The Patrick Administration has announced a grant program to reduce or eliminate risks associated with coastal storms, erosion and sea level rise through natural and nonstructural approaches called green infrastructure. The grants, available to cities, towns and nonprofit groups, are part of the Patrick Administration’s US$50 million investment in climate change initiatives.
“As we face the challenges associated with climate change and sea level rise, we need to implement effective approaches for protecting our coastal communities while preserving the natural resources that define our Massachusetts coastline,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan.
“These grants demonstrate the Patrick Administration’s commitment to innovation and infrastructure, by promoting local pilot projects that reduce erosion and storm damage, minimize impacts to shoreline systems and neighboring properties and protect or enhance natural habitat.”
“Green infrastructure projects offer a range of benefits to our communities and the shoreline itself, including storm damage and flooding protection, habitat for aquatic and terrestrial species and support for the recreational values of natural systems,” said Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Director Bruce Carlisle. “The Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Pilot Grants will help advance the use of these emerging techniques in Massachusetts by providing coastal property owners the opportunity to stabilize their shoreline while enhancing the natural benefits of our coast.”
The latest announcement is part of US$10 million in investments for critical coastal infrastructure and dam repairs. The plan also includes a US$40 million municipal resilience grant program that will enable cities and towns to harden energy services at critical sites using clean energy technology.
Administered by CZM, the Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Pilot Grants Program will provide up to US$1.3 million in funding and technical resources for natural approaches addressing coastal erosion and flooding problems.
Grants can be used for planning, feasibility assessment, design, permitting, construction and monitoring of green infrastructure projects that use natural approaches instead of hard structures such as seawalls and groins.
Potential projects include building and enhancing dunes and beaches by adding sand, planting beach grass and other erosion-control vegetation, building natural oyster or mussel reefs, restoring salt marshes or implementing bioengineering techniques that stabilize eroding shorelines.