Progress Being Made on Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Projects

HYANNIS – The Cape Cod Conservation District says progress is being made on coastal restoration projects since receiving federal funding in October.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service awarded $10 million for the second phase of the Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project which helps local communities solve pollution threats to critical coastal resources.

In 2010, the NRCS, in partnership with the Cape Cod Conservation District and the Barnstable County Commissioners, began the estimated $30 million project to restore 1,500 acres of degraded salt marsh, improve fish access to 4,200 acres of spawning habitat, and improve water quality for 7,300 acres of shellfish beds over 10 years.

“In shorthand we talk about this being a fairly major comprehensive coastal restoration initiative,” said District Chairman Mark Forest.

The project has a total estimated price tag of around $30 million and includes a total of 76 projects. Construction began on many of the first phase of projects in 2011.

The NRCS provided $6.5 million in funding for Phase I in 2009, with work completed in 2013.

The funding will be used to help with the planning, design and construction of more than a dozen coastal restoration projects across the Cape.

Steve Spear with the Natural Resources Conservation Service said mostly planning and paperwork has been completed over the last 8 months since the funding was awarded.

“We’ve had to sign agreements with all the towns that have projects that are under consideration and unfortunately that stuff takes more time than we’d like,” Spear said.

Spear says just a few agreements remain for the 15 projects slated for this phase of the project.

Spear said the town of Chatham was so ready to go that as soon as the agreement was signed they started construction of the Oyster Pond Furlong stormwater project.

The replacement of the Parkers River Bridge with tidal restoration in Yarmouth is close to completing engineering designs and could begin this winter.

“We have a target of trying to basically have either projects completed or really underway by the fall of 2019,” Spear said. “So it is a pretty ambitious time schedule.”

For more information and a background on the project, go to capecodconservationdistrict.com.

A list of more projects can be found below.

Brewster: Crosby Lane, storm-water runoff and salt marsh restoration project
Mashpee: Shoestring Bay, storm-water runoff project
Mashpee: Santuit River, fish passage and storm-water remediation project
Mashpee: Johns Pond, fish passage improvements
Sandwich: Sandwich Harbor, five storm-water projects
Falmouth: Magansett Harbor, storm-water project
Falmouth: Coonamessett River, fish passage Restoration
Orleans: Barley Neck Rd, storm-water remediation project
Orleans: Pilgrim lake, fish passage improvements
Yarmouth: Parkers River, Bridge replacement, tidal restoration
Yarmouth: Baxter Grist Mill dam, fish passage improvements
Truro: Eagle Neck Creek, salt marsh restoration project
Harwich: Cold Brook, obstruction removal for fish passage and tidal restoration
Barnstable: Upper Marstons Mills River, improve fish passage and habitat
Eastham: Depot Pond fish passage improvements
Bourne: Monument River, fish passage improvements

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