As part of the Commonwealth’s celebration of Climate Week, September 19- 25, 2022, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the awarding of $12.6 million in grants to support 27 local planning and shoreline management projects to aid Massachusetts’ coastal communities in preparing for severe coastal storms and the impacts of climate change, including storm surge, flooding, erosion, and sea level rise.
The funding, provided through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), has been awarded to Barnstable, Boston, Brewster, Chatham, Chilmark, Cohasset, Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc., Gosnold, House of Seven Gables Settlement Association, Ipswich, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Marblehead, Marshfield, Mass Audubon, Mattapoisett, Nahant, New Bedford, Orleans, Plymouth, Provincetown, Salem, Scituate, Wareham, Wellfleet, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Additional municipal partners of these projects include Braintree, Chilmark, Dennis, Duxbury, Eastham, Falmouth, Truro, and Winthrop.
“Coastal communities in Massachusetts face increasing risks to infrastructure, buildings, and natural resources due to coastal storms and climate change,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We have been focused on investing in climate change solutions since taking office, and we commend local leaders for their forward-thinking planning and action with these Coastal Resilience Grant projects.”
“The Coastal Resilience Grant Program provides valuable technical and financial assistance to municipalities and nonprofit organizations to help address local issues,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Our Administration remains committed to supporting important long-term planning, infrastructure adaptations, and shoreline restoration efforts to improve the resilience of our coastline.”
CZM’s Coastal Resilience Grant Program provides funding and technical assistance for local efforts to evaluate vulnerabilities to climate impacts, increase community awareness, and understanding of these issues, plan for changing conditions, redesign vulnerable community facilities and infrastructure, and restore shoreline systems through non-structural approaches. Grants may fund feasibility assessments, public outreach, design, permitting, construction, and monitoring of projects that enhance or create natural buffers to erosion and flooding. Including the grants announced today, the Baker-Polito Administration has now invested $35.7 million in 182 coastal resilience improvement projects through the Coastal Resilience Grant Program since 2015. Funding through the program has supported comprehensive planning, infrastructure retrofits, and shoreline restoration projects to reduce wave energy, erosion, and flooding impacts.
“Massachusetts residents and visitors to the Commonwealth’s coast will significantly benefit from these Coastal Resilience Grants through reduced exposure to flooding and more resilient beaches,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “These grants serve as another great example of the Baker-Polito Administration’s dedication to environmental and climate resilience initiatives, and demonstrate a continued commitment to protecting the Commonwealth’s invaluable coast.”
“The Office of Coastal Zone Management works hand-in-hand with local and regional partners to address a wide range of coastal resilience challenges,” said CZM Director Lisa Berry Engler. “We congratulate all of the grant recipients and look forward to another year of successful projects and the substantial benefits they will bring for many years to come.”
The 27 projects receiving a total of $12.6 million in Coastal Resilience Grants are:
Sandy Neck Beach Facility Preliminary Design and Permitting, $128,127
The Town of Barnstable will design and initiate permitting for nature-based measures and a reconfiguration of the Sandy Neck Beach Facility to enhance storm damage protection to infrastructure, wetlands, and endangered species habitat areas.
Technical Analysis and Resilient Schematic Design Options for Dorchester’s Waterfront (Tenean Beach and Conley Street), $300,000
The City of Boston will advance previous climate vulnerability assessments to further analyze site conditions to address a critical flood entry point in Dorchester. The project will develop schematic designs to protect the waterfront and community from future sea level rise and coastal storms.
Brewster, Dennis and Orleans
Intermunicipal Shoreline Management for Southeastern Cape Cod Bay, $288,414
The Towns of Brewster, Dennis, and Orleans will partner on developing a comprehensive, science-based framework for managing the 14.5-mile shoreline between Rock Harbor in Orleans and Bass Hole in Dennis.
Environmental Permitting for Current Redirection Structures and Nourishment of Crescent Beach, $86,732
To mitigate significant shoaling within the Stage Harbor entrance channel and erosion of Crescent Beach, the Town of Chatham will undertake environmental permitting for temporary structures that redirect tidal currents combined with beach nourishment.
Chatham, on behalf of the Pleasant Bay Alliance
Pleasant Bay Living Shorelines: Jackknife Beach Salt Marsh Restoration, $82,690
The Town of Chatham, on behalf of the Pleasant Bay Alliance, will complete permitting and prepare construction documents for a living shoreline project that will enhance fringing salt marsh and provide erosion protection at the Jackknife Beach recreational area.
