Baker-Polito Administration Awards Grants to Improve and Protect Coastal Water Quality
BOSTON – August 31, 2016 – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $346,292 in grants to support local efforts to address and treat polluted runoff from roads and paved surfaces to protect coastal water quality. The grants, provided by the Office of Coastal Zone Management’s (CZM) Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant Program, were awarded to Medford, Milton, Plymouth, Salem and Yarmouth.
“Our administration is committed to supporting efforts across the Commonwealth to protect the environment and keep coastal waters clean,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These grants provide direct funding to municipalities to work at the local level to address sources of pollution impacting waterways and ultimately the coast.”
“These projects underscore the dedication of our cities and towns to water quality protection,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “I applaud the ingenuity and commitment that each community receiving a grant has to ensure that polluted runoff does not enter streams, rivers and ultimately our ocean waters.”
“Massachusetts is home to some of the most beautiful coastline in the world,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “To help protect this important resource, Coastal Pollutant Remediation grants provide funding to towns and cities throughout the coastal watershed to improve water quality, support healthy ecosystems and ensure that beaches and shellfish beds remain open for the public to enjoy.”
The goal of CZM’s Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant Program is to improve coastal water quality by reducing or eliminating nonpoint sources of pollution. This type of pollution primarily occurs when contaminants are picked up by rain, snow melt and other flowing water and carried over land, in groundwater or through drainage systems to the nearest body of water and ultimately out to the sea. Nonpoint source pollution impacts water quality and coastal habitat and reduces opportunities to harvest shellfish and swim due to mandated closures.
“For the last 20 years, CZM’s Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program has provided funding and technical assistance for community-based efforts to protect coastal water quality,” said CZM Director Bruce Carlisle. “This year’s grants highlight the commitment of our cities and towns to keeping nonpoint source pollution from degrading our coasts, and CZM continues to be a proud partner in these efforts.”
The following five projects have been funded through this year’s grants:
Medford - $125,000 - The City of Medford, in partnership with the Mystic River Watershed Association, will construct a gravel wetland to treat contaminated stormwater runoff from a municipal parking lot to reduce nutrients and sediment reaching the Mystic River. This project will improve water quality in the river, preserving critical habitat for river herring, and builds on previous work to prioritize stormwater treatment sites in the watershed.
Milton - $17,752 - The Town of Milton, in partnership with the Neponset River Watershed Association, will design stormwater treatment systems at four locations to treat polluted runoff to Unquity Brook. The project, informed by a thorough assessment of pollution sources, will lead to improved water quality and habitat in Gulliver’s Creek, part of the Neponset River Estuary Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), which has been recognized by the state for its environmental importance.
Plymouth - $59,910 - The Town of Plymouth, in partnership with the Herring Ponds Watershed Association, will advance a stormwater assessment conducted in 2015 to design and permit stormwater treatment systems at two priority locations. This project will improve water quality in Great Herring Pond and preserve critical habitat for river herring in the active run that links the pond to the Cape Cod Canal.
Salem - $78,680 - The City of Salem, in partnership with Salem Sound Coastwatch, will design and permit stormwater treatment systems at Winter Island Park. The work implements elements of a comprehensive Master Plan for the park area. When constructed, these treatment systems will decrease the polluted stormwater runoff that reaches Salem Sound and Salem Harbor.
Yarmouth - $64,950 - The Town of Yarmouth will design and construct a gravel bioretention stormwater treatment system. Using this emerging technology, this pilot project will treat bacteria and nitrogen that are degrading local waters. The project will serve as a model for other communities interested in addressing these pollutants.
“I applaud the work and partnership of the City of Salem and Salem Sound Coastwatch, and thank the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for this grant award,” stated State Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem). “Winter Island and Salem Harbor are important natural resources. This grant will expand and support city efforts to protect its waterfront to help ensure clean water, a healthy environment and active public use.”
“Salem is grateful to receive these funds to continue our commitment to keeping Winter Island a clean recreational space to be enjoyed by residents and visitors to our beautiful coastline,” said State Representative Paul Tucker (D-Salem). “The Baker-Polito Administration recognizes Salem is committed to keeping our waterfront open and clean in collaboration with Salem Sound Coastwatch.”
“While we still have a ways to go, great progress has been made to clean up the Mystic River,” said State Senator Patricia D. Jehlen (D-Somerville). “This grant will help continue that effort so we can reclaim the river as the unpolluted natural recreational escape it should be.”
“This grant will provide critical resources to ensure the water quality of the Mystic River continues on a path to improvement,” said State Representative Christine Barber (D-Somerville). “I am glad to see Medford and the Mystic River Watershed Association working in partnership to prioritize stormwater treatment.”
“This grant will allow the Mystic River Watershed Association to construct an important project as they continue to do outstanding work in this very important environmental area,” said State Representative Paul Donato (D-Medford).
“I am pleased by the administration’s decision to award a CPR grant to the City of Medford,” said State Representative Sean Garballey (D-Arlington). “This vital funding will assist the City in maintaining watershed quality and upholding its commitment to the preservation of our natural resources.”
The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) 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 address the challenges of storms, sea level rise and other effects of climate change; working with state, regional and federal partners to balance current and new uses of ocean waters while protecting ocean habitats and promoting sustainable economic development; and partnering with communities and other organizations to protect and restore coastal water quality and habitats.
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