Massachusetts Coastal Resilience Grant Program

The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) administers the Coastal Resilience Grant Program through its StormSmart Coasts Program which provides financial and technical resources to advance local efforts to increase natural storm damage protection, flood control, and coastal community resilience. Eligible projects can be in the areas of: vulnerability and risk assessment; public education and communication; local bylaws, adaptation plans, and other management measures; redesigns and retrofits; and natural storm-damage protection/green infrastructure.

The grant program is open to the 78 municipalities located within the Massachusetts coastal zone, and non-profits with vulnerable coastal property that is open and accessible to the public (for natural storm-damage protection/green infrastructure projects, number five eligibility criterion below, only).

To be eligible, a project can meet any one of the following criteria:

  1. Vulnerability and Risk Assessment: Use the best available climate projections and techniques to map or model vulnerable community facilities and facilitate better planning.
  2. Public Education and Communication: Increase public understanding of the impacts of climate change through creative communication.
  3. Local Bylaws, Adaptation Plans, and Other Management Measures: Improve local management measures to increase coastal resiliency, through the development, amendment, or implementation of community-based resilience plans, ordinances, bylaws, or standards.
  4. Redesigns and Retrofits: Improve existing community facilities and infrastructure through redesign and retrofitting or relocation, where necessary. This includes support for the planning, feasibility assessment, design, permitting, construction, and monitoring/evaluation of green infrastructure projects that implement natural or living shoreline approaches.
  5. Natural Storm-Damage Protection Techniques (Green Infrastructure): Reduce erosion and flooding to protect infrastructure through the use of natural techniques to enhance the ecological services offered by beaches, dunes, salt marshes, coastal banks, and other habitats. These techniques can include restoration of sediment and native vegetation, bio-engineering with organic biodegradable material, restoration or creation of shellfish reefs, and creation and/or restoration of salt marshes and existing coastal structures.

CZM encourages the submission of projects that address the impacts of flooding and erosion from storms and rising seas.

A green infrastructure program (Massachusetts Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Pilot Grants Program) was originally a part of the larger funding package announced by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in April 2014 which invested $50 million in climate resiliency planning. Of the total plan, $40 million was allocated for a municipal resilience grant program administered by the state Department of Energy Resources to fund clean energy technologies to harden energy services and boost distributed generation. The remaining $10 million was split among projects to repair dams and coastal infrastructure damaged by extreme weather, including two separate $1 million grant programs to address sea-level rise along the coast and to fund green infrastructure coastal resilience pilot projects.

Since 2014, the project has expanded. In Fiscal Year 2019, CZM expects to award up to $2.5 million to applicants. Successful proposals, expected to cover at least a quarter of the total cost, can be awarded grants up to $500,000. Applicants are required to provide descriptions of the community’s vulnerabilities and the specific problem the project addresses. A detailed description of the project, including its budget and timeline, and support from involved parties, as well as suggestions of how it may be adapted by other communities, are also required. This strategic use of funding to support replicable projects helps advance community resilience throughout the Bay State’s coastal communities.  



Publication Date: 2014

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