$110,500 Awarded in Buzzards Bay Mini-grants.
Ceremony held at Hens Cove, Bourne on Buzzards Bay
This summer, the Buzzards Bay NEP made available some of its federal funds to assist eligible Buzzards Bay watershed municipalities in the protection of open space, rare and endangered species habitat, and freshwater and saltwater wetlands; to help restore tidally restricted salt marshes; to purchase oil spill containment equipment; to restore fish runs; and to remediate stormwater discharges threatening water quality.
On October 5, 2004 the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs held a ceremony on Buzzards Bay to celebrate both the Buzzards Bay NEP’s mini-grants and Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management’s Coastal Pollution Remediation Program grant awards, and to announce EEA’s new Coastal WEB initiative. The Coastal WEB initiative is EEA’s vision for healthy estuaries throughout the Commonwealth, to help ensure productive marine and wetland ecosystems and fishable, swimmable bays and beaches. The goal of the initiative is to restore, preserve and protect Massachusetts’ Wetlands, Estuaries and Beaches.
In September, the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program, a planning and technical assistance unit of Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management, awarded $110,500 of its federal funds, to assist interested Buzzards Bay watershed municipalities to address various environmental issues including protecting freshwater wetlands, restoring herring runs, and treating stormwater to protect shellfish bed habitat. Municipalities receiving grants include the Towns of Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, Marion, Plymouth, Rochester, and Westport. The Projects were as follows:
- The Town of Fairhaven received a grant for $15,000 to purchase oil spill remediation materials and equipment. The town will act as a central purchasing agent to obtain equipment for itself and for oil spill coordinators in other participating Buzzards Bay municipalities including Westport, Dartmouth, New Bedford, Mattapoisett, Marion, Wareham, Bourne, and Falmouth. Later in the Fall, the Buzzards Bay NEP will fund oil spill response training for municipal oil spill coordinators.
- The Town of Plymouth received $15,000 to remove and replace a partially crushed metal culvert at the northern end of Halfway Pond that connects a bordering vegetated wetland to the pond. The town will also implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) at the intersection of Mast Road and the Agawam River to remediate a sediment plume and channelization problems being created by stormwater runoff. Stormwater will be directed into a rain-garden to remove suspended solids prior to being discharged into the Agawam River.
- The Town of Marion received a grant for $20,000 for a Low Impact Development (LID) stormwater remediation project. The town will install 4 bio-filters, and the necessary drainage and pretreatment structures to treat the first flush of pollutants from the Marion Village 5-acre watershed prior to discharging it into Sippican Harbor. The existing storm water discharges adversely impacts shellfish beds and a public swimming area.
- The Town of Marion received a second grant for $8,000 for the purposes of acquiring two appraisals and performing a title search on the Marion portion of the 780-acre Eastover Farm, which straddles the towns of Marion and Rochester. The Marion Open Space Acquisition Commission will purchase 238 acres of land as permanently protected open space. Two appraisals are required in order to apply for a Division of Conservation Services Open Space Land Acquisition Grant Application, which the town is in the process of doing.
- The Town of Rochester ($20,000), in partnership with the Towns of Mattapoisett ($11,000) and Fairhaven ($11,000), received a total of $42,000 to purchase a conservation restriction on approximately 164 acres of land located within the primary recharge area for a regional municipal drinking water supply. The parcels to be protected include mature pine and oak forests, floodplain wetlands, vernal pools, meadows and will be protected in perpetuity through a conservation restriction to be held by the Rochester Conservation Commission and the non-profit Wildlands Trust of Southeastern Massachusetts.
- The Town of Westport received $10,000 to replace a collapsing culvert under River Road, which is impeding herring passage into Cockeast Pond.