Public meeting on climate-change risks and preparedness planned for June 7

Coastal Flooding
March-2nd Nor'easter Coastal Flooding

Weymouth, MA – Mayor Robert Hedlund announced today that the Department of Planning and Community Development will host a public informational meeting on the Town of Weymouth’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Report, a planning document designed to assist the Town in enhancing resilience to anticipated climate-change impacts. The meeting will provide residents with an opportunity to become fully acquainted with the community’s current vulnerabilities and to hear top recommendations for building Weymouth’s resilience through on-the-ground, proactive projects. The meeting will be facilitated by Stantec’s Urban Places Group of Boston, a certified consultant of the state’s MVP Program. The meeting will begin at 7:00 pm in the Town Council Chambers at Weymouth Town Hall (75 Middle Street).

“The severe damage we saw from this winter’s nor’easters illustrates just how vulnerable Weymouth is to climate change,” said Mayor Robert Hedlund. “Residents know firsthand that action is needed, and the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program is our first step in planning projects that will improve our resilience and better protect our residents, infrastructure, and natural resources. I thank the Conservation Commission and Planning Department for spearheading this important initiative.”

The MVP Program provides assistance to cities and towns to complete comprehensive, local vulnerability assessments and develop action-oriented plans to prepare for climate change. Through the MVP Program, municipalities complete an “anywhere at any scale” Community Resilience Building (CRB) workshop that identifies key climate-related hazards, vulnerabilities, and strengths, and prioritizes specific actions that a community might take to reduce risks and build resilience. All climate-change scenarios are based on newly developed projections from the Northeast Climate Science Center at UMass-Amherst and are available to the public through the state’s new website, the resilient MA Climate Clearinghouse.

Weymouth’s CRB workshop was coordinated earlier this year by the Town’s Planning and Conservation staff in collaboration with its emergency management team, engineers and public works staff, Waterfront Committee, Conservation Commission, harbormaster, and local civic groups and watershed associations. Stantec’s Urban Places Group of Boston provided technical assistance as the Town’s MVP-certified consultant.

Among the climate-related hazards considered by workshop participants, the top hazards identified for Weymouth were (1) coastal flooding and sea level rise, (2) extreme storms, (3) extreme temperatures, and (4) drought. Weymouth’s MVP Report outlines specific categories of concerns and challenges related to these hazards, identifies current strength and weakness in the community, and provides top recommendations to improve resilience to climate change and improve long-term protection for Weymouth’s residents, infrastructure, and natural resources. A draft of the Town’s MVP Report is available through the Planning Department’s website. Key priorities and projects identified in the report include rebuilding existing seawalls and other coastal infrastructure, improving stormwater management, developing a communication plan to raise awareness about hazard mitigation, and protecting the Town’s water supply and critical environmental resources.   

By completing the MVP planning process, Weymouth has been designated an “MVP Community” and is eligible for MVP Action Grants and other opportunities through the Commonwealth. Results of the MVP report will be used to inform the Town’s local planning documents, public works projects, and future grant applications.