April 23, 2019

Earth Day climate change grants flow to 27 communities

More than half of the state's 351 cities and towns are participating in a climate change preparedness program, after the Baker administration on Monday marked Earth Day by announcing $725,000 in grants to 27 communities.

A total of 184 communities are now participating in the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program, which provides municipalities with technical support, climate change data and planning tools to help them identify potential hazards and develop strategies to become more resilient.

The latest round of awards range in size from $15,000 each to Holliston, Lynnfield, Mashpee, Northborough and Westwood, to $72,000 for Plymouth. Ayer, Bellingham, Franklin, Hopkinton, Leominster and Rutland also received funding.

Baker, according to his office, announced the funding at an event Monday celebrating the removal of the Holmes Dam in Plymouth. Baker's office said the dam removal is a final piece of a restoration initiative that's lasted over a decade, involving several dam removals and bridge replacements, and it is intended to restore and enhance migratory fish populations and eliminate a "potential public hazard."

The press release from the governor's office also highlighted a bill Baker filed in January that would increase the real estate transfer excise tax to help municipalities fund projects intended to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Baker said he looked forward to working with Lawmakers to "to continue the Commonwealth's leadership on climate change through our proposal to provide $1.3 billion over ten years to local resiliency projects that will protect vital infrastructure."

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