State Awards Grants for Habitat Protection and Restoration

COURTESY OF THE BUZZARDS BAY COALITION Amphibians like spotted salamanders lay their eggs in protected vernal pools.

COURTESY OF THE BUZZARDS BAY COALITION

WAREHAM – The state has announced over $210,000 in federal grant funding to help towns in the Buzzards Bay watershed protect important habitat and drinking water resources and provide passage for migratory fish species.

The grants are being matched by more than $114,000 in municipal and private contributions and will focus on permanently protecting or restoring habitat, as well as promoting passive recreation.

“These forward-thinking local projects will ensure the Commonwealth’s native species are being preserved and our drinking water resources are protected,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With this round of grants, our administration continues to focus on assisting Massachusetts land protection and conservation projects like these in Buzzards Bay.”

The grants are being awarded by the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program through the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management with funding from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

“Our administration is dedicated to supporting local efforts to conserve natural resources and enhance outdoor recreation opportunities,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This partnership and funding allows us to provide necessary support for our communities to advance effective local actions that protect important habitats and improve the water quality of Buzzards Bay.”

Seven grants were awarded to six towns including the Town of Wareham, who will receive $35,000 to work with the Buzzards Bay Coalition and Wareham Land Trust, to protect eight acres of land along the Weweantic River.

The town has proposed to use this land for natural resource protection and for trail-based recreation connecting to the existing adjacent trail system along the river, immediately downstream at the Westgate Conservation Area and Fearing Hill Conservation Area.

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