Coastal Resilience Grant Program

Find information on these Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) grants to advance local efforts to address coastal flooding, erosion, and sea level rise.

Massachusetts coastal communities face significant risks from coastal storms, flooding, erosion, and sea level rise—challenges that are exacerbated by climate change. To help address these issues, CZM administers the Coastal Resilience Grant Program to provide financial and technical support for local efforts to increase awareness and understanding of climate impacts, identify and map vulnerabilities, conduct adaptation planning, redesign vulnerable public facilities and infrastructure, and implement non-structural (or green infrastructure) approaches that enhance natural resources and provide storm damage protection. Managed through CZM’s StormSmart Coasts program, grants are available for a range of coastal resilience approaches—from planning, public outreach, feasibility assessment, and analysis of shoreline vulnerability to design, permitting, construction, and monitoring.

NEW: RFR Released on 4/22 for FY2020 Coastal Resilience Grants - On April 22, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Request for Responses (RFR) for the Coastal Resilience Grant Program was released. This year, $3.0 million in funding is available with up to $750,000 per project. To view the RFR and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Applications are due by June 3 at 4:00 p.m.

NEW: Pre-RFR Information Presentation for Coastal Resilience Grant Program - Before the release of the FY2020 RFR, CZM held four information sessions to discuss the goals and requirements of the grant program, answer questions, and provide feedback on potential project ideas. For more information, see the Coastal Resilience presentation (PDF, 2 MB) from these sessions.

Most Recent Coastal Community Resilience Grant Awards - On August 1, 2018, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) announced more than $3.2 million in funding through CZM’s Coastal Resilience Grant Program to advance local efforts to reduce risks associated with coastal storms, flooding, erosion, and sea level rise. Grants were awarded to Braintree, Chatham, Chelsea and Everett, Dennis, Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc., Gloucester, Hull, Ipswich, Kingston, Marion, Mattapoisett, Nantucket, Provincetown, Salem, Wareham and Winthrop. See the EEA Press Release.

Who is eligible and what types of projects are funded?

The Coastal Resilience Grant Program is open to the 78 municipalities located within the Massachusetts coastal zone. Certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that own vulnerable coastal property that is open and accessible to the public are also eligible for funding for public education and communication efforts, local bylaws, adaptation plans, or other management measures, and nature-based storm-damage protection (or green infrastructure) projects (project categories #2, 3 and 5 below).

Eligible projects must fall under one (or more) of the following five categories:

  1. Detailed Vulnerability and Risk Assessment - Projects that map and evaluate vulnerable public facilities and infrastructure using best available techniques, data, and climate projections. Proposals to model flooding and erosion impacts from future coastal storms, taking into account sea level rise, waves, and natural systems, and evaluate the socioeconomic impacts are encouraged. Communities interested in assessing other extreme weather, natural, and climate-related hazards, are encouraged to apply to the Commonwealth’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program.
  2. Public Education and Communication - Projects that increase public understanding of climate impacts and develop support for long-term management measures and other climate adaptation actions to address coastal impacts. Creative communication products that provide ongoing benefits and can be adopted by other communities and non-profit organizations are encouraged.
  3. Local Bylaws, Adaptation Plans, and Other Management Measures - Projects to develop, amend, and implement community-based resilience plans, local ordinances, bylaws, standards, zoning, and other land use planning tools or management measures to reduce the exposure of existing and future development and infrastructure to coastal storm damages and climate impacts. Projects that result in formal local adoption are strongly encouraged.
  4. Redesigns and Retrofits - Engineering and construction projects that produce designs and plans, and retrofit vulnerable municipally-owned facilities and infrastructure (e.g., seawalls, wastewater treatment plants, pump stations, and critical municipal roadways/evacuation routes) to withstand flooding and erosion over the design life given higher tides, greater storm surges, and more intense precipitation. Projects that relocate public facilities and infrastructure to outside hazardous areas or remove them entirely from hazardous areas, where feasible, are strongly encouraged.
  5. Nature-based Storm-Damage Protection Techniques - Coastal green infrastructure or living shoreline projects that evaluate project suitability, design, permit, construct, and/or monitor non-structural approaches to enhance or create natural erosion and flood protection services provided by public beaches, dunes, coastal banks, salt marshes, shellfish, and other habitat types. Projects must specifically address documented erosion and flooding issues that impact community facilities and infrastructure.

What projects have been funded?

What resources are available to help identify issues and develop resilience strategies?

CZM encourages applicants to review the following information when developing a proposal for this grant program:

What is the proposal deadline (and other important dates)?

The FY20 Coastal Resilience Grant application period is now open. Please see COMMBUYS to view the RFR and download required forms. The Question and Answer period is now closed. Responses to questions are posted on COMMBUYS. Applications are due to CZM by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, June 3. Awards are anticipated to be announced by the end of July 2019. Projects awarded funding for FY20 must be completed by June 30, 2020.

What is the level of funding?

For FY20, CZM expects to award up to $3.0 million in total funding for projects. Applicants may request up to $750,000 in funding. Applicants are required to provide at least 25% of the total project cost. The 25% local match could be cash or in-kind contributions or a combination of the two.

What do proposals typically include?

Please see the FY20 RFR for specific proposal requirements. Proposal requirements typically include the following:

  • A brief description of community’s current vulnerability and approach to management of erosion and flooding hazards including any climate adaptation efforts.
  • A description of the issue(s) or problem(s) and the need for assistance.
  • • A detailed description of the proposed project that identifies the project type, as well as the selected sea level rise scenario(s), if applicable, and how the project will benefit the public and public interests.
  • A description of the transferability of the proposed project (i.e., how the project approach, techniques, and products can be used by other coastal communities facing similar issues).
  • A detailed timeline with anticipated completion dates for the project.
  • A detailed budget and explanation of how the funding and other support provided by CZM or other project partners will ensure success of the project. Applicants are required to match at least 25% of the total project cost with in-kind services and/or cash not committed for other project funding.
  • The name of a qualified individual who will serve as the local project manager and point of contact, along with resumes for the local project manager and other staff who will work on the project.
  • Support letters from all relevant local boards, departments, commissions, and other partners that include their commitment to participate in the project as necessary.

Contact Information

Please contact the following CZM staff and Regional Coordinators with any questions:

Patricia Bowie
Coastal Resiliency Specialist
Phone: (617) 626-1186
patricia.bowie@mass.gov

Kathryn Glenn
North Shore Regional Coordinator
Phone: (978) 281-3972
kathryn.glenn@mass.gov

Erikk Hokenson
Boston Harbor Regional Coordinator
Phone: (617) 626-1234
erikk.hokenson@mass.gov

Jason Burtner
South Shore Regional Coordinator
Phone: (781) 546-6012
jason.burtner@mass.gov

Stephen McKenna
Cape Cod & Islands Regional Coordinator
Phone: (508) 375-6856
stephen.mckenna@mass.gov

David Janik
South Coastal Regional Coordinator
Phone: (508) 291-3625 x12
david.janik@mass.gov

Feedback