For Immediate Release - March 11, 2014

Patrick Administration Announces Federal Grants to Protect Massachusetts Coastal Water Quality and Habitats

Grants will help towns, researchers and nonprofits protect the water quality and habitats of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays

BOSTON — Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — The Patrick Administration today announced nearly $75,000 in federal grants to fund four projects designed to restore and protect the Commonwealth’s coastal habitats and water quality. The Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program’s Research and Planning Grants will fund efforts to restore degraded coastal ecosystems, better understand the impacts of sea level rise on coastal habitat and inform policy decisions related to coastal resources.

“The Research and Planning Grants underscore the value of the collaboration of federal, state and local partners,” said Energy and Environmental affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan. “This federal assistance will help us make informed coastal management decisions and promote a healthier environment in all the Commonwealth’s coastal communities.”

“We are pleased to provide this much needed support for these organizations investigating important environmental issues facing Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay,” said Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Director Bruce Carlisle. “We want to recognize Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Estuary Program and the federal funds helping to advance these on-the-ground efforts to build better coastal decisions through sound science.” 

“Community partnerships and local involvement serve as the foundation for the Massachusetts Bays Program,” said Mass Bays’ Director Pam DiBona. “We are proud to support these important projects, which represent the hard work by our many partner organizations in the Mass Bays community.”

This year’s Mass Bays Research and Planning Grants will go to:

  • Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries - $15,500 to continue research on the impacts of small docks and piers on salt marsh vegetation in Massachusetts.
  • Friends of Herring River, Wellfleet/Truro - $20,000 to develop conceptual design options for the restoration of fish passage in the Upper Herring River watershed in Wellfleet.
  • Town of Essex - $20,000 to expand eelgrass transplanting efforts in Plum Island Sound and Essex Bay and address potential and observed impacts of invasive green crabs.
  • Jones River Watershed Association - $19,480 to develop a community-based method to monitor climate change related impacts on salt marsh in the Jones River.

These four Research and Planning Grants projects will aid Mass Bays in implementing its Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. This plan serves as a blueprint for protecting the environmental health and integrity of Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay.

In January, Governor Patrick announced a comprehensive plan to protect Massachusetts from the damaging effects of climate change. Included within that plan was the funding to remove, repair and improve dams, seawalls, and other coastal infrastructure to protect key public assets, help restore ecological systems and benefit public safety. This newest round of funding will build upon this plan and other investments made by the Patrick Administration.

The Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program is a partnership of citizens, communities and government entities with a shared vision of healthy and resilient estuaries. Mass Bays facilitates partnerships to prompt local, state and federal action and stewardship, convening stakeholders on the local and regional level, providing scientific basis for management decisions and educating decision makers about problems and solutions. Mass Bays is one of 28 National Estuary Programs in the country, established in the Federal Clean Water Act.

The Office of Coastal Zone Management is the lead policy and planning agency on coastal and ocean issues within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Through planning, technical and grant assistance and public information programs, CZM seeks to balance the impacts of human activity with the protection of coastal and 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.


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