Duxbury awarded coastal community climate change grant for $200K

The Patrick Administration today announced $1.5 million in funding to support local efforts to address the effects of coastal storms, flooding, erosion and sea level rise. The funding, made available through Governor Patrick’s $50 million investment in climate change initiatives, will be awarded to Duxbury, Hull, Manchester-by-the- Sea, Mattapoisett, Nantucket, Provincetown, Sandwich, Swampscott, Wareham, Weymouth and Winthrop.

“The strong response to this program by coastal communities demonstrates the significant need that is being addressed by Governor Patrick’s climate change initiatives,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett.

“These forward-thinking local projects will result in important, on-the-ground strategies to protect essential infrastructure and natural resources from the impacts of sea level rise and increased intensity of storms.” The goal of this grant program, administered by EEA’s Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), is to provide financial and technical resources for advancing new and innovative local efforts to increase awareness of climate impacts, identify vulnerabilities and implement measures to increase community resilience.. “Coastal communities are vulnerable to damages from flooding and erosion and climate change will intensify these impacts,” said CZM Director Bruce Carlisle. “Through the Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program, we are providing critical support to cities and towns in their efforts to proactively manage risks and promote sustainable management of infrastructure and ecosystems in the coastal zone.”

In the first round of Coastal Community Resilience Grants, awarded in April 2014, nearly $1 million was awarded to 10 communities. The following 11 projects will be funded through the current grant round:

Duxbury Project: Coastal Processes Study and Resiliency Recommendations for Duxbury Beach and Bay, $206,250

The town will study the effects of waves, tides and the movement of sand and other sediment on both the ocean and bay sides of Duxbury Beach to understand existing conditions and potential impacts from future storms and sea level rise. The town will evaluate restoration alternatives most likely to expand habitat and improve long-term capacity of the beach system to withstand these impacts.

Hull Project: Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Planning, $45,339

The town will identify and assess municipal infrastructure and natural resources at risk of impacts from flooding, storm surge, increased storm intensity and sea level rise. The town will develop and prioritize short-, mid- and long-term strategies that can be implemented to minimize future storm damage and disruption of services.

Manchester-by-the-Sea Project: Sawmill Brook Culvert and Green Infrastructure Analysis - Vulnerability and Required Capacity under Climate Change, $154,950

The town will evaluate the capacity of bridges and culverts in the Sawmill Brook watershed to provide needed services during storms under future precipitation and sea level rise conditions. The town will prepare design plans, cost estimates and a permitting strategy for infrastructure improvements at key locations in the watershed.

Mattapoisett Project: Protecting Mattapoisett’s Potable Water and Sewer Infrastructure in the Face of Climate Change: Assessing Risk and Identifying Solutions, $47,791

The town will quantify potential impacts to critical water and wastewater infrastructure under a suite of sea level rise and hurricane conditions and develop priority actions to help ensure the resilience of the infrastructure to future storm and climate impacts.

Nantucket Project: Empowering Coastal Communities to Prepare for and Respond to Sea Level Rise and Storm-Related Inundation: A Pilot Project for Nantucket, $177,850

The town will implement flood- and erosion-control measures at three vulnerable and high-use public sites prioritized by the town’s Coastal Management Plan (CMP) and identify and map low-lying areas that act as pathways for storm tides to inundate inland areas. The inundation maps will be used to help the town prioritize the remaining 19 CMP action items.

Provincetown Project: Increasing Coastal Resiliency and Reducing Infrastructure Vulnerability by Mapping Inundation Pathways, $155,125

The town will identify and map low-lying areas that provide a direct pathway for flood waters to reach inland areas and install a tide gauge to provide real-time water level data. The goal of the project is to assess potential flood impacts to critical public infrastructure and recommend short- and long-term strategies for future protection of high risk assets.

Sandwich Project: Analyze and Permit a Nearshore Sediment Borrow Source for Sandwich Town Beaches, $300,000

The town will analyze a nearshore site adjacent to Scusset Beach to determine its viability as a source of sand for future placement on eroding public beaches downdrift of the Cape Cod Canal jetties. Results from the scientific and engineering analyses will support the town’s efforts to apply for and obtain required local, state and federal permits.

Swampscott Project: Climate Change Coastal Resiliency and Flood Control Plan, $70,100
The town will use storm surge and sea level rise inundation models to assess vulnerabilities of municipal infrastructure and natural resources. The project will develop conceptual engineering solutions and policy recommendations to help protect residents, property and infrastructure from extreme weather and climate change impacts.

Wareham Project: Wastewater Infrastructure Vulnerability Assessment and Emergency Response Plan Related to Coastal Flooding and Climate Change, $93,750
The town will produce a vulnerability assessment and emergency management plan for critical wastewater infrastructure and identify necessary improvements to help the system endure future storm and climate change impacts.

Weymouth Project: Puritan Road Flood Mitigation and Ecological Resilience, $75,000

The town will study the existing drainage system and runoff characteristics between the Back River and an inland salt marsh and design adaptive solutions for retrofitting a persistently collapsing culvert to improve drainage and tidal flow capacity given anticipated climate impacts.

Winthrop Project: Veterans Road Drainage Improvements Design, $173,845
The town will model watershed drainage patterns, tidal influences and sea level rise as a basis for redesigning and permitting a tide gate at Lewis Lake to increase flood water drainage from low lying areas, improve water quality and possibly reduce the accumulation of sediment where the gate discharges to Winthrop Harbor.

The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) 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.

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Rep. Josh S. Cutler
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