Watershed Grant Funding Announced in Buzzards Bay

BUZZARDS BAY – The national nonprofit Restore America’s Estuaries working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $4.5 million in Southeast New England Program Watershed Grants.

The awards, which will go to 14 towns, nonprofits, universities, state agencies and regional planning organizations, were announced Monday at Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay.

Congressmen William Keating (D-Bourne) said long-term collaborative solutions will be the most cost effective for the region.

“These aren’t short-term fixes that are here,” Keating said. “We are looking for solutions that when we do the research and start to implement estuary restoration those things are a holistic way to clean up our environment and they last.”

Keating believes the region is a laboratory experiment for the rest of the country

Someone has to step forward and because we have got such intereset represented by everyone here, we are that laboratory experiment,” Keating said. “What we learn here will be transferable, not just within the region but around the country as well.”

Keating believes the research and work done will attract private and commercial investment.

EPA Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn says Cape Cod has a unique chemistry in the ecosystem and the people who make restoration of the area watershed’s their passion and their mission.

Seven of the projects which received grant funding will be conducted in local communities.

The Association to Preserve Cape Cod will receive $300,000 for a Three Bays Stormwater Reduction and Fertilizer Reduction Project.

The Buzzards Bay Coalition will work to reduce nitrogen in Buzzards Bay and was awarded $419,006.

A Cape Cod Commission project to collect and analyze local water for a regional water quality data study received $399,998.

The Falmouth Rod & Gun Club was awarded $450,000 for the Child’s River restoration and cranberry bog restoration project.

Martha’s Vineyard Commission received $250,000 for a permeable reactive barrier for Lagoon Pond.

A regional watershed nitrogen management project for Pleasant Bay was awarded $250,000 to be used by the Pleasant Bay Alliance.

And the Southeast Regional Planning & Economic Development District received $100,000 for analyzing coastal changes and planning for coastal resiliency.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy will participate in the Buzzards Bay Coalition to reduce nitrogen in Buzzards Bay.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy President Admiral Fran McDonald says the grant will help facilitate the growth of the academy.

“Upon a positive outcome we are looking to support the expansion of the Wareham Wastewater Treatment Plant and that will meet the future needs of the academy and even more importantly the current needs of many surrounding communities,” McDonald said.

The academy will provide the support of hundreds of administrators and cadets to reduce the pollution.

“We just couldn’t be more proud of this multi-community approach,” he said. “This SNEP grant offers our students the chance to take what they are learning in the classrooms and laboratories and apply it to a real-world experience.”

The academy will monitor a device located about 1 meter off the bottom of the canal for the Buzzards Bay Coalition. It will log temperatures, salinity, pH and other data about every 15 minutes.

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