For Immediate Release - August 24, 2012

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces 15 Grants for Water Protection, Habitat Restoration and Education in 10 Communities

BOSTON – Friday, August 24, 2012 – Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary (EEA) Rick Sullivan today announced $499,008 in grants for ten cities and towns as part of the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET) for projects to protect and restore rivers, watersheds, and wildlife across the Commonwealth. 

“The Massachusetts Environmental Trust has, for more than two decades, been leading the charge in conservation efforts to protect the vital waterways of Massachusetts,” said Secretary Sullivan. “These projects are made possible by the collaborative efforts of communities and conservation partners, working together with the Commonwealth to maintain and protect our clean waters for generations to come.”

Since it was founded in 1988 as part of the Boston Harbor cleanup, MET has awarded more than $19 million in grants to organizations statewide that provide a wide array of environmental services, from supporting water projects in communities to protecting coastal habitats.

The grants will help support fifteen projects in Andover, Boston, Concord, Hanover, Kingston, Lawrence, Lowell, Provincetown, Salem, Saugus and Worcester. Funding for this program comes from the sale of the state’s three environmentally-themed specialty license plates: the Right Whale Tail, the Leaping Brook Trout and the Blackstone Valley Mill.

The grant awards range from $10,000 to $70,000 and are listed below:

  • Blackstone River Coalition (Worcester) – $17,500 to launch the Worcester Storm (water) Chasers – an outreach campaign to reduce stormwater volume and pollutants discharging to Worcester waterways and increase groundwater recharge.
  • Center for Ecosystem Restoration (Andover) – $50,000 to complete permitting and final engineering for removal of the Balmoral and Marland Place Dams on the Shawsheen River.
  • Groundwork Lawrence (Lawrence) – $35,000 to restore instream habitat along the Spicket River.
  • Housatonic Valley Association (Lee) – $36,393 to conduct an assessment project to monitor and analyze the health of the watershed.
  • Ipswich River Watershed Association (Ipswich) – $25,850 to perform an inventory, mapping, summary and preliminary analysis of road-stream crossings in the watersheds of the Parker, Ipswich and Essex Rivers to assess aquatic habitat connectivity.
  • Jones River Watershed Association (Kingston) – $40,152 to conduct preliminary design for anadromous fish passage from the Jones River into Silver Lake. Forge Pond Dam remains as the only structural obstacle to anadromous fish accessing the high quality spawning habitat of Silver Lake.
  • Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust (Lowell) – $10,000 to establish a new school-based water resources education program with the Daley Middle School.
  • Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (Belmont) – $70,000 to perform a comprehensive review and update of the Environmental Handbook for Massachusetts Conservation Commissioners. This update will make the resource available as an interactive, web-based E-Handbook.
  • North and South Rivers Watershed Association (Norwell) – $22,000 for preliminary design and engineering for removal of the Tack Factory Pond dam in Hanover. This is the first dam in the Third Herring Brook system, a 5.5 mile long tributary to the North River estuary.
  • OARS, Inc. (Concord) – $20,768 to assess and protect brook trout habitat in the four Sudbury River tributary streams known to have wild brook trout populations.
  • Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (Provincetown) – $23,801 over 12 months to establish a new water quality testing and monitoring program for Nantucket Sound, including testing for pharmaceutical compounds.
  • Salem Sound Coast Watch (Salem) – $50,000 to monitor and evaluate marine, estuarine and freshwater systems of Salem Harbor over a 2-year period to understand the impact of phytoplankton, stormwater non-point source pollution and boating activity on water clarity and the decline of eelgrass.
  • Salem State University (Salem) – $17,544 to develop tools to monitor the impact of road salt application on freshwater resources.
  • Saugus River Watershed Council (Saugus) – $60,000 to create and implement Climate Change Adaptation/Mitigation Plans aimed at protecting watershed resources in the five largest watershed communities — Lynn, Revere, Saugus, Wakefield and Lynnfield. SRWC will promote local implementation of strategies in the Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report.
  • Thompson Island Outward Bound Center, Inc. (Boston) – $20,000 to operate the Connections program, which provides Boston middle school students with environmental education and visits to Boston Harbor Islands National Park.

"I'm pleased that OARS has received this Mass Environmental Trust grant to assess brook trout habitat in the four Sudbury River tributaries," said Sen. Jamie Eldridge. "OARS continues to lead the effort to fully improve and replenish the Concord, Sudbury and Assabet Rivers, and I was pleased to support the grant."