Biden-Harris Administration recommends funding of $27.5 million for projects in Massachusetts to strengthen Climate-Ready Coasts as part of Investing in America agenda

A photo collage of just some of the projects being recommended for funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and NOAA's Climate-Ready Coasts initiative.

A photo collage of just some of the projects being recommended for funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and NOAA's Climate-Ready Coasts initiative. (Image credit: NOAA)

Today, Vice President Harris announced that the Department of Commerce has recommended $27.5 million for projects across Massachusetts to make communities and the economy more resilient to climate change, as part of the Investing in America agenda. Across Massachusetts, nine projects will create jobs and boost economic and environmental outcomes for coastal communities. The awards are made under the Biden Administration’s Climate-Ready Coasts initiative funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) with additional funds leveraged from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). 

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to investing in high impact projects in Massachusetts and across the country that will create good paying jobs and Climate-Ready Coasts,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Thanks to the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, we are helping support a wide array of locally-led efforts to keep the Bay State’s coastal communities a thriving place to work, live, and raise a family.”

Administered by the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Climate-Ready Coasts initiative is focused on investing in high-impact projects that create climate solutions by storing carbon; build resilience to coastal hazards such as extreme weather events, pollution and marine debris; restore coastal habitats that help wildlife and humans thrive; build the capacity of underserved communities and support community-driven restoration; and provide employment opportunities.

“It’s no surprise that the Bay State’s projects span a wide range of important issues, from restoring salt marshes to improving fish habitat to preventing and removing debris from our waterways and ocean,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “NOAA is proud to support investments in a cleaner, healthier, and more resilient future for our coasts and coastal communities.”

“This $27 million in recommended funding is fantastic news for Massachusetts waterways and coastlines,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “This federal funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act will help strengthen our communities’ efforts to preserve and protect our natural habitats.”

“I applaud the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for unlocking funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act so coastal communities across Massachusetts have the investments needed to restore habitats, respond to natural disasters, address plastic and marine debris, and adapt to climate change,” said Senator Edward Markey. “This critical funding will boost collaboration among coastal communities in order to improve resiliency and support our beautiful waterways and coasts for generations to come.”

“Every day, communities in Massachusetts face a host of environmental threats from a changing climate,” said Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5). "The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act are tackling this urgent crisis head-on by strengthening our coastal resiliency and reducing our carbon footprint. This funding is protecting our neighborhoods today and building a stronger, more sustainable future.”

“The projects funded through the Climate-Ready Coasts initiative represent the best efforts of our communities to come to grips with our dynamic coastal issues,” said Congressman Bill Keating (MA-09). “From right whale conservation to the restoration of riparian and estuarine habitats to the elimination of single use plastics, these projects will not only immensely benefit our region but can provide a model for similar projects throughout the United States. I applaud these strong local organizations that we have worked alongside of for many years for coming together to make meaningful improvements to our coastal and marine community in Southeastern Massachusetts.”

“This funding marks a significant and necessary investment in coastal sustainability,” said Congressman Seth Moulton (MA-06). “From restoring the Great Marsh, a natural flood barrier for so many of our towns and cities, to improving watershed resiliency in Manchester-by-the-Sea, NOAA’s Climate-Ready Coasts initiative addresses the impact of climate change across the North Shore. I'm proud of our work with the administration to safeguard coastal communities in my district and upgrade infrastructure to withstand the emerging threats posed by the climate crisis.”

These projects are part of NOAA’s nearly $6 billion total investment under BIL and IRA. Recommended projects and funding amounts in Massachusetts include:

  • Herring River Restoration Project, Phase 1
    Town of Wellfleet: $14.6 million
    Funding Source: Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants
    This investment will support the first phase of the Herring River Restoration Project, the largest salt marsh restoration effort in the Northeast United States. The project will help restore the flood and storm protection functions of a healthy salt marsh, rebuild and improve the resilience of local bridges and roads, improve water quality and habitat for fish and shellfish, and help the marsh regain elevation and keep pace with sea level rise. Upon completion, the overall effort will restore 890 acres of tidal wetlands and reconnect a functioning estuary to Cape Cod Bay and the Gulf of Maine.
  • Making Space: The Southeastern Massachusetts Marsh Migration Initiative
    Massachusetts Audubon Society: $4.3 million

