SEPTEMBER 1, 2021 Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) is thrilled to announce that the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded $233,000 to CRWA and nineteen Charles River watershed communities for “Building Resilience Across the Charles River Watershed Phase II”, a collaborative climate resiliency effort that will significantly improve the watershed’s ability to prepare for severe flooding from climate change. Funding was awarded through the state’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Action Grant program. 

The nineteen communities are part of the Charles River Climate Compact (CRCC), a group of municipalities working together to build regional climate resilience. The CRCC previously worked together to develop the Charles River Flood Model, which predicts where and when flooding will occur in the watershed. That effort was also funded by the MVP Action Grant program. 

“This additional funding will allow us to help cities and towns take bold action to reduce the dangerous flooding already happening, and prepare for the even more intense rainstorms of the future,” said Emily Norton, Executive Director at CRWA. “The Charles River Flood Model clearly demonstrates the impacts coming to our region, but it allows us to test out the benefits of potential flood mitigation strategies so we know we are making sound investments.”

The project will result in the development of a regional Adaptation Implementation Plan for freshwater flooding which will include the design of up to four site-specific flood mitigation projects within the Charles River watershed. In addition, the Plan will include policy tools and resources to support each municipality in implementing additional strategies that the model demonstrates to be effective, such as reducing impervious cover and increasing green stormwater infrastructure. These efforts will help bring nature-based solutions for flood mitigation into the mainstream and give communities the tools they need to advocate for these solutions.