Dune Restoration on Menemsha Public Beach, $205,937
The Town of Chilmark will construct a 200-foot dune restoration project along Menemsha Public Beach. The project will reduce sand overwashing across the parking lot and into Menemsha Harbor and provide increased storm damage protection and flood control for landward areas.
Cohasset Cove and James Brook Watershed Flood Vulnerability Assessment and Resiliency Strategies, $161,925
The Town of Cohasset will assess the vulnerability of the Wastewater Treatment Plant and Influent Pump Station located in Jacob’s Meadow and other public assets to current and future flooding conditions within the Cohasset Cove and James Brook Watershed. The project will develop resiliency strategies to mitigate flooding risks to these critical local and regional resources.
Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc.
Beach Nourishment and Dune Enhancement at Duxbury Beach Reservation, $1,800,000
The Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc., will construct a 2,750-foot beach and dune nourishment project in front of the Duxbury Pavilion to provide increased storm damage protection and flood control to Duxbury Bay.
Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc., Braintree, Chilmark, Falmouth and Winthrop
Comprehensive Monitoring of Cobble Berms, $253,225
The Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc., in partnership with the Towns of Braintree, Chilmark, Falmouth, and Winthrop and the Stone Living Lab, will conduct comprehensive monitoring of recently constructed cobble berms to increase understanding of the design and performance of these nature-based approaches to shoreline management.
Gosnold Fuel Resilience Project – Construction, $573,398
The Town of Gosnold will install a new above-ground fuel storage system that incorporates sea level rise considerations to replace recently removed underground tanks. Providing a resilient source of fuel for vessels, vehicles, and home heating is critical to residents and visitors on the island.
House of Seven Gables Settlement Association
Preserving History: Assessments and Climate Adaptations at the House of Seven Gables, $509,919
The House of Seven Gables will prepare an adaptation plan that identifies short-, medium-, and long-term actions to improve the resilience of its campus and buildings to anticipated changes in groundwater elevation, precipitation, storm intensity, and sea level rise.
Building Climate Resilience Through Adaptation at the Crane Estate – Argilla Road Adaptation Permitting, $113,160
The Town of Ipswich and The Trustees of Reservations will continue permitting efforts for the Argilla Road Adaptation project, which aims to elevate Argilla Road and implement nature-based designs to provide a storm-resilient transition to adjacent wetlands and restore upland wetlands to full function through tidal exchange.
Coastal Vulnerability Action Plan, $175,132
The Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea will develop a conceptual action plan to reduce coastal flood risks in the downtown inner harbor waterfront. The project will develop alternatives for protecting critical assets including the Town Hall, wastewater treatment plant, and downtown commercial district.
Public Access and Protection for the Marblehead Municipal Light Department and Adjoining Public Lands, $523,220
The Town of Marblehead will continue public outreach, advance design plans, and begin permitting for infrastructure retrofits to reduce flooding impacts along the shoreline encompassing the Municipal Light Department and adjacent properties.
Marshfield and Duxbury
Marshfield and Duxbury Beach and Dune Nourishment – Permitting and Beneficial Reuse Facilitation, $70,598
The Towns of Marshfield and Duxbury will continue permitting efforts to implement beach and dune nourishment projects at vulnerable coastal beaches along the towns’ east-facing shorelines. The towns will also continue public outreach to update the communities on the project and its public benefits.
Feasibility Study for Shoreline Restoration and Infrastructure Adaptations to Increase Coastal Resilience at Eastern Point Wildlife Sanctuary, $96,824
Mass Audubon will examine the feasibility of shoreline restoration and infrastructure adaptations to the Eastern Point Wildlife Sanctuary and the terminal portion of Eastern Point Boulevard in Gloucester.
Reopening Old Slough Road for Vehicle Travel in Emergencies – Year 2, $585,000
The Town of Mattapoisett will finalize design plans, permit, and construct improvements to Old Slough Road, which will be used as an emergency route for vehicles traveling between the Point Connett and Angelica Point communities. These communities are currently accessed by Angelica Avenue, a single, low-lying road that is threatened by flooding from coastal storms and sea level rise.
