Down-Island towns get coastal resiliency funding


Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, and Edgartown are set to receive more than $370,000 in state grant funding to reduce coastal storm and climate change impacts, according to a press release from the office of Coastal Zone Management.

The Island funding comes from $4 million in grant funding the state is giving to 29 Massachusetts municipalities and nonprofits. The grants were announced by state and local officials as part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s celebration of Climate Week in the Commonwealth.

Oak Bluffs will receive $223,480 while partnering with the other five Island towns to “map and develop spatial datasets of low-lying areas that serve as pathways for coastal waters to flow inland,” according to the release. The project will also work with the National Weather Service’s Coastal Flood Threat and Inundation Mapping website. The website provides real-time total water level forecasting.

Edgartown will receive $43,349 for its South Beach bathhouse relocation and dune restoration project. The town will use the funds to conduct a survey to relocate its existing bathhouse, remove 150 feet of asphalt roadway off a coastal dune, restore the dune, and install a removable walkover structure over the dune.

Tisbury will use $111,022 for a feasibility assessment and conceptual design for coastal storm protection along the Vineyard Haven shoreline over the next 50 years. The project’s assessment and designs will recommend resilience strategies such as dune and beach nourishment and roadway elevation.

“Massachusetts’ coastal communities coast face increasing damages from increasingly severe storms, sea level rise and erosion,” Governor Charlie Baker said in the release. “As we celebrate Climate Week in Massachusetts, we’re proud to support local efforts to protect residents, businesses and infrastructure from climate change impacts.”