• Hundreds of Mass. towns need a plan for climate change, Baker says

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    SCITUATE, Mass. - Governor Charlie Baker says the state needs to strengthen itself to provide insulation from the effects of climate change.

    On Thursday, he officially announced his proposed legislation from Scituate, a community hit hard by the recent and unforgiving nor'easters.

    Disastrous scenes unfolded during three nor'easters over the past three weeks up and down the Massachusetts coast. Gov. Baker and others said the storms weren't just a reminder of climate change, but they created a sense of urgency for the state to act.

    “We have 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts and they all need a vulnerability plan,” Gov. Baker explained. 

    To gets plans rolling, Baker introduced a $1.4 billion environmental bond bill. Massachusetts would borrow money to safeguard residents, businesses and municipalities. 

    Of the $1.4 billion, $300 million is to help coastal communities prepare for rising sea levels, flooding and other climate impacts; $297 million will aid other municipalities in planning and continuing environmental stewardship; $580 million will be invested in deferred maintenance.

    MORE: Historic, unprecedented erosion eating away at Cape beaches

    "Some of these sea walls that the governor knows from visiting them, some of them were built during the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration,” Rep. James Cantwell (D – Marshfield) said. 

    The governor says plans for each community will look different based on needs. But he's urging communities to collaborated to tackle issues that can't be ignored.


    IMAGES SHOW BEFORE AND AFTER NOR’EASTER


    “We have 74 coastal communities and a ton of other communities for whom different issues associated with climate will be an issue,” Baker explained. “Climate, water temperature, sea levels, and all the rest that we’ve seen so much of over the course of the past few weeks.”

    Governor Baker says this bill would build up the work of the climate commission he created a year ago.
    This bill does need legislative approval.

    MORE: Could a sea wall protect Boston from coastal flooding?

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