Key Ecological Restorations Receive Large State Grants

Laughing Gulls in Wellfleet’s Herring River.

WELLFLEET – State officials recently announced the award of $6.4 million in grant funding to support ecological restoration projects promoting climate resilience throughout the state.

While a portion of the funds were used to replace aged or obsolete culverts in the inland portions of the state recently affected by severe flooding, the majority of the funds were directed closer to the coast to preserve and protect vulnerable salt marsh and wetland habitats.

The Town of Wellfleet received $4,400,000 to support construction as part of the Herring River Estuary Restoration, one of the largest tidal estuary restorations ever undertaken in the North Atlantic coastal region.

The Friends of Herring River also received a $600,000 award to aid in the administration of non-construction funding to support the project, such as technical, regulatory, outreach, and coordinating tasks.

The Buzzards Bay Coalition also received $209,987.51 to support the Buzzards Bay Watershed Restoration Partnership, which supports towns, land trusts, and private landowners in the region in their efforts to implement land conservation and climate-resilience projects such as river and stream barrier removal, salt marsh restoration, and wetland restoration on retiring cranberry farms.

“DER rings a ‘whole of government’ approach to restoration – building and supporting partnerships among regional organizations, municipalities, NGOs, and agencies. We believe this is the best way to achieve ecological restoration and community resilience,” said Tom O’Shea, Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game.

“We are proud to see this important ecological restoration work continue with a strong relationship between the Commonwealth and passionate partners throughout the area,” he said.

When completed, the projects will restore the traditional migratory patterns of several marine species and provide a layer of protection amidst increasingly severe weather patterns in the region.

“We are excited to support such a wide array of ecological restoration projects to restore wetlands and rivers throughout the Commonwealth,” said Beth Lambert, Director of the Division of Ecological Restoration. “We look forward to working with our partners to advance restoration statewide.”

To learn more about active ecological restoration projects in the state, click here.

By, Matthew Tomlinson, NewsCenter

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