First-Ever Regional Climate Office Begins Operations in Chelsea City Hall

Two climate-related managers that will work on projects in Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop are now on board, both with great experience, and ready to tackle projects as part of a new regional effort.

Darya Mattes had been hired as the new Climate Resiliency Project Manager, and Ibrahim Lopez has started as the new Sustainability Project Manager. Both have already taken the ball and run with it, according to Housing and Community Development Director Alex Train.

“We’re having them in the Planning Department and administratively overseeing it,” said Train. “These two folks were recently hired and onboarded in the last two weeks. They have a wealth of experience and have already started their work.”

The new office – one of the first Climate Resiliency and Sustainability offices for a municipality the size of Chelsea – comes from a $600,000 Barr Foundation Grant that Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop sought and obtained earlier this year. The grant funds the project for three years, and the communities would be expected to pick up the costs afterward.

The two offices, however, are not to be confused.

The Sustainability Manager oversees efforts in the three communities for clean energy, climate mitigation, net zero emissions, renewable energies and green jobs. The Climate Resiliency Manager will work on mitigating the effects of sea level rise, flooding, extreme heat and emergency responses.

Already, there is a state grant of $160,000 for regionalization and the Net Zero/Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

“That’s a grant to set out a course in eliminating emissions in residential, commercial, and industrial sites ahead of the state’s deadline of 2050,” said Train.

Another MAPC grant is the social vulnerability grant of $50,000 that will look at racial inequalities in climate issues, which includes cooling strategies.

Train said having the sustainability and resiliency eyes on everything done at all three municipalities is an exciting change – and one he expects will enhance many projects.

“We’re extremely excited to be able to bolster the capacity to advance equity and provide effective next steps on a regional scale,” he said. “The impacts of climate don’t acknowledge municipal borders and most municipalities don’t have the resources to advance these initiatives. We see this as a model for the Commonwealth and nationally to work in tandem to deal with these pressing issues in a community like Chelsea.”

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