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February 20, 2024

Pressley Celebrates $750K Delivered for Chelsea & Everett Island End River Project

Federal Dollars Will Help Address Growing Flood Risk for Frontline Communities

Video (YouTube) | Photos (Dropbox)

BOSTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) visited Chelsea City Hall for a roundtable and press conference to celebrate the $750,000 in federal funding she secured for the City of Chelsea’s and City of Everett’s Island End River Coastal Flood Resilience Project. The federal dollars delivered by the Congresswoman will help address the growing flood risk for environmental justice communities in Chelsea and Everett, which are home to critical food distribution and energy infrastructure.

“Our growing climate crisis is a racial, economic, and public health issue that requires bold, intersectional investments to confront it head on,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “With environmental justice communities like Chelsea and Everett at increased risk of flooding and other climate-related disaster, I’m proud to deliver this federal funding to help protect residents from the long-term impact of climate change. I thank City Manager Maltez, Mayor DeMaria, and all of our advocates for their close partnership in bringing this vital project to fruition.”

“The Island End River flood barrier will protect thousands of residents in our communities and billions of dollars in infrastructure,” said Chelsea City Manager Fidel Maltez. “Chelsea has been working hard to close this flood pathway for years now, and the Community Project Funding that Congresswoman Pressley brought to the project has been critical to moving it forward. This is the kind of federal support that will ensure we are ready to meet the challenges climate change will create locally, and that our community is still thriving fifty years from now.” 

“I appreciate Congresswoman Pressley prioritizing the funding needs for this project given all the compelling requests her office receives for earmarks,” said Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria. “I also would like to thank our partners in Chelsea for their collaboration with the shared understanding of the importance of building resiliency against increasing threats of coastal flooding and the risks that our communities would face to public infrastructure and critical economic areas without this important work being done.”

“Environmental justice communities like Chelsea are often finding ourselves on the front lines of the devastating impacts of climate change,” said Chelsea City Council President Norieliz DeJesus. “That is why we are so glad to have partners like Congresswoman Pressley, without whom we could not build infrastructure to shelter our community on this scale. With her support, we are going to protect thousands of residents and billions of dollars of critical infrastructure from catastrophic flooding.”  

“This is an enormous project that has required leadership at every level, from community groups to Congresswoman Pressley,” said Julie Wormser, Senior Policy Advisor for the Mystic River Watershed Association. “We’re so grateful that she and others have stepped up in such a major way to protect residents and our regional food security from increasingly damaging coastal flooding.”  

“The Island End River Project is essential to the region because of the flood protection it provides to critical infrastructure like the New England Produce Center,” said GreenRoots Director of Waterfront and Climate Justice Initiatives John Walke. “But the project also provides an incredible example of how multiple levels of government, sources of funding, non-profit groups and community members can come together to realize transformative projects.”

At Chelsea City Hall, Congresswoman Pressley held a roundtable discussion and press conference with city officials and environmental justice advocates to tout the project’s impact locally. Joining Rep. Pressley at the event were Chelsea City Manager Fidel Maltez; Chelsea City Council President Norieliz DeJesus; Emily Granoff, Senior Planner/Project Manager, City of Chelsea; Ben Cares, Chelsea’s Director of Housing and Community Development; Patrick Johnston, Project Manager, City of Everett; Erin Devaney, Chief of Staff, City of Everett; Julie Wormser, Senior Policy Advisor, Mystic River Watershed Association; Bianca Bowman, Climate Justice Coordinator at GreenRoots; and city officials, advocates, and community members from Chelsea and Everett.

Video from the roundtable and press conference is available here and photos are available here.

Rep. Pressley secured the federal funding for the Island End River Project in the government spending package that passed Congress and was signed into law by President Biden in March 2022. In Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023, Rep. Pressley has secured tens of millions in federal funding for 25 community projects across the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District, capping off years of advocacy by the Congresswoman and local leaders.

  • In January 2024, Rep. Pressley visited Somerville to celebrate the $2.4 million in federal funding she secured to support the community-led transformation of the Clarendon Hill housing community, an ethnically, linguistically and economically diverse neighborhood.
  • In December 2023, Rep. Pressley visited Brighton to celebrate $400,000 she delivered for Amplify Latinx’s ALX Small Business Program.
  • In November 2023, Rep. Pressley visited Roxbury Community College (RCC) to celebrate $1 million in federal community project funding she secured for Northeastern University’s Roxbury Associate’s to Master’s Workforce Accelerator (RA2MWA).
  • In June 2023, Rep. Pressley visited Chelsea to celebrate $2,000,000 in federal community project funding she secured to improve the Broadway Corridor—home to an array of BIPOC-owned small businesses, vibrant public spaces, high frequency public transit routes, and dense residential housing.
  • In April 2023, Rep. Pressley visited Randolph to celebrate $524,000 she secured for Randolph Public Schools to support a mobile library and STEM programming.
  • In March 2023, Rep. Pressley visited Dorchester to celebrate $250,000 in new Community Project Funding she secured for Big Sister Association of Greater Boston’s one-to-one mentoring and enrichment programs for girls.
  • In February 2023, Rep. Pressley visited the African Community Economic Development of New England (ACEDONE) to celebrate the $643,003 in community project funding she secured for ACEDONE to support small businesses in predominately Black, brown and African immigrant communities.
  • In October 2022, Rep. Pressley visited The Dimock Center in Roxbury to celebrate $1 million in federal community project funding she secured to support substance use treatment and programming at the health center. 
  • In August 2022, Rep. Pressley visited Randolph to deliver $275,000 in federal community project funding for culturally responsive resources and digital literacy tools for Randolph Public Schools.
  • In June 2022, Rep. Pressley visited the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology to deliver $300,000 in direct federal funding for the development of a Clean Energy Building Automation Systems certificate and associate degree program.
  • In May 2022, she visited Bunker Hill Community College to celebrate the $1,000,000 in federal community project funding she secured to expand the City of Boston’s Tuition-Free Community College program.
  • In April 2022, she visited Randolph to deliver $1,000,000 in federal community project funding for a new school-based community health center at Randolph High School. 
  • In March 2022, she visited La Colaborativa in Chelsea to celebrate the $300,000 in federal community project funding that she delivered for La Colaborativa’s COVID Employment Recovery Program.