The state has awarded the town of Natick and the Charles River Watershed Association with a $264K climate change grant focused on building resilience across the Charles River.
While the project has been led by the Charles River Watershed Association, Natick Sustainability Coordinator Jillian Wilson-Martin says the funding will “help develop flood modeling that takes into consideration future precipitation scenarios (that reflect climate projections) for Natick and 14 other communities in the Charles River Watershed.”
This is important, she explains, because the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps that communities use for flood risk planning “are based on historical data, not future projections – and climate change is expected to increase precipitation in Massachusetts and exacerbate flooding.”
Natick is working with the other 14 communities as part of the CharlesRiver Climate Compact (CRCC).
“This initiative will produce both much needed technical information about where and when precipitation driven flood-risk in the watershed is expected to be exacerbated by climate change, and bring consistency across our watershed communities in regards to how we are planning and governing for expected climate impacts, thus promoting a more comprehensive and synergistic approach,” according to the Charles River Watershed Association.
The effort is designed to support a data-driven approach to municipal, business and residential planning.
The state doled out more than $11M in funding through its Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program, including action grants to communities like Natick that have already gone deep into the MVP planning process. Natick previously has used MVP grants for tree planting, water conservation, and more.
The Charles River Watershed Association also received $419K from the state in a partnership for Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Milford Town Park.