For Immediate Release - August 20, 2012

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces New Ecological Restoration Projects

BOSTON — Monday, August 20, 2012 — Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan today announced that six river and salt marsh restoration projects have been designated Priority Projects through the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Division of Ecological Restoration (DER).

“These projects contribute to restoration economy in Massachusetts, providing short-term engineering and construction jobs and the long-term economic benefits that come with improved fisheries and clean water,” said Secretary Sullivan.

According to a recent economic impact study, ecological restoration projects produce an average employment demand of 12.5 jobs and $1,750,000 in total economic output for every $1 million spent, contributing to the vibrant green economy in Massachusetts.

“River revitalization is very important for cold water fish, like brook trout and a host of migratory fish, while marsh restoration benefits fish and wildlife, including as waterfowl and wading birds,” said DFG Commissioner Mary Griffin. “In addition to physical improvements to rivers and streams, DER and partners are implementing innovative flow restoration projects in Georgetown, Scituate, Pittsfield and Stockbridge that will restore more natural water levels to rivers and streams.”

DFG and DER announced that new projects in Chester, Kingston, Lancaster, Norwell, Hanover, Pepperell and Scituate have been accepted as DER Priority Projects. A total of 84 active ecological restoration projects throughout the state have now been designated as priority projects, making them eligible for technical assistance and future grants.

The six new project proposals include dam removal, culvert replacement and fill removal. DER focuses on implementing scientifically-sound and proven restoration techniques, such as dam removal that provide the greatest positive impact to native fish and wildlife. These restoration projects have ancillary benefits including improving water quality and recreation, eliminating aging infrastructure that is otherwise expensive to maintain, safeguarding the public and adapting to climate change.

The new priority projects are as follows:

  • Chester: DER will work with Trout Unlimited to restore multiple sites on Kinne Brook through dam removal and culvert replacement.
  • Kingston: DER will work with the Jones River Watershed Association to restore connectivity to Tussock Brook and improve salt marsh condition.
  • Lancaster: DER will work with the Town of Lancaster on restoration of regionally significant Wekepeke Brook.
  • Norwell & Hanover: DER will work with the North and South Rivers Watershed Association to restore multiple sites on Third Herring Brook.
  • Pepperell: DER and DFG’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife will work to restore the Nissitissit River, an important cold water resource.
  • Scituate: DER has partnered with the Town of Scituate to restore ecological functions of Bound Brook.

“These exciting restoration projects are the product of hard work at the local level, where communities have identified a problem to be solved and have a vision for healthier watersheds,” said Tim Purinton, DER director. “Our goal is to help them achieve that vision and improve ecological condition for the benefit of generations to come.”

DER’s mission is to restore and protect the health and integrity of the Commonwealth’s rivers, wetlands and watersheds for the benefit of people, fish and wildlife. The Division was created in July 2009 with the merger of the Riverways and Wetland Restoration Programs.

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is responsible for promoting the conservation and enjoyment of the Commonwealth's natural resources. DFG carries out this mission through land protection and wildlife habitat management, management of inland and marine fish and wildlife species, and ecological restoration of fresh water, salt water, and terrestrial habitats. DFG promotes enjoyment of the Massachusetts environment through outdoor skills workshops, fishing festivals and other educational programs, and by enhancing access to the Commonwealth's rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.

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