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Town of Millis Receives Grant for Climate Resilience

Millis, MA – The Town of Millis has been awarded a $170,000 municipal climate preparedness grant to design a community-centric flood resiliency plan and develop a public engagement program to communicate climate vulnerability and mitigation strategies.

The grant was awarded by the Baker-Polito administration’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program, which pairs local leadership and knowledge with a significant investment of resources and funding from the Commonwealth to address climate change impacts.

With numerous rivers, streams, and wetlands that influence drainage patterns and are susceptible to climate change impacts, the town of Millis has widespread flooding challenges associated with severe weather events. The MVP grant will enable the town to holistically assess risks and develop an all-inclusive, proactive, and cost-effective flood resiliency plan to minimize town-wide flooding under present day and future climate conditions. It will build upon the MVP-funded Building Resiliency Across the Charles River Watershed Study, which identified flooding issues in the Charles River Watershed.

The plan will seek solutions to restore the area’s natural ability to capture and infiltrate stormwater, support the function and health of the town’s natural wetlands system, and incorporate resilient approaches to reduce the impacts of flooding. Where possible, the plan will identify nature-based methods to integrate co-benefits, including stormwater treatment, habitat restoration, and creating new educational and recreational opportunities.

Environmental engineering and construction firm Brown and Caldwell assisted the town with its grant application and will act as a consultant during the plan’s development. The firm will be responsible for developing a town-wide hydraulic and hydrologic model and developing cost-effective flood mitigation strategies that achieve multiple co-benefits.

A public outreach program to gather knowledge of flooding issues, inform the community on flood risks linked to climate change, and share project results is also included. The plan is scheduled for a summer 2022 completion.

The MVP program has awarded over $65 million in funding and technical support since its 2017 inception to communities challenged with sea-level rise, inland flooding, storms, and extreme temperatures.

“The grant will provide much-needed support to meet the project’s stormwater management goals while engaging our community through this planning effort,” said Town of Millis select board chair, Pete Jurmain.