DEEP and City of Stamford Highlight $1.3M in Climate Resilience Grants
(STAMFORD, CT) — Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes and Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons held a press conference today to highlight three separate climate resilience planning projects in Stamford that were part of the inaugural round of $8.8M in DEEP Climate Resilience Fund grants announced by Governor Lamont earlier this summer.
The event, held at Stamford’s Cummings Park with the Long Island Sound as a backdrop, focused on Stamford’s resilience projects which received approximately $1.3M – two focused on flood resilience, and the third on a neighborhood-level heat plan for the City.
With the impacts of climate change already impacting Connecticut and expected to get worse, the event took place near the site of one of the flood resilience projects awarded a grant. The project, granted $481,125, will identify ways to reduce stormwater flooding in the Cummings Pond watershed, including the Cove and East Side neighborhoods, and develop initial designs for those measures.
“The impacts of climate change here in Connecticut have been deeply felt this summer, as recently as this week, from destructive rains and extreme flooding, to extreme heat and wildfire smoke,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “With grants to support 21 innovative climate resilience plans and projects across 17 Connecticut municipalities and councils of governments, we are partnering with communities to become more resilient and help propel them to the front of the line for federal resilience construction grants.”
“We are grateful to Commissioner Dykes and Governor Lamont for this important funding,” said Mayor Caroline Simmons. “As a coastal city, Stamford is acutely aware of the impacts of climate change, and my administration is committed to creating a more resilient and sustainable community now and in the future, which is why I signed an Executive Order on Climate Change earlier this year. The funding for these three projects helps further these goals and I’m grateful for the state’s partnership and focus on supporting municipalities across Connecticut as we work to become a more green and resilient state.”
Another Stamford project will evaluate flooding issues in the Toilsome Brook watershed and develop recommendations, including “daylighting,” or physically uncovering and restoring part of the stream, improving the drainage system, and potentially relocating or elevating buildings and infrastructure. That grant was for $598,125.
DEEP awarded the third grant, for $210,750, to the Downtown, West Side and Waterside neighborhoods. The City will work with residents and neighborhood groups to develop a hyper local extreme heat plan so that residents can stay safe and healthy during future heat events. By 2050, Connecticut could see upwards of 20 additional days each year where the high temperature exceeds 90 degrees.
These projects illustrate the state’s flooding challenges. In partnership with municipalities like Stamford, DEEP’s Climate Resilience Fund statewide is supporting the advancement of 13 resilience projects, nearly all of which deal with flooding, and 8 plans to examine how communities can become more resilient and take advantage of federal infrastructure funding to pay for construction.
DEEP is utilizing these grant funds to catalyze Connecticut’s resilience project pipeline and ensure our communities are competitive for federal resources, which are at historic levels as a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.More information on the DEEP Climate Resilience Fund: DEEP Climate Resilience Fund (ct.gov)