Martha’s Vineyard receives $315,000 in Green Coastline Protection grants

Martha’s Vineyard will receive a share of $1.3 million in grants made available by Governor Deval Patrick to reduce risks associated with coastal storms, erosion, and sea level rise through funding for natural and non-structural approaches described as green infrastructure.

Chilmark will receive $280,000 for Squibnocket Beach expansion and restoration. The Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group will receive $35,262 for demonstration of living shoreline technology and development of ribbed mussel seed production to protect and restore salt marshes.

Other recipients include Barnstable, Brewster, Newbury, Plymouth, Scituate, Gosnold, and the Duxbury Beach Reservation.

Chilmark received the largest grant of the nine recipients. “The town will add sand and other sediment to build up the Squibnocket town beach and construct a beach parking area that is naturally protected from erosion to provide enhanced public access and protection for a coastal road,” said Amy Mahler, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) press secretary, in a press release. “The Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, with many partners including the towns of Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Tisbury, will conduct preliminary investigations into the hatchery production of ribbed mussels and test living shoreline techniques (using ribbed mussel, coir log and marsh grass for shoreline protection) at four pilot sites in embayments on Martha’s Vineyard.”

EEA Secretary Rick Sullivan summarized the importance of the grants. “The grants allow us to work collaboratively with local partners in their efforts to effectively protect coastal property, roads and other development while preserving public beaches and other natural resources that define Massachusetts coastline,” Mr. Sullivan said. “These community-based pilot projects reflect the Patrick Administration’s commitment to increase preparedness for a changing climate using innovative approaches that meet future challenges.”