- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
- Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards Funding to Communities to Protect Coastal Water Quality
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $500,000 in grants to support local efforts to address polluted stormwater runoff to protect coastal water quality and habitat. The grants, provided through the Office of Coastal Zone Management’s (CZM) Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant Program, were awarded to Barnstable, Milton, Provincetown, Salem, Sandwich and Yarmouth.
“The funding provided through the Coastal Pollutant Remediation grant program helps give municipalities the resources they need to take practical, proactive steps to improve coastal water quality,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Through these projects, we are working with coastal communities to ensure cleaner coastal habitats throughout the Commonwealth.”
“Keeping bays and harbors clean and healthy is a priority for our Administration, and addressing pollution problems at the local level is an effective way to reach that goal,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We applaud the commitment of these six communities to reducing runoff pollution and ensuring the Massachusetts coast remains a beautiful and healthy place for residents and visitors to enjoy.”
The goal of CZM’s CPR Grant Program is to improve water quality and protect coastal habitats by reducing or eliminating nonpoint sources of pollution, the leading cause of water quality impairment in the nation. This type of pollution primarily occurs when contaminants are picked up by rain, snow melt and other flowing water and carried over land, in groundwater or through drainage systems to the nearest body of water and ultimately out to sea. Nonpoint source pollution reduces water quality, negatively impacts habitat for coastal wildlife and reduces opportunities to harvest shellfish and swim due to mandated closures.
“Clean coastal waters depend on keeping bacteria and other contaminants from running into rivers and out to the sea,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grants effectively target these contaminants at the source, capturing and treating the runoff from roads, parking lots and other hard surfaces.”
“Our Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program has a long track record of helping communities throughout the coastal watershed take practical steps to improve water quality and protect habitats,” said CZM Director Bruce Carlisle. “The cities and towns that received grants this year show how forward-thinking partnerships make a real difference, helping to prevent contaminants from making their way to the sea.”
The following six projects have been funded through this year’s grants:
Barnstable - $59,988: The Town of Barnstable, in partnership with the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, will complete design and permitting of stormwater treatment systems at priority locations in the Three Bays watershed. This work builds on a previous CPR grant and is part of a larger project to reduce nonpoint source pollution in the area. When constructed, these systems will treat contaminated runoff, protect coastal habitat and improve water quality for swimming and shellfishing.
Milton - $56,860: The Town of Milton, in partnership with the Neponset River Watershed Association, will design and construct a stormwater treatment system and demonstration rain garden at the Milton Police Station. This project, which builds on work funded through previous CPR grants, will address high levels of bacteria, nutrients and sediments in the Neponset River watershed.
Provincetown - $95,250: The Town of Provincetown will develop final designs for porous pavement along a section of Commercial Street—the fifth and final phase of a larger project. When constructed, the porous pavement will allow stormwater to infiltrate into the ground, filtering out bacteria and capturing sediment to improve water quality in Provincetown Harbor.
Salem - $128,650: The City of Salem, in partnership with Salem Sound Coastwatch, will construct three systems to capture and treat stormwater runoff at Winter Island Park, reducing sediment, bacteria and other contaminants. This project builds on a previously awarded CPR grant and supports a long-term goal of improved water quality in Salem Harbor.
Sandwich - $95,742: The Town of Sandwich will design and construct treatment systems to intercept and infiltrate stormwater runoff at a number of sites within the Town Neck Beach parking lot, Boardwalk Road and other locations. This project is part of a larger, multi-year effort to reduce bacteria and nutrient inputs to Sandwich Harbor and improve water quality, protect coastal habitat and open shellfish harvest areas.
Yarmouth - $63,510: The Town of Yarmouth, building on work funded through previous CPR grants, will construct a subsurface gravel wetland to treat stormwater runoff contaminated with bacteria and nitrogen. The town will also advance design plans at an additional priority location. The stormwater treatment systems will be designed to be resilient to climate change impacts throughout their design life—supporting Yarmouth’s long-term goal to remediate impaired waters, improve coastal habitat and reopen shellfish beds.
“Old Harbor Marsh has been a difficult area to restore to its prior uses, among which is clam digging,” said State Representative Randy Hunt (R-Sandwich). “The CZM grant will take this cleanup project further by building intercepts for stormwater runoff and introducing natural filtering processes to reduce bacteria and unwanted nutrients. The resulting expansion of clam beds will benefit the local economy and arrest carbon from the atmosphere permanently.”
“These grants are important in a real and practical way to protect our precious coastline and will have a direct and immediate positive impact,” said State Representative Paul Tucker (D-Salem). Salem is grateful to Gov. Baker and Lt. Gov Polito for recognizing the needs of coastal communities and taking action.
“Congratulations to Salem and all the communities that are working hard on this important issue,” said State Senator Joan B. Lovely (D-Salem). “Our coastal communities face unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to reducing pollutants in our waterways. I’m glad to see these six communities stepping up and leading the way.”
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.