Building on its commitment to creating a more climate change resilient Commonwealth, the Baker-Polito Administration this week announced $21 million in grants to cities and towns through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program. The grant program 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.

Created in 2017 as part of Governor Charlie Baker’s Executive Order 569, this round of MVP funding  brings the total awards to over $65 million. Additionally, the Administration is proposing to invest $900 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into key energy and environmental initiatives, including $300 million to support climate resilient infrastructure.

“With the ongoing success of the MVP program, we are pleased to double the program’s funding this year to support local climate change resilience projects throughout the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Massachusetts communities are implementing important, nation-leading efforts to adapt to climate change. Our Administration is committed to working with municipalities across the Commonwealth to tackle these urgent challenges, which is why we have proposed a significant increase in funding for climate adaptation projects through our federal ARPA spending plan.”

“The MVP program is a vital tool in our efforts to prepare and strengthen our coastal and inland communities to address the impacts of climate change,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are thrilled to welcome 16 new towns to the program as they take important steps in planning for the future, and to award funding to 66 priority implementation projects that range from upgrading or removing high-risk dams and culverts to investing in Environmental Justice communities.”

Through this latest round of funding, 93% of Massachusetts cities and towns, or 328 municipalities, are now enrolled in the MVP program. The program pairs local leadership and knowledge with a significant investment of resources and funding from the Commonwealth to address ongoing climate change impacts, such as inland flooding, storms, sea level rise, and extreme temperatures. Of these funds, $20.6 million was awarded to 66 cities, towns, or regional partnerships to implement projects that build local resilience to climate change in the Commonwealth’s fifth round of MVP Action Grant funding. Additionally, $400,000 was awarded to 16 towns to pursue a community led planning process to identify vulnerabilities to climate change and priority actions. When complete, these municipalities will be eligible for the next round of implementation funding.

“The MVP program has been recognized as a national model for building climate resiliency through strong state and local partnerships, and we are proud to have enrolled 93% of the municipalities in Massachusetts in this critical effort,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Every region in Massachusetts experienced extreme weather throughout the summer, including excessive heat, record precipitation, and flooding, and the MVP program offers vital technical and financial assistance to help municipalities address vulnerabilities and create stronger, more liveable climate resilient communities.”

The $21 million announced today will go toward MVP Planning Grants and Action Grants. Planning Grants support communities in working with a state-certified technical assistance provider to lead a community-wide planning workshop to identify key climate-related hazards, vulnerabilities and strengths, develop adaptation actions, and prioritize next steps. Results of the workshops and planning efforts inform existing local plans, grant applications, and policies. Communities are then eligible for competitive MVP Action Grant funding to implement priority on-the-ground projects. Projects are focused on proactive strategies to address climate change impacts and may include retrofitting and adapting infrastructure, actions to invest in and protect environmental justice communities and improve public health, detailed vulnerability assessments or design and engineering studies, stormwater upgrades, dam retrofits and removals, culvert upgrades, drought mitigation, energy resilience, and projects that focus on implementing nature-based solutions such as wetland restoration and floodplain protection.

“The grant allows Easthampton to act on our deep commitment to a resilient, environmentally aware ecosystem,” said Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle. “The Cherry Street project serves as a model for future grants.”

“These grants provide critical funding to Easthampton, Southwick, and communities throughout our region for initiatives that focus on the consequential impacts of climate change,” said State Senator John Velis (D – Westfield). “Projects funded by the MVP program, like the Cherry Street restoration in Easthampton, allow our municipalities to address local climate hazards and build a more resilient and environmentally friendly infrastructure.”

“I am very excited that Easthampton is receiving this MVP Action Grant,” said State Representative Dan Carey (D – Easthampton). “This grant for Cherry Street’s green infrastructure and slope restoration construction is a perfect example of the partnership between state and municipal government. The state funding from this grant will help to make necessary improvements in our community. It is crucial that we address climate change on the local level and this project will make the area more resilient to ongoing and future climate change impacts.”

