Patrick-Murray Administration Awards Five Grants to Local Communities to Protect Coastal Water Quality
BOSTON – Wednesday, February 8, 2012 – Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. today announced $400,000 in grants through the Coastal Pollution Remediation (CPR) grant program for five projects designed to protect Massachusetts coastal waters.
The projects receiving funding include efforts to design and implement controls for runoff pollution from roadways and parking areas and the installation of a boat pumpout facility for both commercial and recreational vessels. Recipients of CPR funding awards include the communities of Duxbury, Hingham, Ipswich, Marshfield, and Plymouth. Municipal sources will match the grants with $247,000 – further extending the power of the grant program.
“Massachusetts coastal waters are one of the Commonwealth’s greatest treasures and these grants help to safeguard beaches and coastal waterways, ensuring residents and visitors may enjoy them for years to come,” said Secretary Sullivan. “I’m pleased to award these communities funding to protect public health and enhance the quality of marine habitats.”
The CPR grant program, which is administered by the EEA’s Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), aims to improve coastal water quality by reducing or eliminating nonpoint source (NPS) pollution. The leading cause of water pollution in the nation, NPS pollution occurs when contaminants are picked up by rain water and snowmelt and are carried over land or through drainage systems to the nearest water body.
The grant program also complements the Commonwealth’s current effort to designate all of Massachusetts coastal waters as a No Discharge Area (NDA), prohibiting the discharge of both treated and untreated boat sewage waste. Currently, 67 percent of the state’s coastline is designated a no boat sewage dumping zone.
“We are particularly excited about this year’s batch of awards, which will lead to immediate improvements in local coastal water,” said CZM Director Bruce Carlisle. “Through the CPR grants program, CZM is able to directly support the efforts of coastal communities to open shellfish beds, improve water quality at public beaches, and protect important coastal habitats.”
The following projects were funded through this year’s CPR awards:
Town of Duxbury
Project: Bay Road Best Management Practice (BMP) Construction – $121,386
The town of Duxbury will construct stormwater management systems at three locations to address pollution flowing to Kingston Bay and the Nook, a priority area identified through an assessment funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the federal Clean Water Act. Duxbury has a longstanding commitment to address the sources of pollution in Duxbury Bay, and this project builds on work conducted by the town though previous CPR grant rounds with an ultimate goal of reopening shellfish beds, reducing beach closures, and supporting habitat quality for fish runs. Based on a well-developed local plan, the town has steadily addressed each known pollution source, and this project essentially completes this effort.
Town of Hingham
Project: Vessel Sewage Pumpout Facility – $85,000
The town of Hingham will construct a shore-based pumpout station at the Hingham Town Landing to increase capacity and availability of free boat pumpout services for commercial boats and the general public. This project builds on design work funded by a previous CZM grant provided through funding from the Seaport Advisory Council. The new facility is designed to eliminate illicit discharges of sewage from vessels into the Boston Harbor NDA, supporting a goal of open beaches and shellfish beds.
Town of Ipswich
Project: Phase II – Farley Brook Assessment and Best Management Practices Design Project – $37,655
Under this project, the town of Ipswich will design stormwater BMPs to improve the water quality of discharges into Farley Brook, identified in state assessments as a significant source of bacteria flowing to the Ipswich River. This bacterial contamination has led to closures to shellfish harvesting areas in a town that has long been known for quality shellfish. This project builds on previous work funded through a CPR grant to assess the Farley Brook drainage system for nonpoint sources of pollution.
Town of Marshfield
Project: South River Implementation Project – $51,980
This grant will build on a recent water quality plan developed for downtown Marshfield to target two locations for final engineering designs and to construct stormwater treatment centers. Waters in the South River were recently opened to shellfish harvesting for a brief period in 2011 for the first time in decades. Successfully treating this runoff will increase both the total area and length of time that these shellfish beds can be open for harvesting and will solidify earlier water quality improvements in the area.
Town of Plymouth
Project: Pond Road Stormwater Drainage Implementation Project – $103,969
Significant erosion problems have resulted in high levels of sediment being carried into Great Herring Pond by runoff from the Pond Road neighborhood. Great Herring Pond has a direct connection to the Cape Cod Canal and provides important habitat for two species of herring – blueback and alewife – that are listed as a federal species of concern. Plymouth received a CPR grant last year to design this system and this year’s grant, along with considerable matching funds from the Plymouth Department of Public Works, ensures the successful construction of the project.
“Great Herring Pond is one of the largest ponds in Southeastern Massachusetts and I want to thank Secretary Sullivan and the town of Plymouth for recognizing the importance in maintaining and improving the overall health of the pond and its unique marine life,” said Senate President Therese Murray. “There is a direct relationship between the environment and our quality of life and I will continue to advocate for the protection of the environment and our coastal waters on the South Shore and Cape Cod.”
“I am very pleased to see these funds made available for efforts to protect our coastal waters,” said Sen. Marc R. Pacheco, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment, Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Opportunities where we issue grants that will help create jobs, leverage additional capital resources and preserve our environment is good for this Commonwealth. I’m pleased to see Secretary Sullivan and the Patrick-Murray administration utilizing these funds in beneficial manner.”
"Water quality issues are top priorities for the Patrick administration," said Rep. Anne Gobi, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. "I am thankful to Secretary Sullivan and Director Carlisle for their assistance and to the communities who have given their financial support to protect and enhance our natural resources"
CZM is the agency within EEA charged with protecting Massachusetts’ approximately 1,500-mile coast. Through educational and regulatory programs, CZM seeks to balance human uses of the coastal zone with the need to protect fragile marine resources. The agency’s work includes helping coastal communities anticipate and plan for sea level rise and other effects of climate change, working with cities and towns and the federal government to develop boat sewage no-discharge areas, and partnering with communities and other organizations to restore coastal and aquatic habitats.