For Immediate Release - June 17, 2013

Patrick Administration Announces 12 Grants for Water Protection, Habitat Restoration and Education

HYANNIS – Monday, June 17, 2013 – Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary (EEA) Rick Sullivan today announced almost $600,000 in grants from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET) for projects to protect and restore rivers, watersheds and wildlife across the Commonwealth.

“For over two decades, the Massachusetts Environmental Trust has 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 twelve projects in Barnstable, Boston, Fall River, Falmouth, Greenfield, Groton, Hanover, Newton, Oak Bluffs, Provincetown, Taunton andWellfleet. 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.

“I appreciate the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ continued commitment in providing these essential grants to our communities across the Commonwealth,” said Senate President Therese Murray. “In my district, this funding allows the Town of Falmouth to make necessary restorations and removals in advancing their water quality and watershed protection activities.”

“With Cape Cod’s fragile ecosystem, it remains crucial to invest in both water quality and watershed protection activities. I was happy to support the projects awarded grants by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust to the Cape and Islands, and I applaud Secretary Rick Sullivan for recognizing the importance of these investments,” said Sen. Dan Wolf.

The grant awards range from $24,896 to $80,000 and are listed below:

  • Association to Preserve Cape Cod (Barnstable)  $80,000 to conduct a study of the effect of sea level rise on Cape Cod’s Monomoy and Sagamore groundwater lenses.
  • City of Fall River  $50,000 to remove the Rattlesnake Brook Dam (a.k.a. Bleachery Dam) in Freetown.
  • Conservation Law Foundation (Boston)  $40,000 to provide fish consumption information and warnings for the lower Mystic River.
  • Deerfield River Watershed Association (Greenfield)  $24,896 to conduct a comprehensive ecological assessment of the Deerfield River.
  • Friends of Herring River (Wellfleet)  $50,000 to perform preliminary engineering design and opinion of construction cost for replacement of the Chequesset Neck Road dike and culvert in Wellfleet as part of an 800-acre estuary restoration.
  • Nashua River Watershed Association (Groton)  $35,173 to partner with law enforcement and medical providers to encourage proper disposal of pharmaceuticals.
  • The Nature Conservancy (Taunton)  $50,000 towards the removal of the West Britannia dam in Taunton. This is the third of three dams to be removed on the Mill River.
  • Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (Provincetown)  $46,500 to continue and expand a water quality testing and monitoring program for Nantucket Sound, including testing for pharmaceutical compounds.
  • Silent Spring Institute (Newton)  $50,000 to estimate inputs of emerging contaminants, including hormones, pharmaceuticals and consumer product chemicals, to the Cape Cod aquifer and evaluate how these inputs would change under proposed alternative wastewater scenarios.
  • South Shore YMCA (Hanover)  $50,000 to remove a failed dam on Third Herring Brook in Hanover and restore a portion of the river.
  • Town of Falmouth – $55,000 for engineering and plans to remove Lower Bog Dam, restore a portion of the Coonamesset River and restore 17 acres of abutting land.
  • Town of Oak Bluffs  $50,000 for engineering and permitting for an improved opening between Farm Pond and Nantucket Sound. The larger opening will improve water quality and enhance shellfish beds.

MET, established by the Massachusetts Legislature as a state trust in 1988, is governed by a nine-member board of trustees appointed by the EEA Secretary.