The following communities will receive funding to complete the MVP planning process in 2021-2022:

Applicant MVP Program Region Total Award
Boylston Central $20,000
Clarksburg Berkshires & Hilltowns $15,000
Egremont Berkshires & Hilltowns $40,000
Hawley Berkshires & Hilltowns $27,000
Huntington Berkshires & Hilltowns $38,000
Ludlow Greater Connecticut River Valley $31,000
Millville Central $27,000
Oxford Central $26,900
Raynham Southeast $15,000
Savoy Berkshires & Hilltowns $15,000
Southbridge Greater Connecticut River Valley $22,000
Tolland Berkshires & Hilltowns $27,000
Tyringham Berkshires & Hilltowns $20,000
Warren Greater Connecticut River Valley $26,895
Webster Central $25,000
West Bridgewater Southeast $22,000
Total (16)   Total: $397,795

The following communities were awarded Action Grants:

Applicant Project Title Grant Award
Acton & Acton-Boxborough Regional School District Climate Action Plan and Electrification Roadmap $157,940
Andover Shawsheen River Watershed Land Conservation Planning and Prioritization for Climate Resilience and Environmental Justice $131,700
Ashfield Baptist Corner Road Stream Crossing Ecological Improvements $448,600
Athol Greening Lord Pond Plaza Phase 2 $213,630
Belchertown Land Conservation and Restoration of the Scarborough Brook Headwaters for Climate Resilience $480,025
Belmont Stormwater Flood Reduction and Climate Resilience Capital Improvement Plan $195,000
Bolton & Clinton Nashua River Communities Resilient Lands Management Project $302,691
Braintree Smith Beach Green Infrastructure Project $47,500
Bridgewater High Street Dam Removal $750,000
Buckland, Ashfield, & Hawley Watershed-Based Assessment and Climate Resiliency Plan for Clesson Brook $100,117
Burlington Vine Brook Watershed and Urban Heat Island Assessment $108,500
Chelsea Battery Storage System and Solar at Chelsea City Hall $624,000
Conway South River Flood Resiliency Project $191,200
Deerfield Healthy Soils, Green Infrastructure Policy and Climate Resiliency Public Engagement in Deerfield $40,951
Dennis Pound Pond, Dennis- Flood Mitigation and Storm Drainage Improvements $120,010
Easthampton Cherry Street Green Infrastructure and Slope Restoration Construction $2,000,000
Everett & Chelsea Island End River Flood Resilience Project $716,500
Falmouth Conceptual Design of Flood-Resiliency Improvements for Sewer Infrastructure $104,040
Fitchburg Bolstering Public and Private Action to Improve Flood Resilience in Baker Brook $173,350
Foxborough Advancing Green Infrastructure in Foxborough for Enhancing Climate Resilience through Planning and Design $166,543
Framingham Walnut Street Neighborhood Flood Mitigation – Design & Permitting $269,030
Gloucester Gloucester Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP) $69,890
Groveland Johnson Creek Watershed Flood Resiliency Project $82,186
Hampden & East Longmeadow Hampden/East Longmeadow Infrastructure Assessment and Prioritization of Nature-Based Solutions and Public Outreach and Participation $389,092
Haverhill Little River Dam Removal and River Restoration $475,000
Ipswich Ipswich River Sewer Interceptor Bank Biostabilization Project $117,803
Lenox, Pittsfield, Stockbridge, & New Marlborough Housatonic Stream Restoration for Regional Flood Resilience Project $295,190
Leominster Monoosnoc Brook Bank Stabilization Project $167,625
Leverett Shutesbury Road Culvert Enhancement $258,750
Lynn Barry Park Green Infrastructure Project $147,367
Lynnfield Richardson Green Conservation Acquisition $1,638,750
Malden Malden River Works for Waterfront Equity and Resilience $354,600
Marlborough Regulatory Updates to Support Climate Resiliency $56,250
Marshfield Marshfield Long-term Coastal Resiliency Plan $78,030
Mashpee Watershed-based Solutions to Increase Resilience to Harmful Algal Blooms in Santuit Pond in a Warmer and Wetter Climate $131,691
Melrose & Upper Mystic Communities Working Across Boundaries to Minimize Stormwater Flood Damage in the Upper Mystic Watershed $108,655
Melrose, Malden, & Medford Melrose, Malden, and Medford Building Resilience, Efficiency, and Affordability Project $101,108
