Through a series of desktop and field-based surveys the Jones River Watershed Association (JRWA) collected critical data related to property ownership, topography, existing and historic habitat, tidal fluctuations, and water quality in the heavily degraded Stony Brook/Tussock Brook marsh system in Kingston on the South Shore of Massachusetts. Using these survey results, the project team developed a comprehensive restoration and management plan for the area. Specific recommendations and approaches for restoration of the project area include funding needs, mitigation requirements, land acquisition priorities, restoration endpoints, and timelines for implementation. The JRWA prioritized two specific restoration efforts to undertake: (1) the removal of the tide gate at Tussock Brook (pictured at right), and (2) the development of a preliminary sediment management plan for the Stony Brook Dam as a part of a comprehensive feasibility study for the restoration of Stony Brook.
Details of the findings and recommendations for restoration can be found in the project report: Restoration Plan for Stony Brook and Tussock Brook, Kingston, MA. Jones River Watershed Association. 2011.
Based on the information gathered during this project, the JRWA is working with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) and other partners to develop a feasibility study to restore a 40-acre tidally restricted wetland that is tributary to the Jones River. Through support from the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership, a consulting firm developed modeling and alternatives analyses to determine the efficacy of tide gate removal for ecological restoration without increasing flood susceptibility to adjacent areas.
In 2012, using the Mass Bays funded study as a basis, the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) identified the need to restore connectivity in Tussock Brook and improving salt marsh conditions as a “priority project”. DER conducted field surveys to assess tidal fluctuations, flows, and elevations at the site. DER, JRWA, and CZM presented the results of these surveys to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (DOT), the owner of the tide gate. In response, DOT contracted with a consultant to conduct hydrodynamic modeling for the site. Thanks to the collaborative efforts, the modeling is in progress and will inform future restoration work at the site.