14Site ID:SalisburyTown:117.6Acres:PartialRapid Technical Site Assessment:RestrictionFillAgricultureOtherCompleted ProjectHighPriority:
The Town Creek potential restoration site is a large, degraded coastal wetland system in the town of Salisbury. Hundreds of acres of former salt marsh were disconnected from regular tidal flushing of the Merrimack River over 100 years ago when the railroad line was built across the creek and marsh. Today, a small culvert with a flap gate conveys very limited tidal flow into the upstream marsh. The site exhibits many indicators of degradation, including marsh subsidence, poor water quality, and domination by invasive species. In 2006 and 2007 the embankment washed out during severe storm events and caused flooding of Route 1 and adjacent businesses. Subsequently, the town Selectboard decided -- at the urging of business owners along Route 1 -- to seek assistance from state and federal restoration programs to assess habitat restoration and flood mitigation options for the entire Town Creek system. The site is now an active WRP Priority Project sponsored by the city with other restoration partners. The location and elevation of the low-lying Route 1 properties are an important consideration for any restoration actions due to the risk of flooding. CZM-WRP funded data collection and preliminary design work in 2007 and 2008, including topographic data collection, hydrological modeling, and development of conceptual restoration options for increasing base tidal range while improving flood control. The restoration study is being coordinated with efforts by MA Highway and the Town to transform the embankment into a bike path and address chronic flooding problems. CZM-WRP, Salisbury officials, and other project partners are reviewing preliminary study results with the goal of installing new drainage structures during bike path construction in 2009. Restoration potential is considered high due to the large size and severely degraded state of the marsh, the significant flooding problems experienced by abutting property owners, promising results of the hydrologic studies, and explicit support for action expressed by town leaders and residents. See the Rapid Site Assessment for further details.
Site Summary:Under DevelopmentImpact Type(s)StatusPotential Project