Projects Funded by the MassBays Grant Programs 

Between 2010 and  2016, MassBays awarded almost $500,000 for 31 projects to towns and organizations to conduct projects that identified causes of coastal habitat degradation; developed management plans and recommendations to address coastal water pollution; designed conceptual improvements to stormwater infrastructure, and built local capacity to protect coastal resources including salt marsh, shellfish beds and anadromous fish runs. The projects funded through the MassBays grant programs resulted in recommendations to address priority management issues in Ipswich Bay, Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay.  

Read about the projects and their interesting findings on our Previously Funded Projects page or use the interactive map below.

Healthy Estuaries Grant Program 

The MassBays Healthy Estuaries Grant Program launched in 2015 provides funding and technical assistance to coastal communities from Salisbury to Provincetown for initiatives in Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay. With funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Section 320 of the Clean Water Act, MassBays funds work that will lead to implementation of the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. The final CCMP, due in 2017, will guide MassBays' work through 2023 to address a wide range of environmental issues, and improve ecosystem conditions across the region. 

The Healthy Estuaries Grant Program is a revision of MassBays' previous Research and Planning Grant Program (2010-2014). This grant program fills the funding gap between development of a concept for improving estuarine conditions and its implementation.By directing funding to planning, assessment, and prioritization steps, MassBays can advance well thought-out and resilient restoration and resource management projects. 

Working toward our vision of sustainable estuarine ecosystems that support the life and communities dependent upon then, MassBays grant funds are dedicated to supporting local progress on protecting, restoring, and enhancing estuarine habitats (e.g. seagrass beds, salt marshes, beaches) and informing management efforts to reduce stressors (e.g. wastewater, stormwater, habitat fragmentation).  

MassBays Awards Healthy Estuary Grants

On April 22, 2016, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton announced $97,828 in federal grant money to help towns and organizations improve ecosystem health in Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay. These grants were awarded by the MassBays National Estuary Program through CZM with funding EPA. The grants are being matched by $99,112 in municipal and private contributions and focus on supporting MassBays mission to protect, restore, and enhance the estuarine resources of the region. The following five grants were awarded:

  • Center for Coastal Studies - $31,986 to conduct an extensive assessment of contaminants of emerging concern in Cape Cod Bay estuaries to evaluate ecological health risks and provide a more complete understanding of how land use patterns affect water quality beyond nutrient contamination.
  • MIT Sea Grant College Program - $28,500 to conduct surveys to identify specific river herring habitat preferences and resource use that will inform ongoing restoration efforts to convert cranberry bogs to natural wetland and restore fish passage in Fresh Pond in Plymouth.
  • The Association to Preserve Cape Cod - $15,010 to prioritize restoration projects and identify two top-priority projects to develop for planning and construction, including submission of proposals for funding.
  • Town of Braintree - $16,000 to conduct comprehensive wetland delineation and develop a sediment management plan for the restoration of a fish passage to the 180-acre Great Pond Reservation.
  • Town of Wellfleet - $8,640 to use an existing hydrodynamic tide-height model to assess various culvert configurations for the Mayo Creek Restoration.

For more information, see the EEA Press Release.

Then next round of proposals for the MassBays Healthy Estuaries Grant Program will be solicited in June 2017. We anticipate that eligible projects will be funded for up to 18 months at $8,000 to $35,000 with a required 25% cash or in-kind non-federal match. Up to $150,000 will be distributed in total.

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Contact Information

For questions about the MassBays Grant Programs, contact:

Prassede Vella
Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program
251 Causeway Street, Suite 800
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 626-1217
Prassede.Vella@state.ma.us