I secured $6 million in funding for local projects on the Cape & Islands through my amendments to the Environmental Bond Bill
(Boston, MA) – The Massachusetts State Senate passed H.4613, An Act Promoting Climate Change Adaptation, Environmental and Natural Resource Protection, and Investment in Recreational Assets and Opportunity, on Thursday evening, which will authorize $2 billion in bond revenue in the coming years. I successfully secured $6 million in funding in the bill for environmental infrastructure projects for the Cape and Islands District.
Massachusetts has continually demonstrated leadership in the fight against global climate change, and the investments authorized in this legislation ensure that cities and towns across the Commonwealth are protected and that public spaces and infrastructure are improved and maintained for the public good.
In the aftermath of multiple Nor’easters hitting the Cape and Islands last winter, I reached out to town officials across my district to identify how the state could help expedite coastal resiliency plans, and support the upgrade of critical infrastructure to enhance shoreline protection. The authorization provided in the environmental bond bill passed by the Senate today is the result of that outreach and while this is an important step forward, there remains more to do. Stewardship of our coastal environment in the midst of a changing climate will remain a top priority for my office.
“The Town of Barnstable is grateful to Senator Cyr for securing $2.7 million in the Senate’s Environmental Bond Bill to provide funding for two critical areas of need in Barnstable,” said Barnstable Town Manager Mark Ells. “Resiliency projects and improvements at Blish Point and Snow’s Creek are two current priority needs for the town; this funding would be well money well spent by the Commonwealth.”
“Our town is thrilled to have the support of Senator Cyr, to secure funding for several priorities,” said Rae Ann Palmer, Truro Town Manager. “We are grateful to the Senator for securing $535,000 for the town of Truro, for a climate resiliency study of Beach Point and funding to plan for the eventual full replacement of the East Harbor culvert.”
"There has been extensive work done by countless residents, taxpayers, and community leaders in Chatham to tackle the critical issue of climate resiliency," said Jill Goldsmith, Chatham Town Manager. "We are grateful to Senator Cyr for securing $650,000 in the Senate's Environmental Bond Bill for beach nourishment on Chatham beaches facing Nantucket Sound and flood water drainage and tide gate analysis in the Morris Island Road neighborhood."
Here are the details on the $6,000,000 in environmental infrastructure projects for the Cape and Islands District that I secured:
Town of Barnstable:
Amendment #239, Blish Point and Commerce Road: $1,300,000.00
- Revenue will fund the study, design and construction of methods for storm relief and marsh restoration and provide residents egress from the Commerce Road Area (in Barnstable Village) during significant flooding events.
Amendment #241, Snow’s Creek Restoration: $1,400,000.00
- Revenue will provide funding for an upgrade of the existing culvert for Snow’s Creek in Hyannis, which will result in storm relief and marsh restoration. The funding will also be used for the installation of a sidewalk on the south side of Ocean Street in the culvert vicinity and construction of safety railings.
Town of Yarmouth:
Amendment #257, Run Pond Salt Marsh: $1,215,000.00
- Revenue will fund improvements to the Run Pond culvert in the Town of Yarmouth to improve tidal flushing, reduce nutrient influxes, and algal blooms.
Town of Dennis:
Amendment #252, Dennis Recycling Facility: $300,000.00
- Revenue will support efforts of the Town of Dennis to enter into a public-private-partnership to build and operate a regional glass sorting and recycling facility in Dennis.
Towns of Chatham, Truro and Provincetown:
Amendment #286, Lower and Outer Cape Coastal Resiliency: $1,335,000.00
- Provides $400,000 to the Town of Chatham for construction associated with hydraulic dredging and beach nourishment at town owned beaches; and also provides $250,000 for flood water drainage and tide gate analysis and replacement in Chatham’s Morris Island Road neighborhood;
- Provides $35,000 for a climate resiliency study of Beach Point in Truro; also provides $500,000 to fund planning, engineering design, permitting, and other bid-phase expenses for the repairs to the East Harbor Culvert and surrounding infrastructure in Truro;
- Provides $150,000 to the Town of Provincetown for the survey, design, engineering, materials estimating, and permitting to enhance shoreline protection and other measures necessary to protect vulnerable roadway and utilities infrastructure.
Towns of Gosnold and Nantucket:
Amendment #262, Gosnold and Nantucket Coastal Resiliency: $450,000.00
- Provides $250,000 to mitigate the impact of ocean erosion in the Town of Gosnold.
- Provides $200,000 to the Town of Nantucket for the creation of a coastal resiliency plan.
In addition, I successfully filed amendment #254 to the bill which allows funds from the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Grant Program to be used for municipalities (or a group of municipalities) to retain a regional coordinator who would oversee sustainability, resiliency and climate adaptation programs in the region. The regional coordinator would also liaise with utilities and government agencies to coordinate long-term planning and identify grid hardening and modernization opportunities and methods.
The amendment also allows funds from this grant program to be used for municipal and consumer costs associated with undergrounding electric distribution lines to improve reliability in wind and winter weather events.
“With every record setting blizzard, every flooded T station, and every endangered species, we experience the effects of climate change in real time,” said Senate President Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “The legislation that we passed today represents the Massachusetts Senate’s commitment to climate preparedness and the preservation of the Commonwealth’s ecosystems and open spaces.”
The legislation ensures that climate change prevention programs are sufficiently funded and authorizes capitalization of the Global Warming Solutions Trust Fund, which is to be used to fund costs associated with implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Commonwealth’s Clean Energy and Climate Plan, and state and local strategies for climate change adaptation.
“This bill is an important next step in our continued efforts for a sustainable future,” said Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “We authorize investments in critical projects across the state to preserve and improve our environmental and energy assets and help plan for and mitigate the effects of climate change.”
“A goal of the Environmental Bond Bill is to preserve our natural resources and promote economic growth, while at the same time maintaining fiscal responsibility,” commented Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “We are fortunate in Massachusetts, especially in our area, to have so many wonderful natural resources that make our region an ideal place to live and work. This bill is a prime example of how Massachusetts continues to lead in environmental stewardship; strengthening our commitment to the environment, while maintaining our ability to address our budget needs.”
Additionally, the bill requires the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to: (i) coordinate to strengthen resilience and prepare for the impacts of climate change; (ii) publish, every five years, an integrated state climate adaptation and hazard mitigation plan; (iii) establish frameworks for state agency and municipal vulnerability assessments that will be incorporated into the state plan; and (iv) implement the state plan and incorporate information learned from implementing the state plan in plan updates.