- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
- Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $4 Million to Improve Coastal Resilience
Craig Gilvarg, Press Secretary
Salem — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $4 million in grant 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 grants, funded by the Office of Coastal Zone Management’s (CZM) Coastal Resilience Grant program, were awarded to municipalities and nonprofits pursuing 29 projects across the Commonwealth. The grants were announced by state and local officials as part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s celebration of Climate Week in the Commonwealth.
“Massachusetts’ coastal communities coast face increasing damages from increasingly severe storms, sea level rise and erosion,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “As we celebrate Climate Week in Massachusetts, we’re proud to support local efforts to protect residents, businesses and infrastructure from climate change impacts.”
“Massachusetts’ coastal communities are making climate adaptation a local priority and reality,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Through these grants, cities, towns, and nonprofits gain financial and technical assistance to explore options to manage flooding and erosion, enhance the natural environment, and support other public benefits like recreation along the coast.”
Including the grants announced today, the Baker-Polito Administration has now invested $18.9 million in 107 coastal resilience improvement projects through the Coastal Resilience Grant Program since 2015.
“With these funds, our Administration is proud to support the continued leadership and commitment at the local level to making progress year after year toward a more climate resilient future,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “These projects provide many benefits to the residents and businesses in coastal communities, and demonstrate the value of investing in resilient solutions for a changing climate.”
CZM’s Coastal Resilience Grant Program provides financial and staff support for local efforts to analyze vulnerabilities to climate impacts, increase community awareness and understanding of these issues, plan for changing conditions, redesign vulnerable community facilities and infrastructure, and restore shorelines. Grants may fund feasibility assessments, public outreach, design, permitting, construction, and monitoring of projects that enhance or create natural buffers to erosion and flooding.
“CZM is excited to continue working collaboratively with our local community and nonprofit partners to identify climate vulnerabilities, raise public awareness, and advance shoreline management efforts,” said CZM Director Lisa Berry Engler. “We look forward to another successful round of projects that contribute to a more resilient coast.”
The 29 projects below were awarded grants today.
Feasibility Assessment and Conceptual Designs for Green Infrastructure and Resilience Improvements at Obear Park - $58,340
The City of Beverly will assess feasibility and develop conceptual designs for nature-based improvements at Obear Park, a coastal park along the Danvers River, to withstand impacts from flooding, erosion, and sea level rise. The study will investigate potential living shoreline techniques, culvert alterations, and relocation and retrofits to existing park facilities.
Vulnerability Assessment and Feasibility Study for the Beverly Pump Station on Water Street - $135,445
The City of Beverly will conduct a vulnerability and feasibility assessment of the Beverly Pump Station on Water Street, a sanitary sewerage facility serving Beverly, Danvers and other entities. The analysis will evaluate alternatives to address both short- and long-term risks of flooding and sea level rise.
Technical Analysis and Resilient Design Development Options for East Boston's Waterfront (Carlton Wharf to Lewis Mall) - $300,000
The Boston Planning and Development Agency will analyze site conditions and develop implementable design options to protect the East Boston waterfront and community from future sea level rise and coastal storm events. The project will specifically look at two near-term critical flood entry points around Carlton Wharf and Lewis Mall along Marginal Street and engage adjacent property owners in the development of design alternatives.
Watson Park Shoreline Erosion Mitigation and Coastal Resiliency Improvement - $102,329
The Town of Braintree will complete environmental permitting and develop final construction drawings and bid documents for a series of green infrastructure designs to mitigate erosion and flooding at Watson Park, including salt marsh restoration, coastal bank stabilization, earthen berms, and stormwater management.
Alternatives Providing Shore Protection and Mitigating Shoaling along the Coast Fronting Stage Harbor - $114,262
The Town of Chatham will undertake an alternatives analysis for mitigating severe coastal erosion and shoaling that are jeopardizing the viability of Stage Harbor. The project will focus on pragmatic engineering solutions that address existing erosion hazards and future climate change concerns over the next 10-20 years.
Chatham, on behalf of the Pleasant Bay Alliance
Pleasant Bay Living Shoreline: Restoration along Muddy Creek Channel Adjacent to Jackknife Harbor Beach - $75,000
The Town of Chatham, in coordination with the Pleasant Bay Alliance, will advance the conceptual design and initiate environmental permitting for restoring and enhancing salt marsh along the southern bank of the tidal channel into Muddy Creek. The project will protect a popular public beach and access location to the bay.
Resiliency, Restoration and Remediation of the Green Parcel - $74,678
The City of Chelsea, in partnership with Greenroots, will assess site conditions, feasibility, and develop alternatives for improving the resilience of the Green Parcel located along Mill Creek. The project team will evaluate potential nature-based measures consisting of open space enhancements, coastal bank stabilization, and remediation to help mitigate flooding and erosion and enhance public access to the waterfront.
Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc.
Permitting for Nature-Based Storm-Damage Protection Measures for the Duxbury Beach Reservation Property - $152,278
The Duxbury Beach Reservation will complete permitting for a series of nature-based measures that will provide flood and erosion control and improve the resilience of the barrier beach system. The measures will address vulnerable areas including ocean-facing beaches and dunes, bay side of the barrier beach, Powder Point Bridge abutment and pilings, and low areas of the access road.
