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Environmental Affairs Announces Citizen Monitoring Grants
February 24, 1997
The Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) announced grant awards today totaling $46,426 under the Citizen Monitoring Grants Program. The eleven grant recipients are non-profit organizations or municipalities that organize volunteers to collect water samples in coastal waters to test for bacteria and pollutants. These grant recipients are: Parker River Clean Water Association in Newburyport, Ipswich River Watershed Association, Salem Sound 2000, Saugus River Watershed Council in Revere, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay in Boston, Jones River Watershed Association in Kingston, Westport River Watershed Alliance, Coalition for Buzzards Bay in Wareham, Falmouth Pond Watchers, Orleans Water Quality Task Force, and Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown. These groups will receive up to $5,000 for the purchase of field and laboratory equipment and supplies, as well as for volunteer training.
"Citizen monitoring groups are critical for helping the state keep an eye on the quality of our coastal waters," said EOEA Secretary Trudy Coxe. "The people involved with these groups should be commended for their commitment to healthy waters and we are glad to provide them with direct support through the grant program."
The state legislature appropriated funds to EOEA for the establishment of a marine monitoring program. In recognition of the importance of citizen monitoring groups, Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management (MCZM), which is implementing the program, will focus a significant portion of the marine monitoring funds to support and expand the efforts of citizen monitoring groups.
"Citizen monitors provide a unique service to coastal communities and the state by overseeing our coastal waters on a continual basis," emphasized Peg Brady, MCZM Director. "As the projects funded by the Citizen Monitoring Grants Program show, they educate their communities about the importance of clean waters to resources such as shellfish beds, while supplementing the data collected by state agencies."
For example, the Center for Coastal Studies received a grant to implement a stormwater monitoring program, while also enhancing their current groundwater monitoring efforts. The funds will be used to train volunteers in collecting stormwater samples. In addition, a pump will be purchased to more accurately extract samples from their groundwater monitoring wells. The resulting data from this project will identify the major contributing areas for pollution that is currently keeping shellfishing areas closed.
"It really means a lot to our volunteers that the state values their time and effort to understanding and protecting our coastal waters and resources," said Peter Borrelli, Executive Director at the Center for Coastal Studies.
In one example of cooperation between local groups and the state, the Jones River Watershed Association will use a grant to expand its monitoring program of bacterial loading sites identified by the Division of Marine Fisheries. Twenty-one sites will be studied over the next year and the grant will pay for a laboratory to analyze the samples for bacteria concentrations. The group's goal is to identify problems so that solutions can be developed that will lead to the opening of closed shellfish beds.
Deborah McKie, Executive Director of the Jones River Watershed Association, states, "We look forward to working with the state as well as other monitoring groups on a more coordinated citizen monitoring effort for the restoration and protection of important marine resources."
The Citizen Monitoring Grants are just one piece of the marine monitoring program. MCZM is developing specific monitoring projects around the coast to identify particular areas of pollution concern. If you are interested in learning more about the state marine monitoring program, contact Christian Krahforst, MCZM Marine Scientist, at (617) 727-9530, ext. 415.
CITIZEN MONITORING GRANT RECIPIENTS AND PROJECTS
1) Parker River Clean Water Association, Newburyport - $1,505
2) Ipswich River Watershed Association, Ipswich - $5,000
3) Salem Sound 2000, Salem - $4,938
4) Saugus River Watershed Council, Revere - $2,102
5) Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, Boston - $4,000
6) Jones River Watershed Association, Kingston - $5,000
7) Westport River Watershed Alliance, Westport - $5,000
8) Coalition for Buzzards Bay, Wareham - $5,000
.9) Falmouth Pond Watchers, Falmouth - $5,000
10) Orleans Water Quality Task Force - $4,124
11) Center for Coastal Studies - $4,667