Mattapoisett Land Trust
The Baker-Polito Administration recently announced $110,640 in federally funded grant awards for projects seeking to protect water quality and habitat in the Buzzards Bay watershed. The three grants, which are being matched by over $194,000 in private contributions and state grants, are awarded by the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program (NEP) through the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Southeast New England Program.
“Protecting coastal habitat and water quality is a key priority of the Baker-Polito Administration, and will greatly benefit the region for years to come,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Through these grants, the Buzzards Bay NEP helps to bring state and federal resources to local efforts to proactively protect the environmental resources of the Buzzards Bay watershed.”
“Congratulations to everyone involved in permanently preserving these land areas to ensure they continue to protect habitat and water quality in the region,” said CZM Director Lisa Berry Engler. “CZM is proud to support the Buzzards Bay NEP, the communities, and all of their partners in these tremendous efforts.”
The following municipalities were awarded grants:
- The Town of Mattapoisett will receive $45,000 to work with its partner, the Mattapoisett Land Trust, to purchase and permanently protect a forested 4-acre parcel of riverfront land. The property is located on the west bank of the Mattapoisett River and contains important state-designated habitat, including habitat for rare species. The property lies across the street from the state-owned Nasketucket Bay State Reservation. Protection of this parcel is part of a larger conservation effort by the Mattapoisett Land Trust to conserve the entire west bank of the Mattapoisett River from Route 6 south to the multi-use path. The Mattapoisett Land Trust intends to create a trail system and small parking area on the property to allow for public access to the property and river.
- The Town of Carver will receive $45,000 to work with its partner, the Buzzards Bay Coalition, to purchase and permanently protect 28 acres of undeveloped forest land on the southern side of the 600+ acre Great South Meadow Cedar Swamp on Mayflower Road in Caver. The property contains important state-designated habitat and lies over the Plymouth/Carver Sole Source Aquifer. The project will protect the ecological resources associated with a large and significant Atlantic White Cedar stand, as well as protect the headwaters source for multiple small tributary streams that form the upper reaches of the Weweantic River. In addition, acquisition of the property will provide a long sought after gateway access to the Great Cedar Swamp.
- The Town of Rochester will receive $20,640 to work with its partners, the Buzzards Bay Coalition and Rochester Land Trust, to purchase a conservation restriction that will permanently protect 20.5 acres along Doggett Brook, a principal tributary of the Sippican River. The project is part of a larger effort to protect a 58-acre undeveloped farmland parcel along a principal road to the central village area of Rochester. The property contains important state-designated habitat, including habitat for rare species. The conservation restriction will remove the current agricultural use from within 300 feet of Doggett Brook, and this area will be restored to enhance its ecological functions. In addition, a small roadside gravel parking area and a walking trail will be developed.
“National Estuary Programs create strong local partnerships that directly support resilient ecosystems and safe and healthy waters,” said Congressman Bill Keating (D- 9th District). “Federal funding of these programs aids municipalities and organizations in tackling difficult water quality and habitat degradation issues, and I have made it an important priority to support these efforts.”
“Buzzards Bay communities continue to show strong interest in protecting sensitive habitat and drinking water supplies in the watershed,” said Buzzards Bay NEP Executive Director Joe Costa. “We appreciate all of the work the Buzzards Bay Coalition and watershed towns have done to get these projects off the ground, as well as the state-federal partnership that makes this funding a reality.”
“I am thrilled that the South Coast’s precious natural resources and unique habitats, such as Doggett Brook in Rochester, continue to get the support they need to be protected,” said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways & Means. “Thank you to the Town of Rochester, the Rochester Land Trust, the Buzzards Bay Coalition, the Baker-Polito Administration, and all agencies and advocates who are working to preserve these vital resources.”
“The conservation of valuable watershed areas throughout Buzzards Bay is critical for our environment and efforts to combat climate change,” said Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford), who led the Buzzards Bay Oil Spill Commission following the devastating 2003 Bouchard oil spill. “This grant will help Mattapoisett continue these efforts while providing an enriching trail system and public access for residents and families to enjoy.”
“This grant funding is excellent news for the town of Carver. I know how important protecting our natural resources is to the citizens of the town. Any time we get the opportunity to protect our most valuable resources and expand access, it is a great achievement. Thanks again to the Buzzards Bay Coalition for their partnership,” said Representative Susan Gifford (R-Wareham).
The Office of Coastal Zone Management is EEA’s lead policy and planning agency on coastal and ocean issues. Created in 1985, the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program provides grants and technical assistance to Buzzards Bay watershed communities to protect and restore water quality and natural resources in Buzzards Bay and its surrounding watershed and is one of 28 similar programs designated by the EPA.