In June of 2017, the Town of Weymouth received a $25,000 grant through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affair's Municipality Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program to begin the process of planning for climate change and building resilience. Weymouth was among 71 communities to receive a MVP grant in the first round of funding, representing 20 percent of the state’s municipalities.
Through the MVP Program, the Town and its partners will complete a comprehensive, baseline vulnerability assessment for all natural and climate-related hazards. The assessment will identify Weymouth’s vulnerabilities and strengths under various extreme weather and climate-change scenarios, both existing and future. The assessment will then be used to develop and prioritize specific actions to reduce risk and build resilience.
The Town’s MVP process will be coordinated by Planning Department and Conservation Commission staff in collaboration with Weymouth’s emergency management team, engineers and public works staff, Waterfront Committee, harbormaster, and local watershed associations. Stantec’s Urban Places Group of Boston will provide technical assistance as the Town’s MVP-certified consultant.
Results of the MVP Program will be used to update and inform Town’s local planning documents, public works projects, and future grant applications.
Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program
In September of 2016, Governor Baker signed Executive Order 569, directing multiple state agencies to develop and implement a statewide, comprehensive climate adaptation plan with the best climate-change data available. Recognizing that many adaptation solutions are local in nature, a key commitment of Executive Order 569 is to assist local governments in completing their own assessments and resiliency plans. The Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program represents the first step in fulfilling this commitment to cities and towns.
The MVP Program provides grants to municipalities to complete vulnerability assessments and develop action-oriented resiliency plans. Funding is used by cities and towns to hire a MVP-certified consultant who is trained to provide technical assistance and complete a community's vulnerability assessment and resiliency plan using the nationally-recognized Community Resilience Building Framework. Towns and cities are free to choose a consultant of their choice from a list of certified MVP providers.
Communities who complete the MVP Program become a certified "MVP community" and are eligible for follow-up grant funding and other opportunities through the Commonwealth.
Community Resilience Building Framework
The Community Resilience Building (CRB) Framework is a friendly, "anywhere at any scale" process for developing action-oriented plans to help communities adapt to extreme weather and natural and climate-related hazards. The CRB Framework has been tried and tested, and is rooted in extensive experience working with communities by The Nature Conservancy, NOAA's Office for Coastal Management, and countless partners. It employs a community-driven process, infused with information, experience, and dialogue, where participants identify top hazards, current challenges and strengths, and then develop and prioritize actions to improve their community's resilience.
The core directive of the CRB Framework is to foster collaboration with and among community stakeholders that will advance the education, planning, and ultimately implementation of priority actions. This directive is achieved through a facilitated workshop approach, centered on a carefully crafted Risk Matrix, which captures and organizes community dialogue and helps to generate the momentum needed to advance a community's resiliency plan.
As part of the CRB Framework, the Town and its partners will work through an comprehensive, stakeholder workshop to define extreme weather and natural and climate-related hazards, identify existing and future vulnerabilities and strengths, develop and prioritize actions for the community and broader stakeholder networks, and identify opportunities for the community to advance actions to reduce risk and build resilience. Results of the workshop and planning process will be shared with residents at a public meeting prior to completion of the Town's final resiliency plan.