Buzzards Bay Coalition Stresses Importance of Forests on Health of Ecosystem

NEW BEDFORD – Unlike other estuaries along the East Coast, Buzzards Bay has large areas of dense, healthy forests covering land surrounding the water.

The forests are one of the keys to the bay’s relatively good health and protecting them will help ensure clean water for future generations.

The clean water and thriving fish and wildlife populations are possible because the forests act as natural filters.

The forests capture rainfall and filer out nitrogen and other pollution, keep soil in place to prevent erosion, keep air clean and cool, shade cold water streams and provide habitat for wildlife.

According to a most recent analysis of the area in 2015 by the Woods Hole Research Center, 77 percent of the Buzzards Bay watershed is covered with forests.

That percentage is much higher than other east coast estuary systems including Chesapeake Bay’s 57 percent and Naragansett Bay’s 40 percent.

Only 27 percent of the Buzzards Bay watershed is permanently protected which leaves half of the area unprotected from development.

The Buzzards Bay Coalition continues to work to increase the amount of land protected every year. The organization has set a goal to protect another 27,000 acres of land around Buzzards Bay in the next 30 years.

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