Massachusetts Pays for Climate-Change Resilience

By ecoRI News staff

The state of Massachusetts recently awarded nearly $2 million in funding to support local efforts to prepare for and reduce the impacts from coastal storms and climate change, including storm surge, flooding, erosion and sea-level rise.

The grants, provided by the Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), were awarded to Beverly, Boston, Dennis, Harwich, Ipswich, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Newburyport, Orleans, Plymouth, Quincy, Salem, Scituate, Swampscott, Truro, Wareham, Weymouth and Winthrop.

About $7 million has previously been awarded to communities and nonprofits through these grants, supporting 52 projects along the Massachusetts coast.

CZM’s Coastal Resilience Grant Program provides financial and technical support for innovative local efforts to increase awareness and understanding of climate impacts, plan for changing conditions, redesign vulnerable infrastructure, and implement measures that use natural or non-structural approaches as an alternative to hard structures such as seawalls and groins.

Here is the list of the 19 projects funded in this new grant round:

Project: Beverly Waterfront Resiliency ($89,981).
Description: The city will identify climate-change risks and develop preliminary strategies to protect the most vulnerable public infrastructure and critical facilities from flooding and sea-level rise.

Project: Acting on Climate Ready Boston Recommendations, Priority Flood Mitigation in East Boston and Charlestown ($227,000).
Description: The city of Boston will build on the vulnerability assessment developed through the Climate Ready Boston project and develop and design nature-based coastal resiliency strategies for two priority locations: the East Boston Greenway and Charlestown’s Schrafft site.

Project: Dennis Salt Marsh Pilot Restoration through the Beneficial Re-Use of Dredged Material ($22,750).
Description: The town will evaluate, design and prepare permit applications for a pilot project on Stage Island and West Dennis Beach, to determine whether the beneficial re-use of dredged material is an effective means of combating marsh losses.

Project: Planning for Resilience at Harwich’s Saquatucket Harbor ($187,500).
Description: The town will prepare site plans, architectural drawings and permit applications for improvements to municipal facilities bordering Saquatucket Harbor, to accommodate increased flooding and sea-level rise.

Project: Ipswich River Coastal Resiliency and Coastal Bank Stabilization Pilot Project Phase I ($63,300).
Description: The town will assess areas along the Ipswich River that are vulnerable to erosion and sea-level rise impacts and evaluate the feasibility of nature-based stabilization techniques to help protect critical roadways and utilities.

Project: Assessing Alternatives for Reducing Flooding within Marshfield’s Green Harbor River Estuarine System through the Optimization of the Tide Gates Located on Dyke Road ($71,250).
Description: The town will evaluate modifications to the culvert and tide gate structure on Dyke Road under existing and future sea-level rise conditions to address flooding issues and enhance ecological resources by improving tidal flow and flood storage capacity within the Green Harbor River estuary.

Project: Addressing Mattapoisett’s Potable Water Infrastructure Vulnerabilities at the Pease’s Point Water Main Crossing ($47,625).
Description: The town will assess beach stability under a range of sea-level rise and hurricane conditions at Fresh Pond Cove and quantify coastal hazard risk to an existing exposed water main that traverses the beach from Pease’s Point to Point Connett. Modeling results will be used to help determine options for relocating the water main crossing to ensure service and water quality will be maintained in the two neighborhoods.

Project: West Rodney French Boulevard Beach Nourishment Project ($168,750).
Description: The city of New Bedford will evaluate and design a beach nourishment restoration project along three armored sections of West Rodney French Boulevard that are particularly vulnerable to erosion and tidal impacts.

Project: Newburyport Dune Restoration and Beach Access Improvement Project ($78,400).
Description: The city will prepare design plans for dune restoration and an elevated beach access structure to provide critical storm buffering to low-lying neighborhoods while maintaining beach access. Educational signage will also be installed to communicate the importance of vegetated dunes and maintain dune integrity.

Project: Design, Permitting and Public Education in Support of Phased Retreat at Nauset Public Beach in Orleans ($27,000).
Description: The town will survey, design and develop permit applications to enhance dunes and relocate facilities at Nauset Public Beach that are currently vulnerable to coastal storm damage and sea-level rise, while maintaining recreation and public access to the shoreline.

Project: Evaluating Inlet Stabilization at Plymouth’s Ellisville Harbor ($111,000).
Description: The town will assess structural and non-structural stabilization alternatives to allow for a more sustainable tidal inlet system at Ellisville Harbor and maximize the health of the salt marsh.

Project: Adaptation Alternatives for the Germantown Neighborhood in Quincy ($67,500).
Description: The city will develop and prioritize climate adaptation strategies for protecting Palmer Street and surrounding water resource and utility infrastructure serving the Germantown neighborhood.

Project: Salem Collins Cove Bioengineering with Coir Rolls and Sea Grass Planting ($54,665).
Description: The city will fully design and permit a bioengineering project using coir rolls with natural vegetation along the southern portion of Collins Cove to provide a more natural buffer to erosion from storm surge and wave forces.

Project: Evaluating Roadway Elevation Improvements and Dune/Beach Nourishment along North Humarock Beach in Scituate for Improved Coastal Resiliency ($103,500).
Description: The town will evaluate beach and dune nourishment alternatives and roadway elevation improvements along a low-lying area of Central Avenue on North Humarock Beach to provide storm damage protection for repetitively damaged public infrastructure.

Project: Swampscott Waterfront Access Elevation and Flood Protection Project ($103,000).
Description: The town will develop design plans and permit applications for improvements to several of its waterfront access ways that have been identified as primary pathways for coastal flooding from storm surge and sea-level rise.

Project: Mapping Inundation Pathways to Provide Communities with Real-time Coastal Flood Forecasts: A Pilot Project with the National Weather Service in Truro ($35,007).
Description: The town will identify low-lying flooding pathways under current and future storm conditions and incorporate mapping data on a town website as well as the Southern New England Weather Forecast Office’s inundation mapping webpage. The town will also install a tide staff and provide the public and local emergency responders with real-time forecasts of the heights, locations and pathways of coastal storm flooding.

Project: Permit Level Designs for Three Priority Pump Stations in Wareham ($150,000).
Description: The town will develop permit-level designs for retrofit measures at three of its most critical pump stations to remain operational during future storm events and help minimize public health and environmental risks.

Project: Weymoth Puritan Road Flood Mitigation and Ecological Resilience ($51,504).
Description: The town will prepare final design plans and permit documents for replacing a persistently collapsing culvert at Puritan Road and “daylighting” a portion of the Weymouth Back River to reduce flooding and restore the tidal creek to a more natural condition.

Project: Winthrop Climate Change Vulnerability and Risk Assessment of Infrastructure ($165,000).
Description: The town will evaluate the vulnerability of critical public infrastructure to coastal flooding and sea level rise and develop conceptual designs for adaptation strategies at up to five priority locations.