Continuing its historic investment in climate change resiliency, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced $11.6 million in grants to cities and towns through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program. The popular grant and designation program, created in 2017 as part of Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569, provides communities with funding and technical support to identify climate hazards, develop strategies to improve resilience, and implement priority actions to adapt to climate change. With these grants, 82% of Massachusetts cities and towns are now enrolled in the MVP program.

Governor Charlie Baker said, “Our administration is committed to working with local communities to build long-term resilience for critical infrastructure and ensure they have the resources they need to prepare for the challenge of climate change. The MVP program is providing a glimpse at the monumental scale of this challenge, which is why I filed the Resilient MA legislation, which would provide a new and sustained funding source for climate resilience projects.”

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the MVP Program, “pairs local leadership and knowledge with a significant investment of resources and funding from the Administration to address ongoing climate change impacts like sea level rise, inland flooding, storms, and extreme temperatures…. These awards will ensure all communities across the state can begin making investments in strategies that protect residents and natural resources, and contribute to strong economic growth and innovation throughout the state.”

More than $1 million in MVP Planning Grants were awarded to 38 cities and towns to pursue a community-led planning process to identify vulnerabilities to climate change and priority actions. Results of the workshops and planning efforts inform existing local plans, grant applications, and policies. When complete, these municipalities will be eligible for MVP Action Grants to implement priority on-the-ground projects.

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides said, “The record participation in the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program underscores the need for forward-looking solutions that build strong, resilient local economies, provide necessary adaptation for vulnerable infrastructure and mitigate the impacts of climate change. The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to supporting municipalities in getting this work off the ground, and has committed to an ambitious goal to spend a total of $1 billion on climate resiliency by 2022.”

MVP supports implementation of the State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan, released in September 2018, which provided a national model of integrating hazard mitigation priorities with forward-looking climate change data and solutions.

Governor Baker also filed Resilient MA legislation to support municipalities and to help protect Massachusetts residents, communities, economy, natural resources and infrastructure from the adverse effects of climate change. It calls for an increase in the excise on real estate transfers to fund a substantial and sustained investment in climate change adaptation through programs like MVP and the implementation of the State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan. The revenue would go toward investments in resilient infrastructure to help make communities safer, keep vital services online, reduce the long-term costs of climate-related risks and protect the value of property across the Commonwealth. The proposal is estimated to generate $1.3 billion over 10 years, which would be deposited into the Commonwealth’s Global Warming Solutions Trust Fund to support municipalities, regional municipal partnerships, and agencies to implement priority adaptation projects.