May 2022

TownGreen and Partners Awarded a Department of Energy Technical Assistance Grant to Study Waste to Energy on Cape Ann

PLUS Potential Funds for More Climate Studies on Cape Ann

Breaking News: U.S. Department of Energy Waste-to-Energy Technical Assistance Awarded to Cape Ann

TownGreen, its Cape Ann municipal partners, and Harvard University Graduate School of Design’s Future of the American City initiative achieved a major breakthrough this past week. Due to the diligent work of TownGreen board member and Manchester-by-the-Sea Town Administrator Greg Federspiel and TownGreen Advisory Board member Valerie Nelson, the Cape Ann region has been accepted into the U.S. Department of Energy’s technical assistance program for 2022. DOE engineers will assist the four municipalities in a review and evaluation of emerging technologies for the conversion of wastewater and other organics into energy and an analysis of the feasibility of a waste-to-energy facility on Cape Ann.

The City of Gloucester will soon need to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant and could feasibly incorporate energy recovery into the wastewater plant design. Manchester-by-the-Sea, Rockport, and Essex also have challenges with wastewater and solid waste management. Officials from the four municipalities have started to discuss regional alternatives, including collaboration on waste-to-energy conversion efforts. The technical assistance from DOE’s National Renewable Energy Lab engineers will be a game changer.

Bruce Tarr Secures Adoption of $200,000 Appropriation Request in Just-passed MA State Senate budget

Senator Bruce Tarr secured the adoption of a proposed $200,000 Confronting the Challenges of Climate Change Amendment in the Massachusetts Senate budget. The Massachusetts House and Senate will next enter negotiations on the final budget in the Conference Committee. We are hopeful that Senator Tarr and Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante will succeed in including this amendment in the final bill that will go to Governor Baker for approval.

The appropriation request will further the efforts of TownGreen, the Cape Ann municipalities, and Harvard Graduate School of Design to study pilot designs for the ecological restoration of Cape Ann’s interconnected ecosystems: marshes, eelgrass beds, wetlands, rivers, upland forests, vernal ponds, farms, and urban green infrastructure. Goals include restoring the health of degraded landscapes and habitat and enhancing properly-functioning natural systems, looking at carbon sequestration, biodiversity, storm and flooding protection, job creation, cooling in dense neighborhoods, local food supplies, recreational spaces, psychological and spiritual well-being, and other benefits that natural systems provide.

Work on this study would begin in September 2022 if the amendment is approved. Many thanks to Senator Bruce Tarr and his team, Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, City of Gloucester Mayor Greg Verga, and Manchester-by-the-Sea Town Administrator Greg Federspiel.

Confronting the Challenges of Climate Change is a collaborative effort of TownGreen, Inc., the four Cape Ann municipalities, and Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Senator Markey Submits Cape Ann’s Request for $500,000 to the U.S. Senate Commerce Appropriations Subcommittee

Senator Edward Markey confirmed last week that his office submitted Cape Ann’s request for $500,000 to the Senate Commerce Appropriations Subcommittee, along with other projects for Congressionally Directed Spending. We’re optimistic that when the U.S. Senate approves the FY23 Appropriations Bill sometime this year, our project will be included and incorporated in a consolidated bill of House and Senate proposals.

The Building Local Capacity project, which would start in September 2023, would look at managing extreme weather events and develop new methods and tools for prevention and management of the devastating impacts of a hurricane and other climate-related threats. The need for these tools emerged from the year-long research and outreach effort by TownGreen, Cape Ann municipalities, and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

The Building Local Capacity project would include the development of risk scenarios, planning for emergency management, assessment of post-storm rebuilding and recovery alternatives, analysis of financial trajectories, and development of broad community support for action.

For more information on these proposals or to get involved, contact:
Greg Federspiel:
Valerie Nelson: