EPA Grants to Benefit Local Estuaries, Other Water Sources

BARNSTABLE – Grants ranging from nearly $9,000 to more than $250,000 have been granted to multiple organization from the Environmental Protection Agency through their Southeast New England Program to protect local estuaries and water sources.

SNEP Watershed Grants totaling almost $2 million will aid eleven different projects across both Massachusetts as well as Rhode Island. Work being done locally includes shellfish restoration, nitrogen reduction, and wastewater treatment expansions.

The following is a passage from a press release from the EPA detailing the grants:

Pleasant Bay Alliance: Nitrogen Management in Pleasant Bay $132,178
Pleasant Bay is the largest estuary on Cape Cod. Its waters are an exceptional public resource for fishing, shellfishing and recreation, but are threatened by pollution from septic systems and other sources of nitrogen. This grant will support a partnership among the Towns of Chatham, Orleans, Harwich and Brewster to implement innovative solutions to reduce pollution and ensure clean water for residents and visitors to Cape Cod.

Buzzards Bay Coalition: Multi-Community Collaboration to Reduce Nitrogen in Upper Buzzards Bay $118,275
This grant continues funding to the Buzzards Bay Coalition to lead a large-scale partnership among the Towns of Wareham, Bourne, Plymouth, and Marion, MA, and the Mass. Maritime Academy, to complete engineering and other studies aimed at expanding the capacity and service area of the Wareham wastewater treatment plant. When implemented, this project will have an enormous positive impact on clean water for Buzzards Bay.

Friends of Bass River: Upper Bass River Watershed Restoration $253,779
With this award, a local watershed organization will complete engineering and permitting to reconnect historic cranberry bog wetlands with the riparian system of Cape Cod’s largest river by replacing failed road crossings in Yarmouth, MA. The project will improve both freshwater and estuarine habitat through improved water quality and fish passage restoration.

Mt. Holyoke College: Bioreactors for Nitrogen Removal in Coastal Cranberry Farms $232,352
This project will implement and study the effectiveness of an innovative, low-tech method for reducing nitrogen pollution to coastal waters from cranberry farming operations with installations in Barnstable, MA, and could provide a model for restoring water quality in other degraded areas.

Center for Coastal Studies: Ecosystem Research Conference for Pleasant Bay $8,984
This grant will support a conference to inform stakeholders about the state of the science on Pleasant Bay, Cape Cod’s largest estuary. This grant dovetails with SNEP Watershed Grants’ support of the Pleasant Bay Alliance, described above.

Mass. Audubon Society: Protecting Salt Marshes $150,000
This grant will fund a variety of science and restoration activities at coastal sanctuaries on Buzzards Bay in Wareham and Dartmouth, MA. The project will improve our understanding of the impacts of sea level rise on salt marshes; implement innovative restoration techniques to address such impacts; and monitor the results of the work.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the CapeCod.com NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.

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