A TV news broadcaster stands in the middle of Jericho Road at Cedar Point in Scituate while waves crash on the seawall at high tide during the nor’easter on March 2. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Gov. Charlie Baker chose to announce a new climate resiliency initiative in Scituate, beneath a lighthouse, in a spot that just two weeks ago was flooded in a nor’easter that combined with one of the highest tides on record.
But Baker’s message Thursday was intended for the entire state:
The simple truth of the matter is we have 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, and they all need a vulnerability plan, and they all need a hazard mitigation plan, and they all need the support of the commonwealth … to do the work that’s associated with delivering on that set of initiatives.
On Thursday Baker submitted to the Legislature a $1.4 billion bond bill — which would authorize the governor to spend the money at a future date — with $300 million slated “for critical infrastructure and the prevention, adaptation and mitigation of climate change,” according to a letter Baker submitted with the bill.
Climate resilience is just one element of the bond bill. Also included is $580 million for “deferred maintenance and recreational resource stewardship,” according to the letter, and $290 million for investments at the community level.
The new initiative piggybacks on an executive order the governor signed in 2016, creating a climate change commission to begin the process of evaluating the state’s resiliency needs. That effort has drawn participating from roughly 70 cities and towns across the state, and now the administration hopes the rest will join forces.