Cape Ann’s survival as a community depends on us to be good stewards of our natural environment. Rising sea levels could submerge homes and prevent public safety officers from responding to emergencies. Increasing water temperatures could inhibit our ability to harvest from the sea. Climbing atmospheric temperatures may increase the likelihood of respiratory issues.
Confronting factors that induce climate change and fostering a cleaner environment requires the use of many different tools. One of those tools is partnerships between state and local governments. The relationship and interdependence among the two are critical to help our municipalities meet their goals and contribute to our common goals.
As part of our state-local partnership, I am glad to announce that Rockport has been awarded $183,454 by the Commonwealth’s Department of Energy Resources (DOER) in the latest round of Green Communities competitive grants. This grant to Rockport will fund municipal energy conservation measures, LED lighting, UV controls, weatherization, building operator certification training, and administrative assistance.
Since being designated as Green Communities, Gloucester, Rockport, and Essex have received over $2 million in grants combined through the program to support local projects that conserve energy or make use of clean energy technologies.
The Legislature passed the Green Communities Act to help municipalities become more sustainable, control rising energy costs, and incubate the clean energy technologies and practices that will put Massachusetts cities and towns at the center of the 21st century clean energy economy. DOER’s Green Communities Division provides technical assistance and financial support for municipal initiatives.
This round of DOER Green Communities competitive grants is awarded to existing Green Communities that have successfully invested their initial designation grants and previous competitive grant awards. That Gloucester, Rockport, and Essex have each received several grants since being designated as Green Communities showcases our local commitment to clean energy and energy efficiency and the great partnership between our state and municipal officials.
Under the Green Communities Act, cities and towns must meet five criteria to be designated a Green Community and receive funding. 271 Massachusetts cities and towns have earned the Green Communities designation, which accounts for 84 percent of the Commonwealth’s population.