Near-Term Adaptive Strategy, $203,820

The Town of Scituate will create a 50-year vision for the coastline through a robust public participation process to help set the stage for future development of a 10-year action strategy. The vision planning process will engage the community around challenging coastal issues and build support for shoreline management recommendations.


Evaluation of Coastal Processes and Storm Impacts to Support Resilient Planning and Mitigation Strategies for the Vineyard Haven Harbor Shoreline, $129,951

The Town of Tisbury will develop an understanding of flooding and sediment transport along the Vineyard Haven shoreline to support a detailed analysis of potential shoreline management strategies. The project will provide a scientific basis for the town to proactively plan for projects that will improve the resiliency of the harbor area over the next 50 years.

The Trustees of Reservations

A Focus on Our Most Vulnerable Places, $82,000

The Trustees of Reservations will use their coastal properties as case studies to evaluate flooding and erosion vulnerabilities and potential adaptation strategies for barrier beaches, coastal banks and publically accessible shorelines. The project will create outreach and communication materials that incorporate broad stakeholder perspectives and build support for nature-based measures.


Final Design of the Overflow Lagoon at the Wareham Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF), $151,140

The Town of Wareham will develop final engineering plans and complete permitting of a third, lined equalization lagoon to provide the additional plant capacity required during extreme rain events to reduce the potential for overtopping and sewer overflow to the Agawam River.


Increasing Coastal Resiliency through Inter-Municipal Shoreline Management, $115,000

The Town of Wellfleet will partner with the adjacent towns of Provincetown, Truro and Eastham to develop a comprehensive framework for managing approximately 35 miles of shoreline in a mutually beneficial manner. The project is a first step in addressing the complexities of inter-municipal shoreline management with the goals of maximizing and sustaining the resilience of Eastern Cape Cod Bay through effective management techniques and consistent responses to the increased threat of coastal storms and climate change.

“This funding will allow towns all across the South Shore to lead innovative projects to overcome the effects of climate change,” said State Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “The communities I represent are always the first to feel the effects and funding like this is imperative to preserving coastal communities’ way of life. I’d like to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for their investment in climate change resilience and the South Shore.”

“I am thrilled to see that both Kingston and Duxbury will receive funding to invest in coastal resiliency projects,” said State Representative Kathleen LaNatra (D-Kingston). “The effects of climate change are getting more and more serious. Currently, Hurricane Dorian is destroying communities in the Caribbean. It is important to prepare our coastlines as climate change creates stronger and stronger storms and presents new challenges.”

“I am grateful to Office of Coastal Zone Management for investing prospectively in our green infrastructure,” said State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull). “Getting funds into the hands of local communities for nature-based solutions is critical to climate adaptation and coastal resilience.”

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.


Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.4 Million for Projects Promoting Coastal Resilience to Climate Change

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

EEA seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.

Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management 

CZM is the lead policy, planning, and technical assistance agency on coastal and ocean issues within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and implements the state’s coastal program under the federal Coastal Zone Management Act.