Making Space for Climate Resilience- A Capacity Assessment for the Town of Mansfield, MA

The town of Mansfield, MA, a growing suburb between Boston and Providence, has recently benefited from an influx of young residents and initiatives led by many local agencies to maintain healthy watersheds and preserve natural spaces. Over the past five years, the Town of Mansfield has launched an ambitious portfolio of conservation and climate-focused projects– from stormwater management upgrades and water quality measures to trail stewardship and public education.

After participating in the Massachusetts Vulnerability Planning Workshop, the Town of Mansfield came across an opportunity to advance their efforts with the Southeast New England Network (SNEP Network). In 2021, The Town of Mansfield applied for and was awarded free technical assistance from the SNEP Network to undertake an organizational capacity assessment.

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Bylaw review training helps communities build local climate resilience

SNEP Network Bylaw Training Workshop, Middleboro, MA
Photo Credit: Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD)

SNEP Network Partners, Mass Audubon, Cape Cod Commission, SRPEDD, and the Blackstone Watershed Collaborative along with partnering organizations, including Mass Rivers Alliance, have developed a comprehensive curriculum program to improve community climate resilience in Massachusetts. 

The “Building Community Resilience Through Local Regulations” curriculum guides a user through different components of improving climate resilience through local regulations that support nature-based climate solutions, like low-impact development or LID. The curriculum highlights the bylaw review tool which is designed to help communities assess local regulations with a conservation lens. 

The bylaw review tool can help municipalities reduce the negative impacts of climate change by guiding municipalities in comparing what is on the books with current best practices and identify opportunities to create change. The tool was recently featured in the American Planning Association (APA) MA Newsletter! Check out the full article! (Page 16) 

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EPA's BMP Accounting and Tracking Tool (BATT) Tutorials on the SNEP Network Website!

The University of New Hampshire (UNH)- Stormwater Center, a SNEP Network Parnter, along with EPA Region 1, Paradigm, and the Consensus Building Institute worked together to develop training tutorials that help support municipalities in using EPA’s BMP Accounting and Tracking Tool (BATT). 
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Upcoming Events

Watershed Scale Climate Collaboration Conference

Registration is now open for the Watershed Scale Climate Collaboration Conference on May 3rd at Clark University in Worcester! This event is being organized by the Mass Ecosystem Climate Adaptation Network and partners from watershed collaboratives across the state, with support from the Barr Foundation. This conference is designed to elevate the importance of watershed-scale collaboration for climate change adaptation, amplify existing efforts by the amazing collaboratives across the state, build community among practitioners, and grow our capacity to accomplish this work together. Register here.

Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Maintenance Trainings

The Stormwater Innovation Center (SIC) presents a series of stormwater and green infrastructure maintenance trainings this spring! The trainings will be provided in three installments. The intended audience of the trainings is professionals who directly supervise stormwater/green infrastructure maintenance crews or staff. Each training session has a capacity of 25 attendees. Register here. 

Recordings and Materials: Past SNEP Network Webinars

Emerging Stormwater Technologies in Rhode Island: Focalpoint
This Stormwater Innovation Center and SNEP Network webinar provided an overview on the design, implementation, and maintenance of FocalPoint stormwater systems. FocalPoint is an on-line stormwater BMP that utilizes regionally acceptable vegetation planted in a high-flow rate biofiltration media layer that treats stormwater pollutants such as total suspended solids (TSS), nutrients, metals and bacteria. 

Balancing Housing Needs with Clean Water
On March 1st, 2023  the SNEP Network held a webinar titled “Balancing Housing Needs with Clean Water” which explored approaches utilized in Rhode Island to support growth and housing density while also protecting water resources. 

Funding Water Quality Restoration and Climate Resilience Projects in Rhode Island
On March 15th, the SNEP Network held a grant funding workshop that introduced Rhode Island communities to key funding opportunities. After hearing presentations, participants were able to talk directly to funding agency representatives about their projects. The workshop featured a welcome address by US Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island. 

Funding Nature Based Community Resilience in Southeastern Massachusetts
The SNEP Network held a 2-part workshop series that featured a keynote presentation, a panel discussion on how to navigate nature based resilience funding opportunities, and a networking event with representatives from participating funding programs. 

About the SNEP Network 
The Southeast New England Program Network is a collaborative group of 16 partner organizations with expertise in financing and stormwater/watershed management practices. The SNEP Network provides free training and assistance to municipalities, organizations, and tribes in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts.
The SNEP Network, a project of the New England Environmental Finance Center, is funded by the USA EPA through its Southeast New England Program.
Our mailing address is:
New England Environmental Finance Center
University of Southern Maine Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service
34 Bedford Street, PO Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104

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