Lowell Claypit Brook Climate Resilience Stormwater Management Capital Improvement Plan

The City of Lowell invites your feedback for the Claypit Brook Climate Resilience Stormwater Management Capital Improvement Plan

The purpose of this plan is to identify a suite of strategies to address the intense flooding that has been experienced in the Pawtucketville neighborhood. This project aims to enhance the resilience of the community to climate change impacts and is funded by an MVP Action Grant. We want to hear from you!

Take these quick steps:

  1. Check out our fact sheets in EnglishEspañolPortuguês, ភាសាខ្មែរ 
  2. Watch a recording of the June 16th public meeting at right
  3. Click here to share a question or a comment with the project team
  4. Keep the conversation going online using the hashtag #ResilientLowell
  5. Stay tuned for future project updates!
Stream assessment March 2021

Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Grant Program

In 2017, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) initiated the Commonwealth’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) grant program to help communities plan for climate change and take action toward adapting for future impacts. The program includes two parts: 

  1. MVP DiagramMVP Planning Grants: Identify hazards, vulnerabilities and strengths, and priority action items
  2. MVP Action Grants: Implement priority adaptation actions identified during the planning process

In 2019, the City of Lowell received an MVP Planning Grant, which it used to also update its Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) through a combined process. The HMP is part of a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program that identifies risks and vulnerabilities and develops resiliency strategies to prepare for future hazards. After completing the plan, Lowell applied for and received MVP Action Grant funding to implement priority strategies related to culvert and drainage improvements.

Climate Resilience Stormwater Management Capital Improvement Plan

Lowell is impacted by flooding from extreme precipitation, which is expected to worsen with climate change. Throughout Lowell’s MVP Planning process, flooding was a frequently cited hazard of concern and the stormwater system was identified as a vulnerable local feature. 

Stormwater Diagram

Stormwater is rain or snow melt that:

  • soaks into the soil and recharges groundwater
  • naturally drains into waterbodies
  • is conveyed through a series of pipes until it is discharged into a nearby waterbody.

Stormwater flooding is particularly prevalent in:

  • areas with poor drainage
  • areas with large amounts of impervious surfaces
  • areas with undersized culverts

Because rainfall events are becoming increasingly intense due to climate change, much of the stormwater infrastructure designed decades ago is now undersized, including culverts.

What are we doing about it?

2006 Flood in Pawtucketville 1Chronic stormwater flooding caused by drainage deficiencies plagues Pawtucketville, an Environmental Justice neighborhood near Claypit Brook. The proposed plan will comprehensively assess the watershed’s drainage, culvert conditions and known flooding conditions. The project team will then:

  • complete preliminary design of the highly vulnerable Stockbridge Avenue culvert
  • identify nature-based solutions to supply drainage to handle future extreme precipitation events in the Claypit Brook Watershed.

Your input on this project is essential!