June 8, 2017 \u2013 The Baker-Polito Administration today announced over $1 million in grant funding and designation status has been awarded to 71 towns and cities across the Commonwealth through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program. The new grant and designation program, which builds on Governor Baker\u2019s Executive Order 569 as well as other administration-led state and local partnerships, will provide communities with technical support, climate change data and planning tools to identify hazards and develop strategies to improve resilience. The grant awardees, announced by Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton during a tour of the Wareham coastline, represent 20 percent of the state\u2019s municipalities.\n\n\u201cMassachusetts is committed to combating and preparing for the impacts of climate change, and our Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program is designed to ensure our communities can work together on building resilience with the best planning tools, data and resources from the state,\u201d said Governor Charlie Baker. \u201cWe are proud that so many of our cities and towns are involved and using their local knowledge and community strengths to partner with the Commonwealth.\u201d\n\n\u201cBy becoming a part of the Commonwealth\u2019s new Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program these 71 cities and towns are committed to taking on the challenge of climate change at the local level,\u201d said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. \u00a0\u201cThrough this partnership our communities will build resilience and prepare for the impacts of climate change while helping our administration design better adaptation solutions across the Commonwealth.\u201d\n\nAs part of the MVP Program, municipalities will work through a community-based workshop process to identify key climate-related hazards, vulnerabilities and strengths, develop adaptation actions, and prioritize next steps.\u00a0 Results of the workshops and planning efforts will be used to inform existing local plans, grant applications, budgets, and policies.\u00a0 One area of focus will be using the process to update or develop local hazard mitigation plans.\u00a0\n\n\u201cWe are thrilled to be able to offer this program to so many communities in every corner of the state,\u201d said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. \u201cThe MVP Program is a critical component of implementing Governor Baker\u2019s Executive Order 569 and by working with so many of our local communities we will be able to create a strong network of cities and towns taking leadership to address climate change.\u00a0 We look forward to working together to better understand the local impacts of climate change and to plan and implement the best strategies to build community resilience.\u201d\n\nThe program, funded through the Five-Year Capital Plan, will be led by an experienced Project Coordinator from the town with a core team of town staff and volunteers representing town planning departments, emergency managers, conservation commissioners, economic councils, the business community and other key stakeholders. Technical assistance will be delivered by state-certified MVP Program providers using a standardized toolkit for assessing vulnerability and developing strategies, and newly developed climate projections and data from the Northeast Climate Science Center at UMass-Amherst. Upon successful completion of the program, municipalities will be designated as a \u201cMunicipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program Community.\u201d\n\nThe following communities will receive funding to complete the planning process and achieve designation status by June 2018:\n\n\n\t\t\tActon - $19,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tGrafton, Millbury and Northbridge - $32,000\n\n\t\t\t(Regional Partnership)\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tNorthampton - $20,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tAdams - $20,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tHolden - $16,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tNorwood - $20,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tArlington - $23,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tHolyoke - $26,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tPeabody - $25,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tAshfield and Conway - $20,000\n\n\t\t\t(Regional Partnership)\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tLanesborough - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tPelham - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tBelchertown - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tLawrence - $34,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tRehoboth - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tBlackstone - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tLittleton - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tRockport - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tBuckland - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tManchester - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tSandwich - $17,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tCarver - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tMarblehead - $17,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tSherborne - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tCharlemont - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tMarion - $20,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tShrewsbury - $22,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tCharlton - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tMattapoisett - $16,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tSpencer - $16,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tChelsea - $25,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tMedford - $26,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tSpringfield - $26,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tChilmark - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tMelrose - $19,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tStow - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tCohasset - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tMendon - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tSwansea - $16,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tColrain - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tMilford - $20,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tWare - $17,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tDeerfield - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tMontague - $17,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tWareham - $24,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tDevens - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tMonterey - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tWest Tisbury - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tEssex - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tNatick - $21,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tWestport - $16,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tFalmouth - $20,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tNew Bedford - $36,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tWeymouth - $25,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tFreetown - $20,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tNewbury - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tWilliamstown - $17,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tGloucester - $20,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tNewburyport - $16,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tWinthrop - $17,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tGosnold - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tNorth Reading - $16,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\tWrentham - $15,000\n\t\t\t\n\t\tThe communities of Boston, Cambridge, Salem, Somerville and Swampscott have achieved MVP Program designation based on work they have already completed within their communities.\u00a0\n\n\u201cCommunities will need new tools and resources to prepare for, and recover from, more volatile and extreme weather patterns,\u201d said Public Safety and Security\u00a0Secretary Daniel Bennett. \u201cWhile\u00a0climate change will not affect all communities in the same way, our goal is to serve as a partner to cities and towns as they work to address their individual needs.\u201d\n\nIn September 2016, Governor Baker signed an Executive Order 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.\u00a0 The Order, Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth, represents the collaboration between the Office of the Governor, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, and key state, local and environmental stakeholders. The Executive Order ensures that Massachusetts will continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resiliency within government operations. The Order also directs the development and implementation of a statewide comprehensive climate adaptation plan that will provide a blueprint for protecting the built and natural environment of the Commonwealth, based on the best available data on existing and projected climate change impacts. Recognizing the need to strengthen the resilience of communities throughout Massachusetts, a key commitment in this order is coordinating assistance to cities and towns as they prepare for the impacts of climate change.\n\n\u201cOur leadership on climate change is now more vital than ever to reduce the future threat of global warming and keep Massachusetts healthy, strong and sustainable,\u201d said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). \u201cBy working with our communities to address the future impacts of climate change, we are doing our part to conserve the Commonwealth for generations to come.\u201d\n\n\u201cThis grant will help the Commonwealth prepare for the effects of climate change in a more thorough way and will allow Winthrop to build a plan that is targeted to our coastal community while collaborating with other municipalities on best practices,\u201d said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). \u201cI thank the Baker Administration and look forward to hearing from officials in my hometown about the implementation of these funds.\u201d\n\n\u201cNow more than ever, we must work on local, state and regional levels to make our communities more resilient to the harmful effects of climate change,\u201d said Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton), founding chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. \u201cVulnerability preparedness plans for our municipalities are great first steps in the protection of our economy, public health and built and natural infrastructures, and a complement to Governor Baker\u2019s executive order last year. Wareham is a town in my district that has much to lose from climate change, both environmentally and economically, and these awards will help develop smart, protective strategies for this community and 70 others. As we go forward, we must commit to codifying such preparedness plans in statute for the entire state; the Massachusetts State Senate, recognizing the importance of such planning, passed a climate adaptation management plan three times in our last legislative session. I remain committed to seeing it through.\u201d\n\n\u201cThe MVP grants announced today will help communities identify the potential hazards associated with climate change so they can develop and implement an effective response plan at the local level,\u201d said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). \u201cThanks to the leadership of Secretary Beaton and the Baker-Polito Administration, cities and towns across the Commonwealth will now be better positioned to address the environmental challenges posed by climate change.\u201d\n\n\u201cAddressing climate change requires a coordinated effort, and that effort must include actions at the municipal level,\u201d said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). \u00a0\u201cThe MVP gives cities and towns a framework to take effective and timely actions in ways that make sense not only for one community, but also for the proactive statewide plan envisioned by Governor Baker\u0027s executive order.\u00a0 There is no time to lose in moving forward to confront climate change.\u0022\n\n\u201cCities and towns have always been on the forefront of innovation in taking on new challenges,\u201d said State Representative Gailanne Cariddi (D-North Adams).\u00a0\u201cAs the issue of climate change shifts to a local approach, this program will create a partnership between the Commonwealth and its cities and towns to foster new solutions.\u201d\n\n\u201cI am very pleased that Wareham and Carver will be receiving MVP grants. This program emphasizes the importance of local control in the matter of climate change,\u201d said State Representative Susan Williams Gifford (R-Wareham).\u00a0\u201cThe Baker-Polito Administration is once again affirming their commitment to our cities and towns by giving our communities financial and technical assistance to analyze data and prepare for our future.\u201d\n\n\u201cExtreme weather events have wreaked havoc in our area of the state before.\u00a0 We have seen firsthand the damage done and how hard it can be to recover as a community,\u201d said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer).\u00a0 \u201cPreparing cities and towns for anything and everything is a no-brainer and I am pleased to see the Baker-Polito Administration is taking the proper steps to equip municipalities with the resources necessary.\u201d\n\n\u201cThe Nature Conservancy applauds the Baker Administration\u2019s leadership on the MVP program,\u201d said Wayne Klockner, State Director of the Nature Conservancy. \u201cWe see MVP as a national model for climate resiliency and adaptation and are seeking to replicate MVP in other states.\u201d\n\nThis round of funding ends in June 2018 and additional opportunities for communities to apply will be announced in early 2018.