Massachusetts MVP Funding A Major Boon to Mystic Communities

Nine communities in the Mystic River Watershed announced that they collectively secured $1,161,703 in individual and regional Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) action grants for climate resilience efforts.  Of this, nearly 75 percent went to two regional grants focused on managing physical and social harm from major coastal storms.

Each community is a member of the Resilient Mystic Collaborative (RMC), a voluntary partnership that has grown to 18 municipalities since its launch in September 2018.  The RMC includes non-profit and private sector partners as content experts, with senior municipal staff serving as the group’s voting parties.  Mystic River Watershed Association and Consensus Building Institute staff facilitate the RMC.  These grants add to over $1.3 million in regional climate funding the coalition had already raised.

“The Baker-Polito Administration has made climate change adaptation a priority, fostering collaboration with local communities through the MVP Program to support important resiliency projects, like those taking place within the Mystic River Watershed,” said MVP Regional Planning Coordinator Carolyn Meklenburg. “By working with several municipalities to advance our shared resiliency agenda, we are able to more effectively leverage funds and resources leading to a greater impact on a regional scale.”

“The MVP program has been a game-changer in our watershed,” said Julie Wormser, deputy director of the Mystic River Watershed Association.  “We would love to see it get much bigger with a dedicated source of funding.  As it is, municipalities could use every penny in the program just in our watershed.”

Chelsea and Everett partnered on a $454,555, 18-month grant to manage flooding from the Island End River. 

“The reality of climate change will disproportionately impact communities such as Chelsea,” said City Manager Thomas G. Ambrosino.  “This grant enables Chelsea and Everett to design and permit a critical flood protection project along the Island End River, in partnership with the Resilient Mystic Collaborative and GreenRoots. At the same time, we’ll continue to work with our regional partners to address the social and health impacts of climate change.” 

“A century ago, our ancestors buried the Island End River to form one of the largest produce distribution centers in Massachusetts,” said Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria.  “Although a positive for the region, it has resulted in flooding of many Everett neighborhoods. By partnering with the City of Chelsea, we will now prepare for sea level rise by creating a living shoreline and walking path to dramatically reduce the risk to vulnerable populations, infrastructure, and businesses at the northern end of the Island End River.” 

Somerville received a $389,995, 18-month regional grant on behalf of seven communities including itself, Boston, Chelsea, Everett, Medford, Winthrop and Revere.  This funding will allow these communities to work with critical regional infrastructure managers to identify operational and capital improvements needed to maintain business continuity and prevent harm to vulnerable residents and workers during and after extreme coastal storms.

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