With Massachusetts receiving $5.3 billion in state and local recovery funds under the American Rescue Plan Act, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in building more resilient communities. There are several critical funding areas that will benefit the Charles River and climate resilience.
Please contact your legislators today to urge them to support these priorities at the funding levels proposed by the Baker administration—or better yet, to go even further!
Water and sewer infrastructure (Baker proposed $400 million) – According to a 2017 report by the state auditor, Massachusetts communities have combined water system spending needs in excess of $17 billion. By investing in sustainable clean water infrastructure, we can create jobs locally that will not only support a post-pandemic economic recovery but will also build our communities’ resilience to climate change.
Climate resilience (Baker proposed $300 million) – This funding would go towards the state’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program, which provides grants for climate resilience but currently receives more project applications than it is able to fund. A recent MVP grant allowed CRWA to work with 15 watershed communities to build a flooding model that predicts climate change-related flooding and highlights nature-based solutions to reduce risks.
State park facilities (Baker proposed $100 million) – Throughout the pandemic, outdoor public spaces were vital as safe places for recreation, respite from the heat, and solace from social stressors. Parks, both large and small, contribute to public health and climate resilience, providing benefits like cleaner air and water, cooler local temperatures, and reduced localized flooding. Investing in these public spaces supports many other pandemic recovery priorities.
This is our chance to shape pandemic recovery priorities. Please contact your legislators today and ask them to prioritize these investments! Your call or email will make a difference!