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State awards Saugus $33K grant to battle climate change

SAUGUS — The state is giving Saugus $33,000 to plan for climate change. 

The money comes from the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and its Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Planning Grant program. It will be used to mitigate future flooding impacts on residents and the town’s infrastructure to update the town’s Hazard Mitigation Plan, drafted in 2014. 

“The Town of Saugus is willing and dedicated to addressing and helping mitigate adverse weather impacts due to climate change or other unforeseen circumstances in order to continue to improve the safety and security of our residents,” said Town Manager Scott Crabtree.

Saugus applied for the funding because more intense and frequent storms have caused an increase in inland and coastal flooding in recent years, said Crabtree. 

The Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant program (MVP) provides support for cities and towns in Massachusetts to plan for resiliency and implement key climate change adaptation actions for resiliency. Once a city or town is designated an MVP community, they are eligible for MVP Action Grant funding to complete necessary projects. 

Saugus is one of 27 communities to be awarded funding through this round of grants. 

“The continued growth of the MVP Program demonstrates communities’ interest and readiness to address the growing challenge of climate change,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton in a statement. “We are eager to work with all cities and towns across the Commonwealth to identify their priority resilience actions and get those projects off the ground.”

This funding will provide the necessary resources for the town to identify hazards, challenges and strengths, and prepare for future climate adaptation actions to address current vulnerabilities, said Crabtree. 

Using money from the grant, a certified MVP provider will be hired to assess the effects of climate change in the town and help with community outreach. Once priorities are identified, there may be design studies, local bylaw changes, redesigns, and natural infrastructure and storm protection measures taken. 

 

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