Baker-Polito Administration Awards $11.1 Million in Climate Change Funding to Cities and Towns

by | Sep 18, 2020

Continuing its historic investment in climate change resiliency, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced $11.1 million in grants to cities and towns through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program. This announcement brings total state investment in climate change resilience through the MVP program to over $44 million since 2017. The popular grant and designation program provides communities with funding and technical support to identify climate hazards, develop strategies to improve resilience, and implement priority actions to adapt to climate change. The grants were announced by Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito in Fitchburg as part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s celebration of Climate Week in the Commonwealth.

“Projects like those receiving awards today are not only critical for the resilience of our communities, but also create local jobs, contribute to the economy, and avoid future costs,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “As we celebrate Climate Week, I am proud of the $44 million we’ve invested since 2017 through MVP, and we look forward to continuing the strong partnerships we’ve built with cities and towns to prepare for climate change impacts throughout the Commonwealth.”

“The continued success of the MVP program shows how important building resiliency in Massachusetts communities is to our municipal partners and residents,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are thrilled to reach 89 percent participation in this voluntary program and are excited to continue to invest in efforts to build climate resilience in the Commonwealth.”

“It is easy to underestimate how crucial it is to address climate change given the multitude of issues we face throughout the Commonwealth and the country,” said Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury). “The MVP program will allow us to continue to build on our climate hazard resiliency efforts and help our communities adapt to the challenges presented by climate change. The efforts of this program will only help to prepare us for whatever else the future holds.”

With this announcement, 89% of Massachusetts cities and towns, or 312 municipalities, are now enrolled in the MVP program, which pairs local leadership and knowledge with a significant investment of resources and funding from the Commonwealth to address ongoing climate change impacts like sea level rise, inland flooding, storms, and extreme temperatures. The program was created was created in 2017 as part of Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569.

The $11.1 million announced today will go towards MVP Planning Grants and Action Grants. Planning Grants support communities in working with a state-certified technical assistance provider to lead a community-wide planning workshop to identify key climate-related hazards, vulnerabilities and strengths, develop adaptation actions, and prioritize next steps.  Results of the workshops and planning efforts inform existing local plans, grant applications, and policies.

Communities are then eligible for competitive MVP Action Grant funding to implement priority on-the-ground projects. Projects are focused on proactive strategies to address climate change impacts and may include retrofitting and adapting infrastructure, actions to invest in and protect environmental justice communities and improve public health, detailed vulnerability assessments or design and engineering studies, stormwater upgrades, dam retrofits and removals, culvert upgrades, drought mitigation, energy resilience, mosquito control initiatives, and that focus on implementing nature-based solutions such as wetland restoration and floodplain protection.

In the Second Worcester District, Upton received $20,000 through the MVP program. Auburn received $209,895 in the form of an Action Grant, and Millbury received $125,600 from the same Action Grant.