Cape Cod Coastal Resiliency Considered in Wake of 3 Major Storms

HYANNIS – In the wake of the third nor’easter in a week and a half – many are beginning to talk about ways to make Cape Cod more resilient in the face of increasingly strong and more frequent storm.

Since early January, 3 storms have pounded the Cape, delivering historic flooding and coastal inundation.

Some weather experts say this may the “new norm” for Cape Cod – and it’s time for a tough conversation on how to manage the immediate coastline.

During a visit to Cape Cod in the aftermath of the storm, Governor Charlie Baker heard from the region’s legislative delegation on the issue.

Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr said this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Governor Baker said his office created an executive order a year ago to evaluate municipal vulnerability planning.

About 60 to 70 communities have been through the process so far. He expects to file legislation that will enhance their efforts in vulnerability planning.

Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton said they are going to be making an expanded commitment to get as many towns as possible involved in the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant program.

The state can award money to communities they can use to begin and complete vulnerability assessments. That allows communities to become eligible for follow-up grant funding.

Baker said he wants all cities and town in the state to have a vulnerability plan that focuses around climate change.

He said it will also require some creative thinking on the part of all those involved.

Zoning will also be part of the discussion.

Baker questioned how high we should build seawalls to keep the ocean back – and that maybe there’s a point when you just can’t keep repairing existing structures.

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