Cities and towns across Maine will use grants to improve local resilience against climate effects such as flooding, rising sea levels, and extreme storms.
Governor Janet Mills announced today that 13 communities in Maine will receive nearly $20 million in grants through her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan for municipal investments to protect vital infrastructure from effects of climate change.
The grants were awarded by the Maine Department of Transportation through the Maine Infrastructure Adaptation Fund. The Fund, first announced by Governor Mills in December 2021, was a recommendation of the state’s climate action plan, Maine Won’t Wait, to support community efforts to build climate resilience in Maine.
Maine Infrastructure Adaptation Fund recipients will use the funds for projects to address flooding along ocean and riverfronts, protect stormwater and wastewater systems, install culverts to reduce flooding; and ensure energy availability during extreme storms.
The awards are as follows:
- Anson-Madison - $842,000
- Bath - $4 million
- Berwick - $1.425 million
- Blue Hill - $1 million
- Boothbay Harbor, $4.15 million
- Eastport - $165,750
- Frenchville - $58,500
- Kennebunkport - $2.585 million
- Norway - $100,000
- Ogunquit - $2.85 million
- Rockland - $75,000
- Scarborough - $60,000
- Winslow - $2.738 million
Examples of how the funding will be used include:
- Design and construction activities to protect the Boothbay Harbor Sewer District’s wastewater treatment facility from future sea level rise and storm surge.
- Construction activities to address the most problematic of the City of Bath’s drainage areas by upgrading and upsizing of equipment.
- Increasing the capacity of the stormwater system in the Town of Winslow.
“Climate change is impacting nearly every facet of our lives, and Maine communities are on the front lines,” said Governor Janet Mills. “These investments through my Jobs Plan will help municipalities across the state strengthen their infrastructure to better deal with the impacts of climate change, improving the safety of their towns and the Maine people who call them home.”
“The effects of climate change present significant challenges for our vulnerable infrastructure,” said Bruce Van Note, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation. “Our team, led by Chief Engineer Joyce Taylor, has been working with other agencies and municipalities to help find ways to mitigate these impacts. The resources provided by the Maine Infrastructure Adaptation Fund will help make real differences in these communities.”
“Maine’s climate action plan, Maine Won’t Wait, calls for investing in communities to protect vital infrastructure from effects of climate change, such as flooding, rising sea levels, and extreme storms,” said Hannah Pingree, Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future and co-chair of the Maine Climate Council. “These grants support important local investments today to protect our future, and underscore why Maine is a leader in climate action.”
“Over the past two decades, the once-in-a-hundred-years events have started to happen more and more often,” said Erica LaCroix, Winslow Town Manager. “The increased severity of storms has surpassed the capacity of our aging stormwater system, and businesses and residents have suffered significant losses as a result. This trend is not likely to decline any time soon, but the funds to combat this threat just haven’t been available. We are grateful to Governor Mills, the DEP, and MaineDOT for recognizing the need to help our local communities in preparing for the effects of climate change now and in the future.”
MaineDOT issued a Request for Application (RFA) for the Maine Infrastructure Adaptation Fund in April 2022, with applications accepted until the end of May. The total funding awarded to communities is $19,914,250.
Under the leadership of Governor Mills, Maine has taken bold action to fight climate change, including historic investments in climate priorities thanks to Maine’s strong economic recovery and the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan. These investments include:
- $2.5 million in grant funding to 75 communities across Maine to support local climate action, clean energy and energy efficiency projects, and strengthen regional cooperation in the fight again climate change.
- $50 million for energy efficiency programs, such as residential weatherization and efficiency upgrades for schools, towns, non-profits, and hospitality businesses.
- $50 million for affordable housing, which includes assistance for communities, developers, and builders to encourage construction or production of affordable, energy efficient housing.
- $8 million to advance clean energy partnerships and initiatives to support innovation in Maine’s clean energy sector and grow the workforce.
- $40 million for land conservation, which contributes to Maine’s fight against climate change by maximizing carbon storage, supporting working waterfronts, farms, and forests, and ensuring valuable ecosystems remain in place for future generations.
The federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has committed an estimated more than $2.4 billion to Maine, including significant funds for climate priorities such as EV charging, home weatherization, public transit, and energy efficiency programs. In addition, the new federal law will also make billions more in competitive funds available to the states for electrifying school bus fleets, modernizing electrical grids, and more.
The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the Governor’s plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine people and families, help businesses, create good-paying jobs, and build an economy poised for future prosperity.
It draws heavily on recommendations from the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the State’s 10-Year Economic Development Strategy, transforming them into real action to improve the lives of Maine people and strengthen the economy.
For more information about the Jobs Plan, visit maine.gov/jobsplan.