Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides announces $8 million in Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) grant funding at the University of Massachusetts Lowell on Oct. 3, 2019. [Joshua Qualls/Governor’s Press Office]

On Oct. 3, the Baker-Polito administration and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs announced a new $8 million round of grant funding for the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program to help municipalities prepare for and prevent climate-related impacts.

According to the announcement, the MVP program provides communities with funding and technical support to “identify hazards, develop strategies to improve resilience, and implement priority actions to adapt to climate change.”

In the three years since the MVP program launched, 71% of Massachusetts municipalities have enrolled. The latest round of funding will bring the total amount awarded to $25 million.

Up to $1 million is available in planning grant funding on a rolling basis through Jan. 15.

MVP planning grants enable municipalities to work through a community-based workshop process to identify key climate-related hazards, vulnerabilities and strengths, develop adaptation actions, and prioritize next steps. Results of the workshops and planning efforts are used to inform existing local plans, grant applications, budgets, and policies. Upon successful completion of the program, municipalities are designated as an MVP program community and are eligible for MVP action grants.

Municipalities that have received an MVP designation are eligible to apply for an action grant through Nov. 14.

MVP action grants fund on-the-ground projects to address specific vulnerabilities to climate change identified by the municipality through its MVP Planning process. Projects may include retrofitting and adapting infrastructure, detailed vulnerability assessments or design and engineering studies, stormwater upgrades, dam retrofits and removals, culvert upgrades, drought mitigation, actions to protect and engage environmental justice communities and improve public health, energy resilience, and strategies that focus on implementing nature-based solutions such as wetland restoration and floodplain protection.

To apply for either grant, visit www.mass.gov/alerts/now-open-mvp-planning-and-action-grant-rfrs.

The governor filed a bill (S. 10) that would raise the deeds excise tax to provide ongoing funding for the MVP program and other climate resilience efforts. The bill is pending in the House Committee on Ways and Means.

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