Andover and Lawrence have received a $271,705 Action Grant for nature-based flood resilience for the Shawsheen River. This year’s grant project will build upon a prior resilience project by quantifying the flood mitigation benefits that could be gained from implementation of flood storage and/or restoration projects on several prioritized parcels.

The administration today announced $32.8 million in grants to cities and towns through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program, which will help communities identify climate hazards, develop strategies to improve resilience, and implement priority actions to adapt to climate change.

The administration has now awarded $100 million to 341 cities and towns through the MVP program, which was launched in 2017.

At an announcement event in Williamsburg, Gov. Baker said the program “has played a large role in helping cities and towns across the state fight climate change,” adding that the latest round is “the single largest investment in the program.”

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said, “It has been rewarding to see projects move through the phases from planning to design to construction and implementation over the last five years, and we are starting to see the tangible difference these projects are making in our communities as we prepare for a changing climate.”

The MVP program provides funding and technical support, pairing local leadership and knowledge with resources from the state to address ongoing climate change impacts, such as inland flooding, increased storm events, sea level rise, drought and extreme temperatures.

Of the $32.8 million announced today, $32.6 million was awarded to 73 municipal projects in the sixth round of MVP Action Grant funding. In addition, $157,700 was awarded to six towns to pursue a community-led planning process to identify vulnerabilities to climate change and priority actions. When complete, these municipalities will be eligible for the next round of implementation funding.

Click here to view the complete list of MVP grant recipients and projects.

“Every year the real need for climate resilience funding becomes even more important for our municipal partners, who have remained steadfast in their commitment to the hard work of preparing their communities for climate change,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “It is extremely gratifying to see more dollars than ever before being put towards local projects, such as drought mitigation, stormwater and culvert upgrades, and land acquisitions, which will have numerous positive impacts on the state’s residents for many years to come.”

As the MVP program reaches its five-year anniversary, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs is formulating a process, trainings and resources, called “MVP Planning 2.0,” for updating MVP plans and the priority actions identified within them. The EEA says it is seeking to develop an updated process that is “inclusive, engaging, equitable, collaborative and actionable.”

The update process will take into account newly available climate change tools and projections, the ongoing Massachusetts Climate Assessment, data from the first iteration of MVP planning grants, and feedback from MVP stakeholders. The revamped process and resources are expected to launch in the spring of 2023.

The MVP program also supports implementation of the 2018 State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan, which integrates hazard mitigation priorities with forward-looking climate change data and solutions. The Resilient MA Action Team recently launched the Climate Resilience Design Standards Tool to integrate best available statewide climate change projections to inform climate resilient planning and design of infrastructure, buildings and natural resource assets. The tool was used in the 2022 MVP Action Grant and Community One Stop for Growth application processes.

The Resilient MA Action Team and EEA are now developing a statewide analysis detailing how Massachusetts people, environments and infrastructure may be affected by climate change and related hazards through the end of the century. The assessment will inform the first five-year update to the State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan, which will be released in the fall of 2023.