Town of Andover Receives Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Action Grant to Advance Flood Mitigation Planning Along Shawsheen River

August 30, 2023


ANDOVER, MA - The Healey-Driscoll administration announced this week that the Town of Andover has been awarded a grant for $81,900 through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program.


The MVP Action Grant will enable the Town to advance the design of a flood resilience project at the Lower Shawsheen Soccer Field, a priority site identified through previous MVP-funded planning efforts completed by the Town in recent years. Additionally, the grant will support further evaluation of the potential acquisition of properties along the Shawsheen for future floodplain reconnection or restoration projects.


The award marks the third consecutive year that the Town of Andover has received funding through the MVP Program, a state initiative established to provide support to communities in preparing for the impacts of climate change and mitigating damage from extreme weather events.


The Town of Andover initiated its participation in the program in 2018 when it applied for and received an MVP Planning Grant. The grant enabled the Town to host a series of Community Resilience Building (CRB) workshops in 2019 to assess current vulnerabilities and opportunities for addressing climate-related risks in Andover.


The top recommendation for improved climate resilience identified through this planning exercise was undertaking “a strategic program of land acquisition and adaption along waterways to provide flood storage and reduce impacts of larger storm events and increase runoff.”   


The full findings of the vulnerability assessment process are detailed in the Andover Community Resilience Building report published in June 2019. The completion of the process allowed Andover to become designated as an MVP community and to be eligible for Action Grant funding.


In 2021, the Town was awarded an MVP Action Grant of $131,700, which funded an assessment of properties along the Shawsheen River to identify and prioritize parcels for future land acquisition with the goal of increasing climate and flood resilience. The assessment focused on properties that could provide flooding relief to flood-prone areas in downtown Andover, as well as downstream sections of Lawrence.


Last year, Andover was awarded $271,705 through the program to expand upon the findings of the previous year’s assessment and to quantifying the flood mitigation benefits gained from the potential implementation of flood storage and/or restoration projects on several of the top-prioritized parcels. The project used hydrologic and hydraulic (H&H) modeling to evaluate existing and projected future flooding conditions along the Shawsheen.


The FY24 MVP Action Grant project aims to build upon previous years' efforts by using H&H modeling outcomes and conceptual visioning to progress the design of a flood storage or nature-based restoration project at the Lower Shawsheen Soccer Field. This project, identified as a high-priority site in previous years, will develop a preliminary engineering design plan, including updated field data collection and modifications to the Shawsheen River hydraulic model for assessing flood mitigation effects.


The grant will also enable the Town to further assess the feasibility of acquiring private parcels along the Shawsheen, previously identified as conducive for flood storage or nature-based restoration projects. This effort is anticipated to entail sharing previous flood modeling findings with landowners, seeking willing sellers, and contemplating right-to-purchase agreements, contingent on the availability of Town funding in the future.


“The intense rainfall experienced in Andover and across the region in recent weeks underscores the increasing vulnerability that our communities face as a result of climate change, particularly in the form of flooding,” said Director of Sustainability Joyce-Losick Yang. “We are grateful for the funding we have received through the MVP Program, which has enabled the Town of Andover to take proactive steps towards enhancing our resilience. This year’s MVP Action Grant award will empower Andover to take another significant stride in our ongoing commitment to mitigating climate risks by advancing flood resilience design at Lower Shawsheen Field and exploring potential acquisition of properties along the Shawsheen for future floodplain restoration.”


Information about work performed by the Town of Andover through MVP Action Grants can be found online at


2023 MVP Action Grant awards were announced at a ceremony held in Stockbridge on Wednesday, August 30. The Town of Andover was among 75 entities across Massachusetts to receive funding through the program this year. A total of $28.5 was awarded to grant recipients.


"We have an unprecedented opportunity to position Massachusetts as a global leader in climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the MVP program is an important piece of our strategy," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper. "The Healey-Driscoll Administration is glad to support our local communities with funding for innovative climate resilience projects that center environmental justice and nature-based solutions."