Mendon Mendon Town Hall Campus Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Design through Contractor Mobilization $169,905
Methuen & Lawrence Searles Pond/Bloody Brook Corridor Resilience Planning $80,250
Millbury Armory Village Green Infrastructure Project- Phase II $366,000
Millis Flood Resiliency Plan $170,000
Natick, Framingham, & Ashland Building Relationships and Resilience with MetroWest Environmental Justice Neighborhoods $127,150
Natick & Charles River Watershed Communities Building Resilience Across the Charles River Watershed Phase II $233,085
New Bedford New Bedford Green Infrastructure Master Strategy and Implementation Roadmap $432,440
Northbridge Carpenter Road Causeway Alternatives Analysis and Source Water Green Infrastructure Protection Plan $146,100
Norwood Traphole Brook Flood Prevention and Stream Restoration Project $682,421
Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, West Tisbury, Edgartown, Chilmark, Aquinnah, & Gosnold Martha’s Vineyard and Gosnold Climate Action Plan, Phase II $173,843
Peabody & Salem Peabody-Salem Resilient North River Corridor & Riverwalk Project $150,000
Pepperell Sucker Brook Continuity Restoration $492,030
Plymouth Subterranean Resiliency: Predicting, Assessing and Mitigating Saltwater Intrusion $304,915
Revere Gibson Park Resiliency Design and Permitting $161,516
Sandwich Dynamic Adaptation Pathways and Prioritized Resilient Design Solutions for Historic Sandwich Village $79,789
Saugus Saugus Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan $74,500
South Hadley Queensville Dam Removal Feasibility Study and Buttery Brook Watershed Enhancement $125,000
Southborough Planimetric Impervious Surface Mapping Project $22,875
Southwick Klaus Anderson Road/Johnson Brook Replacement Culvert and Green Infrastructure $728,300
Springfield Trees, Homes, and People/ Creating a More Resilient Living Environment $2,000,000
Tewksbury Stormwater Analysis for Nature-Based Solutions and Community Co-Benefits $193,935
Waltham Bringing Climate Resilience to Beaver Brook $362,000
Watertown Equity-Based Community Greening Program $94,240
Wellfleet Herring River Restoration Project Phase 1 Final Construction Plans and Bid Specifications $589,960
Wellfleet, Truro, Eastham, Brewster, Barnstable, & Bourne Regional Low Lying Road Assessment and Feasibility $236,258
Westford Westford Tree and Invasive Species Inventory and Management Plan with Tree Planting Plan $79,200
Westhampton Resilience Building through Community Visioning and Planning $237,516
Winthrop, Boston, & Revere Belle Isle Marsh: Evaluating Nature Based Solutions to Protect Abutting Communities and Critical Shorebird Habitat from Coastal Inundation $145,307
Wrentham Climate Resilience and Low Impact Development Regulatory Integration and Green Infrastructure Master Plan $113,344
Total (66)   $20,585,193

In June 2021, the Baker-Polito Administration re-filed its plan to immediately put to use part of Commonwealth’s direct federal aid from the American Rescue Plan Act to support key priorities including housing and homeownership, economic development and local downtowns, job training and workforce development, health care, and infrastructure. As part of the Administration’s proposal to jump-start the Commonwealth’s economic recovery and support residents hardest-hit by COVID-19, such as lower-wage workers and communities of color, Governor Baker would direct $900 million to key energy and environmental initiatives, including $300 million to support climate resilient infrastructure. The funding would be distributed through programs like EEA’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program and would fund priority climate adaptation projects and investments aligned with the priorities identified in the state hazard mitigation and climate adaptation plan. Investments that would be supported through the funding include the acquisition of land specifically targeted at reducing flooding and the Urban Heat Island Effect.