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Mass. should make most of federal dollars to fund climate resilience

A fisherman finds a spot on the shore of Dorchester Bay that runs along the former Bayside Expo Center property in Boston.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Re “A role for developers against rising seas” by Jon Chesto (Page A1, June 28): A partial answer to fortifying Boston’s coastline against climate change is right at our fingertips. The federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fund the large-scale climate resilience projects needed for our communities to survive and thrive. According to the 2018 Financing Climate Resilience report, the cost to protect Boston from flood risks alone could easily exceed $2 billion.

Thankfully, there may be billions of federal dollars available through competitive grant programs to fund flood mitigation projects, such as seawalls and engineered wetlands, and strategies to mitigate extreme heat. The real estate and development sector must continue to be part of the solution, but large-scale municipal infrastructure is needed to protect our transportation system and to safeguard and activate our economic hubs and communities.


We know what needs to be done — now our leaders must select priority projects and aggressively pursue federal funds. Additionally, the Legislature should be developing a longer-term action plan for funding, building, and maintaining resilience infrastructure across the state, including assessing financing mechanisms such as climate banks and special authorities to optimize federal dollars.

Massachusetts has been a leader in climate resilience planning. It’s time to transition from planning to implementation.

Kate Dineen

Executive vice president

A Better City


The writer helped lead New York State’s recovery after Superstorm Sandy.