Wareham receives $24,000 grant for environment, climate change mitigation

Jun 8, 2017

Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton spoke to a group of representatives from towns across Massachusetts Thursday morning, announcing grants and reaffirming the state’s commitment to adapting to and mitigating the impact of climate change in the state.

Over the next two years, 71 Massachusetts communities will receive a total of $1.2 million to deal with the consequences of a changing climate.

Many speakers from around the state stood on Onset Pier and spoke about their commitment to the environment and the need to look at the facts fairly without making the environment a partisan issue.

After President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris Accord last week, Beaton said Massachusetts must show leadership and acknowledge the real effects of climate change.

These grants will allow the community to identify the issues that need attention and give them resources to fix them, State Representative  Susan Williams Gifford (R-Wareham) said.

“We all have some very particular needs when it comes to the effects of climate change,” Gifford said.

For Wareham, Gifford suggested this could include the wastewater treatment facility, developing low-lying areas in town and overall identifying areas of concern in Wareham.

The town received a grant for $24,000, which was “on the higher end of the 70 communities that received money,” Gifford said.

Gifford said Onset Pier was chosen as the venue for the event because it emphasized the coastal environment, since that is a great concern when it comes to the issue of climate change.

This issue is especially relevant to the coastal community, State Senator Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) explained. Wareham and other towns near the water are particularly "vulnerable" to climate change. He encouraged lawmakers to create statutes that emphasize the importance of resiliency and climate adaptation.

“It’s great for us to say, and it’s true that Massachusetts is one of the leaders with California in climate policy,” Pacheco said. “It’s great for all of us to sign on to goals...it is yet a very different thing to pass meaningful, actionable items in the legislature that continues to move us forward.”