South Beach Bathhouse Relocation and Dune Restoration Project - $43,349
The Town of Edgartown will survey existing conditions and develop design plans to relocate an existing bathhouse, remove 150 feet of asphalt roadway off the coastal dune, restore the dune to natural conditions, and install a removable walkover structure over the restored dune at South Beach.
Elevation of Apple Street Roadbed for Alternate Transportation Route - $27,282
The Town of Essex will develop design plans for elevating a low-lying section of Apple Street, which is vulnerable to flooding during coastal storm events. Apple Street provides an alternate north-south transportation link in Essex when the primary route, the Essex Causeway (Route 133), is flooded during storms.
Essex County Greenbelt Association
Essex County Coastal Resiliency Outreach and Planning Project - $41,312
Essex County Greenbelt Association will assess infrastructure improvements and management options and produce a Climate Adaptation Management Plan for their headquarters at the Cox Reservation, which is vulnerable to coastal storm flooding and sea level rise. Greenbelt will also host a free film and lecture series for the public on coastal resiliency and climate change.
Dune Restoration and Accessibility Project at North Nantasket Beach - $310,186
The Town of Hull will finalize design plans and construct a dune restoration project with a new ADA accessible crossover ramp at A Street and Beach Avenue. The project will also restore non-permitted dune crossings and install sand fencing and educational signage to encourage use of designated dune access points and prevent storm damages.
Hull Wastewater Treatment Facility Coastal Resiliency Measures: Final Design and Permitting - $205,414
The Town of Hull will complete permitting and develop final design plans for flood protection measures at the town’s wastewater treatment facility, including a combination of vegetated berms, flood gates, and flood barrier walls. The facility is the town’s only wastewater treatment facility and provides services to the entire population in Hull and portions of Hingham and Cohasset.
Ipswich River Coastal Resiliency and Bank Stabilization Project: Phase 3 - $39,860
The Town of Ipswich and its partner, Ipswich River Watershed Association, will finalize design plans for stabilizing an eroded section of coastal bank along the Ipswich River, located near the County Street Bridge and along a well-traveled trail adjacent to the river, in downtown Ipswich. The project team will also develop plans for stormwater management improvements, acquire necessary permits, and prepare bid-ready plans and specifications for future construction.
Building Climate Resilience through Adaptation at the Crane Estate, Argilla Road Adaptation Phase 3 - $85,000
The Town of Ipswich, in partnership with The Trustees of Reservations, will continue to advance design plans and permitting for elevating a vulnerable portion of Argilla Road that crosses a salt marsh and stabilizing the side slopes of the roadway using nature-based techniques.
Design of Creek Road Pump Station Resiliency Improvements - $225,000
The Town of Marion will design a new pump station at the existing Creek Road Pump Station site to reduce short- and long-term risks to storm surge and sea level rise. The pump station handles nearly half of the wastewater flow in the town and the project is a critical step in advancing the town’s comprehensive approach to a more resilient sewer system.
Marshfield and Duxbury
Permitting and Public Education in Support of Beach and Dune Nourishment at Critically Eroded Beaches in Marshfield and Duxbury - $210,922
The Towns of Marshfield and Duxbury will complete environmental permitting for beach and dune nourishment projects at several vulnerable coastal beaches along the towns’ east facing shoreline. Securing the permits will allow the towns to conduct large-scale nourishment and be able to accept compatible sediment for beach and dune nourishment from dredging projects.
Digital Coastal Climate Resilience Curriculum for Grades 5-8 - $45,580
Mass Audubon will develop a multi-media coastal climate resilience curriculum for middle school students. The project team will design and host focus groups to determine students’ and teachers’ needs and preferences, film Mass Audubon coastal properties to create videos that will be used in the curriculum, and create four to six episodic lesson plans that include interactive digital materials ready for download by middle school teachers.
Mattapoisett Neck Road Flood Resilience Project - $74,981
The Town of Mattapoisett will assess future flood risks from sea level rise and coastal storms and develop alternatives to improve the resilience of the Mattapoisett Neck Road causeway and a culvert crossing through a salt marsh under the southern portion of the road.
West Rodney French Boulevard Beach Nourishment Design Plans and Contract Document Preparation - $77,755
The City of New Bedford will prepare final design plans and contract documents for future construction of the West Rodney French Boulevard beach nourishment project. The project will help address long-term erosion of the shoreline, which threatens West Rodney French Boulevard and sewer infrastructure.
New Bedford Port Authority
Comprehensive Assessment of Municipal Infrastructure and Land/Sea Connections - $154,178
The New Bedford Port Authority, in partnership with the City of New Bedford’s Department of Environmental Stewardship and the Town of Fairhaven, will assess the current conditions of municipally owned and managed piers in the New Bedford/Fairhaven Harbor and New Bedford’s South Terminal, evaluate adjacent utility and roadway connections, and develop recommendations for adapting the infrastructure to projected sea level rise and increased storm events.
