Press release and summary
On September 3, 2009, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Ian Bowles today announced $167,000 in federal grants to help eight South Coast communities protect and restore Buzzards Bay. Administered by the EEA Office of Coastal Zone Management’s (CZM) Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program, the grants help South Coast and Cape Cod communities to protect and restore water quality and natural resources in Buzzards Bay and its surrounding watershed. The towns will use these grants to protect and restore wetlands habitat and open space, design treatment solutions for stormwater discharges, and restore herring runs. Read the full EEA press release.
The following is a summary of grants awarded:
- The Town of Rochester will receive $20,000 to improve a herring run at Leonards Pond. The town has been working with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, Alewives Anonymous, The Buzzards Bay Coalition, and a private landowner to replace the existing poorly functioning fishway to improve the passage of the fish up into the pond. Leonards Pond provides important spawning habitat for fish traveling up the Sippican River. The town will hire an engineer to produce detailed site plans and construction specifications, and will eventually hire a contractor to remove and replace the fishway.
- The Town of Rochester will also receive $5,000 to pay for appraisals of several large parcels of land totaling 150 acres along Wolf Island Road. The lands are located in the Mattapoisett River Valley Groundwater Protection District, which provides drinking water to the towns of Rochester, Marion, Mattapoisett and Fairhaven. The Mattapoisett River flows through one of the properties and the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program has identified these lands as containing core wildlife and rare species habitat. The town is seeking to purchase the properties’ to protect drinking water supplies and wildlife habitat.
- The Town of Fairhaven will receive $35,000 toward the acquisition of open space at Nasketucket Woods. The town of Fairhaven, in partnership with the Buzzards Bay Coalition, has sought funding to assist with the acquisition and legal costs associated with protecting an 8-acre parcel of land containing important wetlands and wildlife habitat.
- The Town of Westport will receive $20,000 in engineering services to develop designs to treat stormwater discharges from Old County Road to the head of the Westport River. Stormwater collected by more than 30 catch basins along the road, discharges directly to the head of East Branch of the Westport River. The town wants to reduce the volume and treat the stormwater to the river, which is listed as impaired by DEP and the US EPA, and is closed to shellfishing. This stormwater design project will address one of the larger discharges contributing to the shellfish closures there and compliments an early design project funded by the Buzzards bay NEP for the Westport Middle School, completed earlier this year. Once the road designs are complete, the Town will seek grant funds to construct the stormwater treatment systems.
- The Town of Marion will receive $7,500 to complete the required permits for the Grassi Bog wetland restoration project. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) awarded the town a $100,000 grant to restore the Grassi Bog, an abandoned cranberry bog, into a natural wetland system. Restoration activities include rerouting the river from an existing bypass channel to a new channel that will flow through the bog, construction of an emergency spillway to protect the dike that creates the existing 8-acre pond, creation of new spotted turtle habitat, elimination of fish passage impediments, and removal of old roads. NRCS, in consultation with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, designed the restoration project. The town will use the awarded grant funds to prepare the necessary environmental permits for the project.
- The Town of Marion will also receive $3,600 for land surveys and deed searches as part of an effort to protect permanently 14 acres of town owned land near Holmes Woods near Sippican Harbor. The properties are currently unprotected, and require survey plans and deed descriptions to register them at the county deeds office to protect them as open space under Article 97 of the Constitution.
- The Town of Mattapoisett will receive $9,900 to develop engineering plans to restore a 7-acre salt marsh at Pico Beach. The salt marsh, owned in large part by the town, is tidally restricted because of undersized culverts under a road and footpaths. This restriction of tidal flow is reducing salinity of the marsh, killing of native plants and resulting in the invasion of the marsh by non-native invasive species like the Common Reed (known also by its scientific name, Phragmites). These changes have reduced or eliminated wildlife that are dependent on native salt marsh vegetation. The town will hire a consultant to complete engineered design plans for the restoration, as well as all the necessary environmental permitting. The town will seek funding to complete the project later.
- The Town of Bourne will receive $15,000 to evaluate and develop plans to improve the migration of herring and restore salt marsh vegetation in the Bourne Fishway, also known as Dykes Creek. Two culverts restrict salt-water tidal flow, and the town will hire an engineer to complete a survey of the existing fishway and surrounding salt marsh and develop plans to restore the site.
- The Town of Wareham will receive $35,000 to acquire a conservation restriction on 2.5 acres of land bordering Marks Cove in partnership with the Wareham Land Trust. The state’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) has identified this property as Priority Habitat of Rare Species, and protection of this parcel will complete a contiguous corridor of 115 acres of land in this sensitive area
- The Town of Dartmouth will receive $16,000 to pay for the appraisal, survey, and legal work to finalize the donation of a 30-acre conservation restriction to the town. The Town of Dartmouth, working in partnership with the Buzzards Bay Coalition, wants to preserve the property, which abuts existing protected town-owned lands along Dikes Creek in Apponagansett Bay. The land is comprised of salt marsh and upland, and provides wildlife and rare species habitat, and support for roseate and common terns. Protection of this property will help maintain the existing natural habitat buffer along the creek to protect water quality and habitat.
The request for grant proposals is still posted on the state procurement website Comm-Pass (search “Buzzards”). Purpose of the RFR: “The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA), through the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program in the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), announces that funding is available 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 develop designs and remediate stormwater discharges threatening water quality, to provide support for mapping stormwater drainage networks, to construct pump-out facilities, to update town parcel data, to digitize wetland boundaries approved in permits, to assist in the monitoring of water quality to prioritize stormwater remediation, to address problems in migratory fish passage, and to implement other recommendations contained in the watershed management plan for Buzzards Bay. This work is being conducted in accordance with a Cooperative Agreement with the US EPA using federal funds and state funds recently provided by the legislature.”
Read the 2009 grant availability cover letter to the municipalities.
Eligible Respondents to our Grant Programs
Unless otherwise specified in an RFR, eligible municipalities include Fall River, Westport, Dartmouth, New Bedford, Acushnet, Fairhaven, Rochester, Mattapoisett, Marion, Wareham, Middleborough, Carver, Plymouth, Bourne, Falmouth, and Gosnold. However, specific restoration and protection projects must lie principally within the Buzzards Bay watershed. For participation in the stormwater program, the discharge must be contributing to an existing impairment.
Click on the link Other Funding Opportunities for funding opportunities in other agency programs.