Buzzards Bay NEP Spring 2007 Municipal Grant Awards
Background and Summary
The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program awarded $98,000 in grants to five Buzzards Bay watershed municipalities in their efforts to protect and restore Buzzards Bay. The grants will help the municipalities test, map and treat stormwater discharges; protect and restore wetlands and habitat, and safeguard open space.
“We are pleased to award another round of grants so soon after our January grant round” said Dr. Joe Costa, director of the NEP, a planning and technical assistance unit within CZM. “Despite the challenges of rapid growth and tight budgets, Buzzards Bay communities continue to develop creative ideas to protect or restore the environment.”
The NEP grants and in-kind support include:
Rochester – $25,000 for the Church Family Property Land Preservation Project, which will permanently protect a 20.8-acre parcel of land on Marion Road (Route 105), a designated Scenic Highway. The town will partner with the non-profit Rochester Land Trust to acquire the property at the bargain price of $100,000. The land trust will hold title to the property, which will be open to the public. Located within the Sippican River watershed, the area includes dense mature pine and oak forests, wetlands, and significant wildlife habitat, and is close to other permanently protected properties.
Bourne – $16,000 for the Head of the Bay Stormwater Pollution Identification project, a collaborative effort between the towns of Bourne, Wareham, and Marion to conduct detailed water quality sampling of 20 high priority stormwater discharges. With a goal of reopening closed shellfish beds, data collected from this project will be used to prioritize these discharges, in order to target funds for future remediation. The three towns have partnered with The Buzzards Bay Coalition, which will serve as the principal contractor, providing all project management, field sampling, analysis lab coordination, data compilation, and final presentation.
The town of Bourne will also receive $15,305 for the second phase of a Culvert Replacement Feasibility study for Conservation Pond along the shores of Hen Cove. This project is evaluating the feasibility of installing a larger culvert under Circuit Avenue at Conservation Pond. Phase one of the project was funded by the NEP through a $17,000 mini-grant in January. The tidal pond currently connects to Hen Cove via an 18-inch wide, 50-foot long corrugated steel culvert. The culvert’s small size, elevation, and regular blockage severely restrict tidal flow to the pond.
New Bedford – $20,000 to continue mapping stormwater drainage networks as part of an update of the city’s GIS data of stormwater and sewer systems. The NEP awarded New Bedford $10,000 in January to initiate this project, which involves field work and computer mapping performed by UMass/Dartmouth engineering interns.
Marion – $22,000 for the Washburn Park Wetland Restoration and Creation project. The municipality seeks to remove fill from a wetland and create additional wetlands on a property that is being purchased by the town for permanent conservation. The grant will also help fund two appraisals required by the state Division of Conservation Services’ Self-Help Grant Program. The town intends to apply for Self-Help funds to assist in the acquisition and protection of the property. The non-profit Sippican Lands Trust has partnered with the town and will hold title to the property until the town completes the transfer.
In addition to the grants announced today, the town of Mattapoisett will receive in-kind support to map stormwater drainage systems in some new subdivisions not mapped in previous stormwater system mapping efforts. Due to its limited nature, the NEP agreed to undertake the proposed work at no cost to the town.
Spring 2007 Buzzards Bay Watershed Municipal Mini-Grant Solicitation
The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program had allocated $123,000 of 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, May 10, 2007.
From the RFR: “The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), 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.”