Mapping Storm Tide Pathways in the Six Towns of Martha’s Vineyard: Assessing Coastal Resiliency to Storms and Sea Level Rise - $223,480
The Town of Oak Bluffs will partner with the Martha’s Vineyard towns of Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown, Tisbury, and West Tisbury to map and develop spatial datasets of low-lying areas that serve as pathways for coastal waters to flow inland. The project will also coordinate with the National Weather Service’s Coastal Flood Threat and Inundation Mapping website that provides real-time total water level forecasting.
Nauset Beach Parking Phased Retreat - $79,151
The Town of Orleans will complete design and permitting for the relocation of a 223-space parking lot, access road and septic system at Nauset Beach. The phased retreat plan is intended to maintain use of the site for public recreation as long as possible, enhance the ability of the existing coastal resources to provide storm damage protection and flood control, and minimize loss of infrastructure.
Plymouth Long Beach Mixed Sediment Nourishment: Design and Permitting - $142,000
The Town of Plymouth will design and permit a mixed sediment (i.e., sand, gravel, and cobble) beach nourishment project along an eroded section of Long Beach, located north of the Day Parking Area. Adding sufficient volume of compatible sediment will help protect Ryder Way (a gravel access road for emergency vehicles), residences, and recreational uses, and improve the natural function of the barrier beach to buffer storm impacts to Plymouth Harbor.
Increasing Coastal Resiliency through Intermunicipal Shoreline Management, Phase 2 - $248,470
The Town of Provincetown will continue working with the Towns of Truro, Wellfleet, and Eastham toward a regional approach to shoreline management for Eastern Cape Cod Bay. The four towns will work to update an intermunicipal geodatabase, explore a potential regional sand stockpiling system, identify parcels suitable for salt marsh migration, inventory low-lying roadways, and continue outreach and education with town staff and community members.
Coastal Resilience at Collins Cove, Monitoring and Maintenance of the Restored Salt Marsh - $62,825
The City of Salem, in partnership with Salem Sound Coastwatch and Salem State University, will monitor and maintain the recently restored fringing salt marsh at Collins Cove and conduct public education. The project team will track growth of salt marsh grasses and other plants, document benthic changes, conduct drone-based elevation surveys, and repair the living shoreline if it becomes damaged during storm events.
Save Popponesset Bay, Inc.
Improving the Coastal Resilience of Popponesset Spit - $426,632
Save Popponesset Bay, with the Town of Mashpee and Mass Audubon, will construct a dune restoration project on Popponesset Spit. The project will improve storm damage protection and flood control for properties landward of the barrier beach around Popponesset Bay, enhance habitat for endangered species such as piping plover and least terms, and improve recreation.
Feasibility Assessment and Conceptual Design for Coastal Storm Protection along the Vineyard Haven Shoreline - $111,022
The Town of Tisbury will continue to develop shoreline management strategies that will provide resiliency for the Vineyard Haven Harbor shoreline over the next 50 years. The project team will perform a detailed feasibility assessment and develop site-specific conceptual designs of recommended resilience strategies, including dune and beach nourishment and elevation of roadways.
Installation of a Bypass Connection at the Narrows Pump Station - $233,720
The Town of Wareham will install an emergency sewer bypass at the Narrows Pump Station to allow the station to continue to serve critical infrastructure upstream of the station in the event of major equipment damage and debris impacts during storm events.
“Effective resilience means planning, investing and acting now,” said State Senator Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “These grants join together local vision and state resources to get projects done that will respond to significant vulnerabilities in a meaningful way.”
“We need to take substantive steps now to mitigate the impacts of climate change on the North Shore, the Commonwealth, and our nation,” said State Senator Joan B. Lovely (D-Salem). “I appreciate these badly needed grants that will buttress the beautiful coastlines of Beverly and Salem that help to drive the economies and quality of lives that people in both cities enjoy.”
“I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for understanding and addressing the unique challenges our coastal communities face,” said State Representative Brad Hill (R-Ipswich). “I’m proud to see Ipswich taking the lead by protecting our vulnerable coastline and riverine areas.”
“I applaud the strong commitment by the Baker-Polito administration for continuing to provide the resources for communities to enhance coastal resiliency and take steps to make real and positive change,” said State Representative Paul Tucker (D-Salem). “Living in a coastal community brings many climate related challenges and this funding is helping municipalities to preserve our beautiful shore lines for generations to come.”
This year’s Climate Week marks four years since Governor Baker signed Executive Order 569 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. More recently, the Administration has committed to investing $1 billion in climate resiliency by 2022 and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.The Commonwealth is working to determine how best to achieve this emissions limit through its 2050 Roadmap, a nation-leading quantitative and qualitative planning effort that will chart multiple technical and policy pathways by which the Commonwealth can equitably and cost-effectively achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and will conclude with the publication of a long-range 2050 Roadmap report. Additionally, the Administration is working with municipalities throughout the Commonwealth to prepare for the impacts of climate change through the nation-leading Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program, which has now enrolled 89 percent of cities and towns.
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.