Malden legislative delegation worked with city officials and regional coalitions to secure over $1M for combating regional impacts from climate change
Governor Charlie Baker’s Administration recently announced $32.8 million in grants to municipalities throughout the Commonwealth through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) grant program of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA). The program was launched in 2017 and has since invested a total of $100 million in 97% of cities and towns in Massachusetts.
The City of Malden is one of 73 communities to receive action grant funding through the latest round of applications; $200,550 will be directly invested in the Malden River Works Project, which aims to transform two acres of land behind the Malden Department of Public Works into a climate-resilient riverfront park. The investment will be used to continue design work and prepare construction documents for the project, with bids ready to be released by the fall of 2023. Since 2020, Malden River Works has received a total of $704,150 in MVP grants, bringing the project’s design phase up to 75% completion. The continued investment from the state has been crucial to the planning and implementation of an important project that represents a new wave of climate resilient planning steps taken by the City.
Additionally, this year, as a member of the Resilient Mystic Collaborative and the Saugus River Watershed Council, Malden has also been working with a coalition of cities and towns surrounding the Mystic River and Saugus River watersheds to develop sustainable climate change planning in the region. The City will be closely involved in the Regional Saugus River Watershed Vulnerability and Adaptation Study, which will study and provide adaptation recommendations for future climate resiliency planning as well as the two-year Wicked Cool Mystic program of community-centric pilot projects to help residents combat heat waves as a result of climate change. These regional initiatives around the watersheds have been awarded a combined total of $1,046,787 from the MVP Action Grants – a historic amount for the region.
“I am excited to see the Governor and the State’s continued support for the Malden River Works project,” said State Representative Steven Ultrino (D-Malden). “As an Environmental Justice Community, it is crucial that we lead the way and highlight the importance of regional climate resilience planning for other cities and towns across the state. I would like to thank the leadership of the Malden River Works Steering Committee and hope to see even more collaboration across the region as we work together to build a more sustainable and climate resilient community.”
“I’m delighted to see the City of Malden helping to lead the way toward a more sustainable future for our entire region,” said State Senator Jason Lewis (D-Fifth Middlesex). “The state legislature has prioritized funding for the MVP program because we understand how critical it is for local municipalities to receive both technical and financial assistance to help mitigate the growing impacts from climate change, such as increased flooding and ecological damage. I’m hopeful that projects like Malden River Works will become a model for collaboration between state and local stakeholders to forge innovative and sustainable relationships with our natural environment.”
“The Malden River Works Project has been making great progress and this funding will make sure that progress is able to continue,” said State Representative Paul Donato (D-Malden, Medford). “Not only is this project bringing accessible outdoor space to Malden, it’s an important step in making sure that our community remains resilient to the effects of climate change. We must continue to fund climate sustainable infrastructure if we care about protecting our future.”
“I’m thrilled that, through multiple grant rounds including this latest, Malden will have received upwards of $1 million in State funds through the MVP Program,” said State Representative Kate Lipper-Garabedian (D-Malden, Melrose, Wakefield). “I was glad to join the full legislative delegation in advocating for the City’s applications. The Malden River Works project represents a promising intersection in our priorities of climate resiliency and access to shared community spaces.”
As the MVP program reaches its five-year anniversary, EOEEA is formulating a process, trainings and resources – called “MVP Planning 2.0” – for updating MVP plans and the priority actions identified within them. It is expected to launch in spring 2023.