For Immediate Release - July 14, 2014

Patrick Administration Announces Funding for Milford Pond Dredging Project

MILFORD – Monday, July 14, 2014 - Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett today announced $250,000 to help fund the dredging of Milford Pond to restore open water habitat suitable for resident fish species and water birds.

“Milford Pond has long been a piece of the town’s history as a place for residents to recreate and home to a variety of fish species and birds,” said Secretary Bartlett. “The Patrick Administration is pleased to help with this project, restoring the pond to its original beauty.”

The $5.1 million project, which will be completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, involves the dredging of approximately 250,000 cubic yards of material from about 17 acres of Milford Pond, creating a depth of 12 feet. The area is currently between two and six feet deep and contains dense weeds and low dissolved oxygen resulting from decaying aquatic vegetation.

The dredged material will be taken to an area adjacent to Milford Pond to create a habitat for water bird nesting and Atlantic white cedar establishment. The project is being funded by a collaboration of federal, state and local money. Work will begin this fall and it is expected to be completed in 2015.

“The restoration of Milford Pond has been one of my top priorities for many years. Having represented Milford for two decades, I know how important this project is for the town and its residents. The pond is an invaluable natural resource and deserves to be restored to the pristine condition it enjoyed a generation ago. Today’s grant announcement brings us another step closer to the project’s completion,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal.

“From our fisheries to our tourism industry, the water quality in our municipalities impacts every piece of our economy,” said Congressman Kennedy. “This grant from the EEA will help the town of Milford build on its efforts to restore the wildlife habitat in Milford Pond as well as reduce the potential for further damage to its water quality. I commend the local leaders in Milford on earning this award and thank them for their efforts to protect our environment.”

The dredging will create diversity among open water, aquatic weed beds, floating vegetated islands and emergent, shrub and forested wetland. Milford Pond is the habitat for several endangered, threatened and species of special concern, including Pied-billed Grebe, Least Bittern, King Rail and Common Moorhen. The project will avoid impacts to this critical habitat as well as to the town’s water supply.

“This state funding makes the Milford Pond Restoration Project a true partnership of all levels of government,” said Senator Richard T. Moore. “The project itself is particularly important to conservation and recreation in Milford, as it will significantly improve the water quality of Milford Pond, enabling fish and wildlife to flourish, improving the flow of the Charles River, and ultimately providing a source of recreation for the people of the town and surrounding area. Many thanks to Congressman Richard Neal and Selectman Dino DeBartolomeis for their hard work, effective advocacy and longstanding dedication to bringing this important project to fruition.”

“This state funding makes the Milford Pond Restoration Project a true partnership of all levels of government,” stated Senator Richard Moore. “The project itself is particularly important to conservation and recreation in Milford as it will significantly improve the water quality of Milford Pond, enable fish and wildlife to flourish, improve the flow of the Charles River, and ultimately provide a source of recreation for the people of the Town and surrounding area. Many thanks to Congressman Richard Neal and Selectman Dino DeBartolomeis for their hard work, effective advocacy, and longstanding dedication to bringing this important project to fruition.”

“I am pleased to join with Senator Moore, Congressman Neal, Congressman Kennedy, Secretary Bartlett, Selectman DeBartolomeis and the Milford Pond Restoration Committee in welcoming this state grant announcement,” said Representative John V. Fernandes. “After decades of hard work, dedication, analysis and joint partnerships between the federal, state and local governments, we are collectively one step closer to restoring a once regionally beloved natural gem back to its original splendor. I commend Congressman Neal for his steadfast commitment over the years, securing substantial federal funding and ensuring the expert involvement of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I am grateful to Secretary Bartlett and the Administration for authorizing a critical infusion of state funding. And I applaud Selectman DeBartolomeis, Milford Town Administrator Richard Villiani, the Milford Pond Restoration Committee and the citizens of Milford for their approval of significant local funding to make this cooperative and environmentally friendly project a reality.”

Under the direction of the Patrick Administration, the environmental agencies and offices of EEA preserve open space, species habitat, and working landscapes; enforce pollution laws to protect public health and natural resources; review the environmental impact of major real estate and infrastructure developments; manage fish and wildlife; and provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and access at the parks, beaches, and farms that make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work and play.

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