    Funding Source: Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants
    Coastal marshes are at severe risk due to climate change and sea level rise. Retired, low-lying cranberry farmlands provide a potential space for these habitats to migrate as sea level rises. This project will support planning and pilot projects for coastal marsh restoration in southeastern Massachusetts by restoring wetlands degraded through historic cranberry farming. The restored coastal wetlands will provide critical habitat for threatened and endangered species, and provide breeding grounds for commercially valuable fish. The project will also provide public access to sites and sustained cultural uses for tribal communities.
  • New England Regional Derelict Fishing Gear Removal and Response Coalition
    Center for Coastal Studies: $2.7 million
    Funding Source: Marine Debris Removal Competition
    The Center for Coastal Studies will lead a new coalition of New England nongovernmental organizations to remove, document, and recycle, repurpose, or properly dispose of abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear and end-of-life fishing gear from the Gulf of Maine’s water and shorelines. The project spans the coastlines of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts and seeks to build capacity and share information across states.
  • Truro Pamet River Restoration
    Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs: $2.1 million
    Funding Source: Coastal Zone Management Habitat Protection and Restoration Grants
    This investment will result in a feasibility study and the collection of the data necessary to design a remediation of six tidal restrictions within five project focus areas: the Little Pamet River, Lower Pamet, Upper Pamet, Mill Pond, and Eagle Neck Creek Earthen Berm. These elements together will support the greater goal of restoring salt marsh functioning within the Pamet River system.
  • Manchester Central Street Bridge Replacement and Sawmill Brook Restoration Project
    Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs: $1.5 million
    Funding Source: Coastal Zone Management Habitat Protection and Restoration Grants
    This investment supports habitat restoration and fish passage while increasing resiliency for the Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea. The project includes replacing the Central Street Bridge, removing a tide gate structure, upgrading channel walls, restoring saltmarsh wetlands, and creating living shorelines to stabilize the stream banks. One acre of salt marsh and 1,534 linear feet of stream connectivity will be restored, which in turn will improve resiliency for the Sawmill Brook watershed and the community.
  • Initiating Transformational Habitat Restoration in the Great Marsh Area of Critical Environmental Concern
    Ipswich River Watershed Association: $1.3 million
    Funding Source: Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grant

    This project will support habitat restoration in the Great Marsh, the largest remaining salt marsh in New England. It will plan for and begin construction on several efforts to address all remaining high-priority barriers identified in the region. The work including three barrier removal demonstration projects will increase the pace of restoration activities and resolve issues watershed-wide, with a focus on benefiting fisheries habitat including important forage species such as river herring.
  • Mill Creek Community Engagement and Pilot Project: Slade Mill Dam Removal 
    City of Chelsea: $428,000
    Funding Source: Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Grants for Underserved Communities
    The City of Chelsea will gather community input and remove Slade Mill Dam on Mill Creek. They will work to actively engage the local community throughout all phases of planning and construction, including through community meetings, site walks, and educational signage. This project will work in tandem with an ongoing effort to create a park and riverwalk that will increase public access to Mill Creek.  
  • Cape Cod Coalition to Shift Tourism Businesses to Sustainable Serviceware
    Woods Hole Sea Grant (Massachusetts): $299,000

    Funding Source: Marine Debris Community Action Coalitions
    This project seeks to address the problem of single-use plastics used in tourism-based food, hospitality and experience businesses on Cape Cod that contribute to marine debris. Building on existing partnerships and relationships, the project will form an action-based environmental stewardship coalition of tourism, education and government partners to transition businesses away from single-use plastics. This work will expand on an “alternative serviceware guide”.
  • Massachusetts Marine Debris From Source to Stellwagen: A Comprehensive Suite of Tools for Environmental Educators
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sea Grant: $286,000
    Funding Source: Marine Debris Community Action Coalitions
    The coalition formed by this project will consist of K-12 teachers and students, environmental organizations, underserved communities and commercial fishermen who are interested in addressing issues of marine debris in eastern Massachusetts together. This project aims to build new tools for the tracking and visualization of marine debris, develop marine debris curricula for teachers, and create a pathways internship for underrepresented students to further explore issues of marine debris.


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