For Immediate Release: 9/23/2022 5:00 pm
WORCESTER – The state of Massachusetts has awarded Worcester roughly $1.2 million in grant funding to develop and a drainage and green infrastructure plan for the city.
The plan will help remediate flooding and heat islands in Worcester neighborhoods.
These competitive grants — awarded by the Massachusetts’ Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program and administered by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) — support cities and towns in identifying climate hazards, developing strategies to improve resilience, and implementing priority actions to adapt to climate change.
Worcester’s Drainage and Green Infrastructure Master Plan is one of 73 projects to have received action grant funding in the latest round of applications. The state’s grant award to the city was about $1,253,000.
“Every year the real need for climate resilience funding becomes even more important for our municipal partners, that is why the Baker-Polito Administration created the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program, which has provided over $100 million since 2017 for local climate action projects,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “We are excited to work with the City of Worcester on this key next step in developing a Drainage and Green Infrastructure Master Flood Plan to assist all future municipal flooding resiliency work within the community.”
Building on Worcester’s climate resilience MVP planning process completed in 2019, these funds will allow Worcester to accomplish three key goals:
1) Develop a comprehensive understanding of the municipal drainage system and its constraints;
2) Identify the city’s most vulnerable areas using an infrastructure and social resilience framework; and
3) Prioritize actions that advance flooding resiliency and reduce the heat island effect with a focus on a hybrid approach of nature-based solutions and grey infrastructure enhancements.
“I’m pleased that Worcester is receiving state funding for this important work,” said John Odell, the city’s chief sustainability and resilience officer. “We identified these projects as urgent and necessary in our efforts to address ongoing climate change impacts, particularly flooding and the heat island effect.”
Community members interested in getting involved can participate in the citizen science programs studying flooding and can attend public workshops to share feedback on the project. More information about these opportunities will be shared once available.
The MVP program has awarded $100 million in funding and technical support to communities across the state. With this year’s awards, 97 percent of Massachusetts cities and towns, or 341 of the State’s 351 municipalities, are enrolled. Created in 2017 as part of Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569, the MVP program pairs local leadership and knowledge with a significant investment of resources and funding from the Commonwealth to address ongoing climate change impacts like sea level rise, inland flooding, storms, and extreme temperatures.
To learn more about Worcester’s Department of Sustainability and Resilience, visit worcesterma.gov/sustainability-resilience