Environmental Officials Announce Coastal Resiliency Grants on Cape Cod

DENNIS – State and town officials and local legislators gathered yesterday at the Aquaculture Research Corporation in Dennis to announce state funding to help coastal communities prepare for climate change.

The state is funding 16 projects with more than $2.2 million to increase community preparedness and resilience to coastal storm impacts, including storm surges, flooding, erosion and rising sea levels.

“The main purpose of them is to work with our local municipalities who match the grants and provide opportunities to either educate around coastal resiliency issues or help planning and actually implementing coastal resiliency projects,” said Matthew Beaton, the state’s Energy and Environmental Affairs secretary.

Four local projects in Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth and Wareham were among the 16 across the state to receive funding.

Dennis will receive $133,300 to improve the coastal resiliency of Dr. Bottero Road and Chapin Beach. The town will study the effect of waves and the movement of sediment along the beach and develop engineering design plans for a small-scale beach nourishment project. The goal is to mitigate severe erosion at Dr. Bottero Road and maintain access to Chapin Beach and the Aquaculture Research Corporation.

More than $79,000 in funding will be used for an assessment of multi-decadal coastal change from Eastham to Wellfleet. Eastham will study the volume, rate and direction of sand moving along a six-mile stretch of bayside shoreline. The data collected will help in the future design, evaluation and implementation of regional shoreline management efforts.

Falmouth was awarded $124,695 to assess shoreline stabilization alternatives for Menauhant Beach. The town will evaluate engineering alternatives to increase the protection of the beach, along with roadway infrastructure west of the Bournes Pond Inlet. The goal of the project is to address current flooding and erosion issues and possible impacts from sea level rise.

The final design for three priority pump stations in Wareham will receive $101,000. The town will use the funding to obtain permits and develop the final construction plans, specifications and cost estimates for improvements at the most vulnerable pump stations. The goal is to help endure future storm events and minimize public health and environmental risks.

Beaton says the natural resources of the Cape are vital to the region’s economy.

“These projects are making sure that we are using natural solutions to fit in with that natural beauty of the Cape to solve for a lot of the coastal and climate change related issues that we are dealing with,” Beaton said.

State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) is encouraged by the commitment to promote coastal resiliency and combat the effects of rising sea levels.

“Grants to Dennis and Eastham will not only ensure that our coastline is safeguarded against the adverse effects of climate change, but they will provide a boost to our blue economy: supporting tourism, research and small business.”

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