State Senate Passes Environmental Resiliency Bond Bill

Includes Senator deMacedo funding for local priorities...
Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth)

From the Office of State Senator Vinny deMacedo...

BOSTON – Last week, the Massachusetts Senate passed H.4613, An Act promoting climate change adaptation, environmental and natural resource protection, and investment in recreational assets and opportunity, colloquially known as the ‘environmental bond bill.’ The legislation authorizes the issuance of more than $2 billion in bonds to implement climate change adaptation programs and to improve existing climate resilient infrastructure.

“The storms and damage caused by this past winter demonstrated that we need to invest in our coastal infrastructure,” said Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth). “Our coastal communities bore the brunt of that storm damage and I am proud that the Legislature, working with Governor Baker, was able to identify this area of need and provide this funding.”

Massachusetts has continually demonstrated leadership in the fight against global climate change, and the investments authorized in this legislation ensure that cities and towns across the Commonwealth are protected and that public spaces and infrastructure are improved and maintained for the public good.

“With every record setting blizzard, every flooded T station, and every endangered species, we experience the effects of climate change in real time,” said Senate President Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “The legislation that we passed today represents the Massachusetts Senate’s commitment to climate preparedness and the preservation of the Commonwealth’s ecosystems and open spaces.”

Senator deMacedo included amendments for approximately $6 million in funding for local projects that will aid in local rebuilding efforts and climate resiliency plans. Among them are:

  • $2 million for seawall and revetment work as well as cobble nourishment on Plymouth’s Long Beach.
  • $1 million for the reconstruction of the boardwalk at Town Neck Beach in Sandwich.
  • $1.3 million for work connecting the Shining Sea Bikeway in North Falmouth to the Cape Cod Canal in Bourne.
  • $1 million to rebuild the seawall at Falmouth’s Waterfront Park.
  • $500,000 to remove the dam on Kingston’s Jones River.
  • $133,000 for a feasibility study in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers for the restoration of a salt marsh in Bourne.

“These projects will allow our communities to reinvest in their coastal resources,” said Senator deMacedo. “Our constituents and visitors rely on these resources for their livelihoods and it is important that the Commonwealth work with the community to ensure the viability and vibrancy of these resources for years to come. I am proud that the Senate recognized the importance of these projects and joined me in supporting them.”

Recognizing the significant impact of climate change on coastal and inland communities, the legislation authorizes $300 million to respond to and prepare for extreme weather, sea level rise, inland flooding and other climate impacts:

  • $170 million will be used to fund improvements and repairs to dams and seawalls and to implement diverse coastal resiliency strategies
  • $50 million will provide planning and action grants to communities through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program
  • $60 million will be invested in implementing the Commonwealth’s Integrated State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan.

“This bill is an important next step in our continued efforts for a sustainable future,” said Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “We authorize investments in critical projects across the state to preserve and improve our environmental and energy assets and help plan for and mitigate the effects of climate change.”

The legislation allocates $297 million to continue supporting communities around the Commonwealth and the environmental stewardship work they do, including:

  • $125 million for community investment grant programs for municipalities, regional planning agencies and other eligible entities
  • $25 million for tree planting and forest land protection programs.  In addition to the grant programs administered by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)
  • $50 million for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Complete Streets Program which provides funding to communities to provide safe and accessible options for all travel modes - walking, biking, transit and vehicles..

The bill will now be reconciled with a version passed by the House of Representatives.


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