Baker Plan Calls for $1.4 Billion in Storm Protection Funds

BOSTON – Gov. Charlie Baker has filed legislation calling for an additional $1.4 billion in capital funding to better protect towns from future storm damage.

The legislation comes in the wake of a series of winter storms that have battered the state’s coastline with rain, snow, strong winds, and historic flooding.

The proposal calls for $300 million in additional funding for storm preparedness, including $170 million in funding to repair seawalls and dams and implement additional coastal resiliency efforts.

“To build a sustainable and resilient Commonwealth, we must make strategic investments in climate resiliency and environmental protection across the state and shorelines,”said Gov. Baker. “This winter, we’ve been reminded of how critical environmental assets like seawalls and dams are to our communities and how important these proposals will be for safeguarding municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change.”

The bill would also provide $297 million for environmental stewardship efforts, and $270 million in additional funding for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

“The devastating storms our region faces are not aberrations, they are the new normal and will only get worse as sea levels rise and climate change intensifies,” said State Rep. Dylan Fernandes (D-Woods Hole). “We support the Governor’s efforts to advance a comprehensive plan to mitigate the effects of climate change and promote coastal resiliency.”

“This proactive legislation from Gov. Baker will ensure that the Commonwealth remains committed to leading the nation in addressing the effects of climate change and maintaining the integrity of critical infrastructure and environmental assets,” said State Rep. David Vieira (R-Falmouth).

The Baker Administration said the bill represents an effort to protect environmental resources, safeguard residents and businesses from the effects of climate change, and invest in local towns and cities.

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