Work on the Massachusetts Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan kicked off last week with a meeting for stakeholders, where attendees heard presentations from state officials and from climate scientists from the Northeast Climate Science Center.
During the meeting, participants provided feedback and asked questions about climate-related variables and vulnerabilities. The discussion was lively, focusing on a number of key issues related to both climate adaptation and hazard mitigation. Topics included extreme precipitation, flood risk, and public health, among others. New resources for communities’ use as they begin planning for the impacts of climate change will be also available through the project website. The meeting was hosted by the Mass Emergency Management Agency, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and the State Plan Project Management Team, and was held at the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife headquarters in Westborough.
Mass Audubon supports this administrative effort to develop a statewide climate action plan as a first step toward a comprehensive adaptation program, which we hope to see implemented through our priority legislation.
Presenters at the meeting also outlined how the statewide adaptation plan will work with the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program to foster climate adaptation practices at the local level. Mass Audubon is participating in the MVP program, with several staff members approved to receive training as as MVP-certified providers. Our Shaping the Future of Your Community program also offer resources for use in local resiliency planning, including an easy-to-use mapping tool and information on sustainable, low-impact development.
The state’s MVP program will provide support for municipalities across the Commonwealth to plan for climate resiliency, and providers will be trained to provide technical assistance to communities to complete vulnerability assessments and develop action-oriented resiliency plans.