March 2008 Buzzards Bay Municipal Minigrant Awards
In December 2007, The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program posted a grant notice making available $104,000 of state and federal grants, to assist interested Buzzards Bay watershed municipalities implement recommendations contained in the Buzzards Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. The application deadline was Thursday, January 17, 2007. The request for grant proposals was posted on the state procurement website Comm-Pass and we also posted this pdf version of the ENV08-CZM04 RFR on this website.
There was an excellent response to the RFR, with 14 proposals received that totaled more than $225,000. The grant selection team met and recommended these awards approved by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. The awards were announced on 11 March 2008 and were as follows.
New Bedford - $20,000 for an ongoing project to update the city's Geographic Information System data related to its stormwater and sewer systems. The city will continue to employ college-level engineering interns from UMass-Dartmouth to map stormwater, sewer, and combined sewer overflow systems.
Rochester - $10,000 to complete a perimeter survey plan on 8.7 acres on the Rochester-Marion town line. The survey plan is a key component of the protection strategy for this property, which contains the Hathaway Pond dam, an anadromous fishway, more than 800 feet of frontage on the Sippican River, and more than 300 feet of riverfront on Doggetts Brook. The property abuts about 780 acres of permanently protected lands, including Eastover Farm. The town is partnering with the Rochester Land Trust, Sippican Lands Trust, The Buzzards Bay Coalition and The Trustees of Reservations to protect the property and improve fish passage over the dam.
Marion - $20,700 to perform a perimeter survey plan and legal work necessary to protect 16 acres that also abut Eastover Farm. The property, which contains significant wetlands and habitat, is at risk of being sold for development. The town is partnering with the Trustees of Reservations to acquire and permanently protect this property.
Acushnet - $7,500 to hire a consultant to digitize wetland boundary lines located on parcels in town where the Conservation Commission has considered a permit application during the past five years, allowing the town to provide accurate information on wetland boundaries to homeowners, realtors and developers. The project will also help educate the public on the importance of wetlands. To keep the information current, the Conservation Commission will require that all future site plan submissions be in digital format.
Fairhaven - $18,000 to assist in the creation of a prioritized stormwater capital improvement plan. The town will use this plan to integrate implementation of stormwater Best Management Practices with planned capital improvements, allowing it to better justify stormwater improvements when seeking funding through competitive grants or Town Meeting requests.
The town of Mattapoisett was selected to receive three grants:
- $7,100 to engage the services of a professional engineering firm to pursue federal permitting for the restoration of Eel Pond, a small coastal salt pond at the head of Mattapoisett Harbor. Eel Pond ranks as one of the most eutrophic embayments in Buzzards Bay and the town is involved in a multi-year effort to improve water quality, increase saltwater flows, and restore salt marsh fringing the pond.
- $6,750 to conduct the first phase (engineering feasibility study) of a three-phase plan to restore tidal flow to a 5.6-acre tidally restricted salt marsh. Largely owned by the town, the marsh is suffering reduced tidal flows because of an undersized culvert passing under Pico Beach Road. Reduced saltwater exchange has encouraged growth of the invasive common reed (Phragmites australis) and resulted in significant ponding of freshwater originating from ditches and overland flow.
- $14,429 to hire the Massachusetts Estuaries Project at UMass-Dartmouth to create a linked watershed/embayment model for nitrogen for the Mattapoisett Harbor system. This model will set total maximum daily loads for nitrogen, identify and locate nitrogen sources within the watershed, and predict how future land use changes will affect nitrogen loads and what mitigation measures can be used to maintain water quality and meet water quality standards.
Read the EEA March 11 2008 Press Release for additional information.