Massachusetts Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program

The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Coastal Community Resilience Grants Program provides municipalities with financial and technical resources to advance innovative local efforts to plan for and adapt to coastal climate impacts, including sea level rise, storm surge and flooding. In 2018, more than $3.2 million in funding was awarded to Braintree, Chatham, Chelsea and Everett, Dennis, Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc., Gloucester, Hull, Ipswich, Kingston, Marion, Mattapoisett, Nantucket, Provincetown, Salem, Wareham and Winthrop.  Under the Baker-Polito Administration, 67 projects have been funded through this grant program, representing an investment of over $9.1 million.

The Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program is administered through CZM's StormSmart Coasts initiative, and is open to the 78 municipalities located within the Massachusetts coastal zone. While proposals must be submitted by cities or towns, municipalities are encouraged to partner with nonprofit or regional planning partners.

Projects must implement one (or more) of these five StormSmart climate adaptation actions:

1. Conducting public education and awareness or other communication initiatives
2. Assessing vulnerability and risk
3. Identifying and implementing management measures
4. Redesigning to accommodate changing conditions
5. Enhancing natural storm-damage protection

While equitable adaptation is not a primary focus of this grant program, there are significant opportunities to fund equity-oriented projects. Specifically, applicants pursuing a vulnerability and risk assessment are strongly encouraged to evaluate the socioeconomic impacts of sea level rise and intensified storms.

The City of Boston, for example, used this funding to support their 2014, Designing for the Rising Tide climate change preparedness international design competition. This competition supported design proposals for Boston Harbor. Boston evaluated projects based on their inclusivity,ability to provide multiple socio-economic and ecological benefits, and potential to strengthen community resilience through resiliency networks and social support systems. Additionally, the City of Boston applied this funding in 2017 to its flood mitigation project in East Boston, an area where many frontline communities live.

 

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