Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
At an event in Stockbridge today, Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll and Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper announced $31.5 million in Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grants for climate resilience implementation and planning throughout Massachusetts.
For the first time in the six-year history of the MVP program, two tribes are receiving funding — eligibility was expanded by the Legislature last year — and the announcement was made at the original homeland of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans.
In the 1800s, the tribe was pressured to leave their home, forcing them to eventually relocate to Wisconsin. The tribe was awarded a $2.26 million MVP Action Grant to reclaim 351 acres of their indigenous homelands and establish tribally driven conservation and forest management strategies.
“The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans’ stewardship of lands is profoundly interwoven into their culture,” Driscoll said, “and reclaiming it will not only restore their relationship with the natural environment but also ensure that ancestral-significant areas are preserved.”
She added that the MVP program “is one of our critical tools to partner with communities and build resiliency. We’re grateful to this year’s recipients for their hard work to mitigate the impacts of climate change.”
Tepper said equity and environmental justice “are fundamental in our approach to tackling climate change,” and the administration is working to undo “the systems that excluded the Indigenous, Black, and brown communities and ensuring they are centered in our work.”
The MVP grant program provides funding and technical assistance to support the local climate resilience planning process and to implement priority actions to adapt to climate change. In April, Gov. Maura Healey launched the next phase of the program: MVP Planning 2.0, which supports communities in updating their climate change resiliency plans in a way that centers environmental justice and other populations most impacted by climate change, and putting these plans into action.
The awards announced today include $3 million for MVP 2.0 to 28 individual municipalities, one regional group, and one tribe. Another $28.5 million in MVP Action Grant funding is going to 79 local implementation projects led by 56 different municipalities, 16 regional groups, two water districts, and one tribe.
MVP Action Grant projects are focused on proactive strategies to address climate change impacts and may include actions to invest in and protect environmental justice communities and improve public health, nature-based solutions to mitigate the impacts of extreme heat and flooding, and climate resilience-focused regulatory updates.