The Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) was created in July of 2009 with the merger of the Riverways and Wetlands Restoration Programs. DER coordinates ecological restoration to improve habitat for fish and wildlife and to restore important ecosystem services that benefit the quality of life for all Massachusetts citizens.
The Riverways Program has been maintained within the DER and continues to coordinate outreach and technical assistance to support river conservation and protection.
The Division and partners facilitate capital-based projects including (but not limited to) dam removal and culvert replacement with the goal of restoring aquatic habitats and ecosystems across the state. These projects support commercial and recreational fisheries and provide many other benefits such as reduced flooding, improved water quality, and the replacement of aging infrastructure.
Ecological restoration is also an important component of the Commonwealth’s efforts to enhance habitat resiliency to better allow fish and wildlife to adapt to climate change – including sea level rise, elevated water temperatures, and increased floods and periods of drought.
The Division maintains its main office in Boston and has a western office in Westfield on the Campus of Westfield State University.