Work to Begin Next Year on Coonamessett River Restoration

FALMOUTH – Work will get underway next year summer on the first phase of the Coonamessett River restoration project in Falmouth.

The large scale project will lengthen and make the river more sinuous across three bogs by removing a series of dams.

“It’s restoring the river to a much more natural setting,” said Betsy Gladfelter, a member of the Falmouth Conservation Commission and lead coordinator on the project.

The first phase includes the restoration of lower bog and the removal of lower bog dam. Gladfelter said the work is expected to begin in July and take about six to eight weeks to complete.

The project’s second phase will see the removal of middle dam and the culvert beneath John Parker Road.

“We’re hoping that it will benefit many of the plants and animals in the system, but especially the fish – the alewives, the blueback herring and, it seems like everybody’s favorite, the brook trout,” Gladfelter said.

Gladfelter said the project should help with the area’s nitrogen issues.

“It’ll be restoring the activities of the organisms in the soil to be able to mitigate the nitrogen that comes into the system,” she said.

The project went through a lengthy permitting process that required authorizations from the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Division of Marine Fisheries and other organizations.

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