Marstons Mills River Restoration Project Receives $1.6 Million Award For Ecological Restoration

BARNSTABLE – At a recent appearance in Barnstable as part of Climate Week, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper announced the award of over $1.7 million in grant funding to acquire retired cranberry bogs to be restored as functional wetlands, with just over $1.6 million of the award going to the Marstons Mills River Restoration Project.

This is the Cranberry Bog Acquisition for Restoration Program’s first year dispersing grants as part of an effort to preserve the state’s national heritage by working with farmers and landowners to return aged and obsolete cranberry bogs to their natural state in what the state is calling a “green exit strategy”.

State officials and environmentalists say the restorations will increase local climate resilience and improve habitat and water quality in the region.

“Over the course of a year, we’ve witnessed extreme weather – from a tropical storm to catastrophic flooding, to record-breaking temperatures. Climate change is here, and we have to act now,” said Tepper.

“It’s critical to invest in these open space acquisition projects that will ultimately make our communities more resilient,” she said. “Through this program, we’re helping improve habitat and water quality and the recreational opportunities that come with them.”

The Marstons Mills River Ecological Restoration Project will use $1,615,869 to acquire 78 acres of bogs and uplands and restore them to a flowing stream that would act as a natural nitrogen sink and reduce nitrogen transport to the Three Bays Estuary.

The project is a collaboration between the Barnstable Clean Water Coalition, The Nature Conservancy, the Native Lands Conservancy, the EPA, the Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration, and the town itself.

The remainder of the award will go to the Flag Swamp Bog Conservation Project in nearby Dartmouth, which will use $179,745 to protect 43 acres of land by returning another retired cranberry bog to its natural state, with hiking trails added for public recreation.

“The Barnstable Clean Water Coalition is very excited to receive this award and would like to thank all of our partners that assisted us in doing so, including EEA’s Conservation Services Division and The Compact of Cape Cod Land Conservation Trusts,” said Zee Crocker.

“These funds will provide the foundation for ‘game-changing’ water restoration projects on Cape Cod,” he said. “Cranberry bogs helped save Cape Cod economically in the nineteenth century. As restored wetlands, they will help save Cape waters and the environment in the twenty-first century.”


By,Matthew Tomlinson, NewsCenter

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