The Municipal Planning Assistance Program, a division of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Bureau of Resource Information and Land Use Planning, on Tuesday, Sept. 24 announced the award of nearly $145,000 to four projects through its Coastal Community Grant program. This year’s grants help coastal communities by supporting:
• green infrastructure design to address run-off and erosion and restore coastal habitat
• dam redesign to provide for fish passage and improve inland and coastal resilience
• studying saltwater intrusion on island water supply
• advancing work in geographic information system economic vulnerability assessments of flood hazard impacts to coastal property and evaluating associated implications to municipal tax base, and developing locally relevant strategies to help towns prepare for sea level rise.
Coastal Community Grants are made possible by the Maine Coastal Program, Department of Marine Resources, which provides funding through Maine’s federal coastal zone management award from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Each project involves regional or local-level partnerships and each grantee provides a minimum of 25% in matching funds or services.
Grants totaling $143,229 were awarded to a number of projects, including one in Lincoln County:
Monhegan Plantation: Alternative water supply feasibility study ($39,240)
Project description: Monhegan and the Monhegan Water Co. will conduct a risk assessment of their sole source fresh water aquifer in light of recent studies predicting flood hazard scenarios related to sea level rise and increased storm surge. The study will examine current groundwater-fed bedrock wells to gauge vulnerability to saltwater intrusion and evaluate the feasibility of drilled bedrock wells as a safer and more reliable alternative public water source for residents of Monhegan.
Project partners: Island Institute, Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission, Monhegan Water Co.
About Coastal Community Grants
Coastal Community Grants are an important element of the Municipal Planning Assistance Program’s mission of fostering innovative and effective approaches to land use management by providing technical and financial assistance to Maine municipalities. This was the 10th round of grants, which since 2012 have provided $1.87 million for 69 projects throughout coastal Maine.
At the conclusion of each project, grant recipients prepare a case study to describe the project’s approach and results, identify next steps and needs, share lessons learned and applicability for other municipalities, and help identify municipal and regional needs and emerging coastal issues. The case studies focus on sharing lessons learned “in their own words” at maine.gov/dacf/municipalplanning/casestudies/ccg-case-studies.shtml.