BOSTON (AP) -- Gov. Deval Patrick is set to unveil a series of initiatives he says will help prepare Massachusetts for the challenges posed by climate change on public health, energy, transportation and basic infrastructure.
The plan, which Patrick will detail Tuesday at the New England Aquarium, includes a $40 million grant program by the Department of Energy Resources to help cities and towns harden protections around energy services.
The proposal also calls on the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to conduct a "statewide vulnerability assessment" for all of its facilities and adopt climate adaptation plans by 2015.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation, which operates a number of historic parkways, will conduct a separate assessment to see which of its roadways are vulnerable to flooding and sea level rise.
The plan also includes $1 million in municipal grants to help coastal communities reduce the risk associated with storms and sea level rise.
Patrick said his plan will also help prepare for the effects of climate change on health, including the infrastructure needed to protect clean drinking water and guard against the potential spread of disease.
The plan also calls for the appointment of a state climatologist and a single online "portal" for state resources on climate preparedness.
Patrick said he'll require the Department of Public Utilities to work with utilities to determine ways "to accelerate storm hardening and deploy micro-grids and resiliency projects" to assure the transmission and distribution of energy.
State Energy Secretary Rick Sullivan said recent storms and power outages "serve as a reminder that it is critical we secure our energy grid to endure more extreme weather patterns."
Administration officials say Massachusetts is already feeling the effects of climate change, including five major storms since 2010, a significant rise in Eastern Equine Encephalitis in mosquitoes that led to aerial spraying in 2012, and the 2013 closure of oyster bed for the first time in state history because of vibrio parahaemolyticus.