YARMOUTH –The state has announced over $53,000 in grants for communities to design retrofits of existing storm water infrastructure to increase the effectiveness of polluted runoff treatment systems impacted by climate change.
The goal is to fund pilot projects that improve and protect coastal water quality and ensure that these technologies can withstand higher sea levels, more intense storms and other climate change impacts over the long term.
The grants, provided by the Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), were awarded to Manchester-by-the-Sea, Melrose, Winthrop and Yarmouth.
“The Commonwealth’s coastal communities invest significant effort and financial resources to properly manage and treat runoff pollution,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Coastal zone management grants will provide state resources to help these towns improve local infrastructure so that they can continue to do their job in the face of extreme weather.”
As a result of climate change, coastal areas are becoming more vulnerable to flooding and inundation, storm surge, salt water intrusion, changing precipitation patterns, rising sea and groundwater levels and shifting vegetation hardiness.
The goal of CZM’s Retrofit Design Pilot Grant is to improve and protect coastal water quality by designing modifications to coastal stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) to ensure their adaptability and continued performance in the face of these impacts.
The Town of Yarmouth received more than $17,000 and will evaluate existing storm water Best Management Practices within areas most vulnerable to climate change and develop retrofit designs for a number of priority locations, addressing both anticipated increases in precipitation and rising groundwater tables.
The work will complement Yarmouth’s ongoing efforts to address stormwater pollutants, especially bacteria and nitrogen, entering its coastal waterbodies.