Pressley advances $750,000 in community project funding for Island End River Area Flood Resiliency project

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley announced the successful inclusion of $750,000 in federal community project funding for the City of Chelsea’s and City of Everett’s Island End River Regional Coastal Flood Resiliency project.

Congresswoman Pressley visited the Island End on June 2, and voiced her support for the initiative by the two cities to build in flood protection to protect the New England Produce Center – a critical food source for the region.

Funding for the project, which Pressley has been advocating for through Congress’ Community Project Funding initiative, will be used to advance a regional flood resilience plan to protect the cities of Everett and Chelsea. This project would provide critical flood and sea level rise protection for highly populated regions that not only host life-critical food security and energy essential infrastructure but are also prone to coastal flooding and record coastal storms.

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley speaks to officials from Chelsea and Everett during her June 2 visit to the Island End River site.

“As Congress works to advance bold investments in the nation’s infrastructure, environmental justice must be front-and-center, and that means protecting our cities and towns from the ongoing and long-term impacts of climate change. This funding will help Chelsea and Everett, two frontline communities, enhance their climate resiliency and help prevent further climate change-related disaster,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “I thank City Manager Ambrosino, Mayor DeMaria, and all of our advocates for their close partnership throughout this process, and look forward to seeing this important project across the finish line.”

Mayor Carlo DeMaria talks about the importance of Island End for relieving flooding in the New England Produce Center, and also in about two-thirds of the City of Everett.

Said Mayor Carlo DeMaria, “The New England region relies the distribution of fresh produce from warehouse facilities located in Everett and Chelsea, which moved from the Faneuil Hall Marketplace in the 1960s to our Market Street neighborhood,” said Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria. “In addition, we have electric generation facilities, fuel storage facilities, and commuter rail service in the area. All of this area has a history of flooding and will experience more in the future. This will be not only a huge economic disruption, but promises to be a huge environmental catastrophe with sea level rise, increasing and more frequent storm surge.  I commend Ayanna Pressley taking on this enormous and  underappreciated task, because the consequences of doing nothing would be nothing short of disastrous.”

State Sen. Sal DiDomenico also lent his support to the effort between Everett and Chelsea – pointing out that the Produce Center is a critical resource for the region.

GreenRoots Director Roseann Bongiovanni said they were glad to have hosted Pressley last month and were excited that she was able to win the funding for Island End.

“GreenRoots is grateful for the leadership and support of Congresswoman Pressley who has fought for low-income environmental justice communities like Chelsea,” said Bongiovanni. “This is critical funding needed to protect our community from being slammed by yet another crisis – the climate crisis. Residents have worked hard to create public access and green space along the Island End River. Now we need to protect those resources from being drowned by sea level rise and storm surge.”

This project is one of 10 Community Project Funding requests submitted by Pressley to the Appropriations Committee. Information on the status of additional requests will be announced in the coming days. The inclusion of this funding in the FY22 House Homeland Security Appropriations bill is the first step in the funding process, and Pressley will continue fighting for this funding as the bill moves to the full Appropriations Committee, consideration on the House Floor.

Everett and Chelsea officials and organizations joined Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley on June 2 at Island End River on the City Line to talk about the importance of the project to the cities and the region.

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