Local Communities Receive Dam and Coastal Infrastructure Grants

(AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

PLYMOUTH – Two local communities are receiving about $1.2 million in state funding to address deteriorating dams and refurbishing critical coastal infrastructure.

The Baker-Polito Administration awarded more than $11.5 million for 22 projects across the state through the Dam and Seawall Repair or Removal Fund. The work will include ten dam repair projects, six dam removals and six coastal protection reconstruction projects.

Plymouth was awarded $1 million for the removal of the Holmes Playground Dam. The dam removal is the final phase of a 15-year initiative to restore Town Brook. The dam is a high hazard class structure in “poor” condition.

The dam’s removal, restoration of the stream and stream crossing and replacement of the failing bridge infrastructure will reduce the risk of flooding during extreme weather, restore floodplain connectivity, increase wetland and stream habitat, and restore the herring run.

The removal of the dam that restricts flow along the brook and the subsequent river restoration will allow for greater floodplain area which will aid in climate change resiliency.

Chilmark will get nearly $200,000 to remove the Squibnocket Revetment to expand the town beach.

The project will help to restore areas of the protective barrier beach while ensuring access to nearby homes. The removal of the revetment and the roadway above it will also allow for natural water exchanges with Squibnocket Pond.

“We’re clearly seeing the signs of a changing climate on a regular basis with these extreme weather patterns that we’ve been observing and this dam and seawall program is sort of one of the roots of a larger adaptation and resiliency initiative led by Governor Baker,” said Matthew Beaton, the Energy and Environmental Affairs secretary.

The fund provides financial support to communities dealing with high hazard dams and seawalls that are the first line of defense against the effects of climate change.

Since 2014, the fund has allocated more than $54 million for 44 projects.

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