Forty Steps Beach – Conceptual Shore Protection Design, $96,900
The Town of Nahant will evaluate alternative strategies for shore and coastal bank protection at Forty Steps Beach. The project will develop a conceptual design for the preferred alternative and initiate permitting discussions with agencies.
West Rodney French Boulevard Beach Nourishment – Finalize Permitting, Design Plans and Contract Document Preparation, $150,830
The City of New Bedford will complete environmental permitting and prepare final design plans and contract documents for the future construction of the West Rodney French Boulevard beach nourishment project. The proposed nourishment will help provide erosion protection to critical infrastructure located in the roadway.
Rock Harbor Commercial Wharf Fuel System Improvements, $599,516
The Town of Orleans will address the vulnerability of existing marine fuel facilities by removing underground fuel tanks located in a vulnerable area and replacing them with two new above-ground units in a safer and more landward location.
Plymouth Long Beach Mixed Sediment Nourishment, $2,000,000
The Town of Plymouth will nourish a 2,000-foot section of Long Beach with sand, gravel, and cobble to address impacts of increasingly severe storms that threaten properties and infrastructure on the barrier spit and along the Plymouth Harbor.
Ryder Street Beach Dune Enhancement Project – Finalize Permitting, Design Plans and Contract Document Preparation, $80,355
The Town of Provincetown will develop final design plans, construction specifications, and a monitoring and maintenance plan for a dune enhancement project along a 250-foot section of Ryder Street Beach to withstand storm events and improve coastal storm damage protection and flood control to the downtown area.
Palmer Cove Resiliency Enhancements and Community Engagement on Climate Change and Emergency Preparedness, $480,485
The City of Salem will evaluate, permit, and implement adaptation measures to mitigate near-term coastal flooding risks while also working to advance design plans and cost estimates for long-term resiliency improvements to the seawall and revetment at Palmer Cove Park. The project will also continue to engage the community on climate change and disaster preparedness.
North Scituate Beach Nourishment – Design Plans, Contract Document, and Construction, $1,999,990
The Town of Scituate will prepare final design plans and contract documents and construct a portion of the North Scituate Beach nourishment project to mitigate the impact of coastal storms and sea level rise over the next 20 to 30 years. The project will include public meetings to communicate project purpose, expectations, and updates.
Resilient Main Street, $199,918
The Town of Wareham will develop a conceptual plan for implementable adaptation measures that can reduce flood risk to the Main Street commercial district. The project will increase public understanding of the vulnerability of the area and explore nature-based solutions.
Increasing Coastal Resiliency Through Intermunicipal Shoreline Management: Phase 3, $546,180
The Town of Wellfleet, in partnership with the Towns of Eastham, Provincetown, and Truro, will continue a multi-phase project to pursue a regional approach to shoreline management for Eastern Cape Cod Bay. The project will develop a regional sand management program and public data portal and finalize conceptual design strategies for four low-lying roads.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Resilient Woods Hole – Phase 2: Demonstrating the Power of a Public-Private Blue Economy Village Partnership in Implementing Community Climate Resiliency Solutions, $499,981
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will continue to work in partnership with the Town of Falmouth, Marine Biological Laboratory, and Northeast Fisheries Science Center to design and construct floodproofing measures in near-term critical flood entry points, evaluate the feasibility of a dune restoration project on Stoney Beach, and continue public outreach to build support for infrastructure adaptations.
“Grateful to the Baker Administration and Coastal Zone Management for investing in the commonwealth’s invaluable coastline,” said Plymouth State Representative Mathew Muratore (R-Plymouth). “Thrilled that Plymouth was awarded a $2,000,000 Coastal Resilience Grant to restore a section of Long Beach, which will address storm impacts and better protect the community.”
“Massachusetts coastlines are increasingly threatened by stronger storms and higher seas. The coastal resilience grant program has been a resounding success in funding projects that protect our coastal infrastructure from these risks,” said State Representative Kathleen LaNatra (D-Kingston). “I am thrilled to see Plymouth receive funding to nourish Long Beach and maintain it as an attraction for locals and tourists alike. Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration for this investment.”
“These funds will greatly assist the Duxbury Beach Reservation with planning and preparing Duxbury’s coastline for the increase in coastal storms” said State Representative Josh Cutler (D-Duxbury). “Protecting our coastline helps our residents and local businesses in Duxbury bay alike.”
The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management 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.