REVERE – Continuing its commitment to working with communities and local partners to prevent and prepare for climate change, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced $5 million in supplemental funding for the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program.
The grant and designation program, which was created last year as part of Gov. Baker’s Executive Order 569, provides communities with funding, technical support, climate change data and planning tools to identify hazards, develop strategies to improve resilience, and implement priority actions to adapt to climate change.
Baker recently filed legislation that would put the MVP Program into law, as well as authorize more than $1.4 billion in capital allocations for investments in safeguarding residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, protecting environmental resources, and investing in communities.
To further assist communities in planning for climate change impacts, the Baker-Polito Administration has also launched a new website, resilient MA Climate Clearinghouse,which will provide communities access to the best science and data on expected climate change impacts, information on planning and actions communities can deploy to build resiliency and avoid loss, and links to important grant programs and technical assistance.
The site, which was built with data developed through a partnership between EEA, the Northeast Climate Center at UMass-Amherst and the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, provides access to statewide climate change projections showing how temperature, precipitation and sea level rise will change through the end of the century, which any user can overlay with other data of interest, including information on emergency facilities, infrastructure and natural resources.
“The Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program and our new Climate Clearinghouse website are a vital part of our administration’s efforts to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and safeguard residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change,” said Gov. Baker. “These resources will ensure all Massachusetts communities have access to the best data and planning tools to make scientifically-sound and cost-effective decisions as they work to prepare for the challenges ahead.”
Through the MVP Program, municipalities 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 then used to inform existing local plans, grant applications, budgets, and policies. Upon successful completion of the program, municipalities are designated as a “Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program Community,” and are eligible for follow-up grant funding and other opportunities. There are currently 74 MVP communities across the state, representing over 20% of the state’s municipalities.
“The changing climate will have significant impacts from the hills of the Berkshires to the Cape and Islands, so we encourage all communities in every corner of the state to apply for the MVP program,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Climate Clearinghouse website will also provide an incrediblyimportant tool to help our state and local officials understand how the climate is projected to change over the next century and what risks different part of the state will be dealing with, and allow us to better work with cities and towns, local agencies, organizations, and institutions across the state to plan and adapt for the future.”