Assistant Speaker of the U.S. House Katherine Clark (MA-5) joined a variety of officials, including Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine, at at the Mystic Dam to highlight new federal funding she secured in the fiscal 2022 budget for the Mystic and Charles Regional Coastal Flood Interventions Project.
The $750,000 will be used for analysis, planning and sequencing for a coordinated set of coastal resilience strategies and interventions aimed at reducing the risk of coastal flooding to Arlington, Belmont, Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford and Revere. Also present were Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn, Cambridge Vice Mayor Alanna Mallon, Patrick Herron of the Arlington-based Mystic River Watershed Association, Fred Lasky of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and members of the Resilient Mystic Collaborative.
“Climate change is here, which means we need to make investments now to prevent disasters later. Communities along the Mystic River are particularly vulnerable to coastal flooding — especially neighborhoods often overlooked and overburdened by environmental injustice,” Clark said in a March 21 news release. “I am immensely proud to have secured this funding to help take the necessary steps to prevent and mitigate flooding while strengthening our climate resiliency for the families in the Fifth District and beyond.”
One of 10 projects
The Charles and Mystic River Regional Coastal Flood Interventions Project is one of 10 community projects across Massachusetts’ Fifth District that Clark helped secure funding for in the FY22 budget totaling more than $11 million. President Biden signed the federal funding into law on March 15.
Lungo-Koehn said: “This is the latest of several regional projects for which Congresswoman Clark has secured funding and for which the City of Medford and our constituents will greatly benefit from her advocacy. I want to reiterate that communities like Medford that are situated on and have historically relied on the Mystic River are at far greater risk of impacts from flooding, particularly if we do not adequately plan for and actively work to address the impacts of climate change.
"Without the interventions proposed through this project, 25 percent of our community will be impacted by flooding beginning as soon as within the next 10 to 20 years. With this important funding, we will be able to greatly advance our regional planning and design to prevent future catastrophic flooding within our communities. So once again, I want to thank Congresswoman Clark for always being a wonderful partner and advocate for our communities, and thank you to my fellow mayors and all those who worked on this collaboratively — it’s such an important project.”
Mallon said: “This is a really exciting day for us, and I just wanted to say thank you to Congresswoman Clark for always fighting for our communities in her district. This is one of the most important things that we need to be working on right now: the effects and mitigation of climate change. This isn’t just about Cambridge - we know that climate change doesn’t just stop at everyone’s borders. I really want to say thank you again, Congresswoman Clark, for advocating for our communities, for securing this funding, and for providing this in a collaborative nature that I hope will be a blueprint for the future.”
Because of rising sea levels, the dams that currently protect the community from coastal flooding will only be able to provide sufficient protection for an estimated 10 or 20 more years.
This news announcement was published Monday, March 21, 2022.
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