Baker-Polito Administration Awards $500,000 to Communities to Protect Coastal Water Quality
BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $500,000 in grants to support local efforts to address polluted stormwater runoff to protect coastal water quality and habitat. The grants, provided by the Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), were awarded to Barnstable, Everett, Kingston, Melrose, Plymouth and Yarmouth.
“Our administration is proud to support local municipal efforts to protect the environment and keep coastal waters clean,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This grant program will ensure the Massachusetts coast remains a beautiful and healthy place for residents and visitors to enjoy.”
“Protecting and restoring coastal water quality is imperative to the continued economic development within our coastal communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, who also serves as Chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “By providing funds and technical assistance to cities and towns, our administration will continue our efforts to protect those individuals, businesses, and communities that depend upon the environmental protection and financial opportunities associated with Massachusetts’ coastal resources.”
“Coastal Pollutant Remediation grants have a proven track record of helping communities address stormwater pollution to protect the coast of Massachusetts from contamination,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “These projects directly improve water quality to ensure coastal ecosystems are healthy and that the public can swim, fish and shellfish along our shores.”
The goal of CZM’s Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant Program is to improve water quality and protect coastal habitats by reducing or eliminating nonpoint sources of pollution, the leading cause of water quality impairment in the nation. 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 sea. Nonpoint source pollution reduces water quality, negatively impacts habitat for coastal wildlife, and reduces opportunities to harvest shellfish and swim due to mandated closures.
“CZM is proud to offer Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grants and to provide technical assistance to communities throughout the coastal watershed,” said CZM Director Bruce Carlisle. “These cities and towns are strong partners, taking meaningful and sustained actions to keep our coastal waters clean and coastal habitats healthy.”
The following six projects have been funded through this year’s grants:
Barnstable - $59,014: The Town of Barnstable will conduct a watershed assessment to identify opportunities where stormwater treatment systems, or Best Management Practices (BMPs), can be installed and then complete design and permitting at the highest priority locations. When constructed, these BMPs will treat contaminated runoff, protect coastal habitat and improve opportunities for swimming, shellfishing and fishing in the Three Bays region.
Everett - $43,496: The City of Everett will locate and prioritize areas suitable for future construction of stormwater BMPs to treat contaminated runoff. The Malden and Mystic Rivers are important habitat for river herring and are currently impacted by high levels of nutrients in untreated stormwater.
Kingston - $161,288: The Town of Kingston will finalize engineering plans, permit and construct structural BMPs to treat stormwater runoff contaminated by bacteria that currently impacts water quality in Second and Third Brook, tributaries to the Jones River. This is the fifth installment of a long-term effort to address bacterial pollution and expand opportunities for shellfish harvesting in the Lower Jones River and Kingston Bay.
Melrose - $50,699: The City of Melrose will construct four rain gardens to treat contaminated stormwater runoff currently impacting the water quality of Ell Pond. The project builds on design work funded through a previous CZM grant and supports the City’s efforts for a fishable/swimmable Ell Pond.
Plymouth - $175,000: The Town of Plymouth will construct stormwater BMPs at two locations, building on design work funded through a previous CPR grant. The BMPs will help prevent sediment, nutrients and bacteria from reaching Great Herring Pond, protecting water quality and critical habitat for river herring.
Yarmouth - $10,533: The Town of Yarmouth will finalize the design of stormwater BMPs that treats bacteria and nitrogen contaminated runoff impacting waterbodies on Yarmouth’s southern coast. The project builds on previous CZM funding with a long-term goal to improve coastal water quality and habitat and reopen shellfish beds.
“Plymouth’s coastal waters are one of our greatest attractions and thus of vital importance to both our environment and economy,” said State Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth). “I appreciate the Baker-Polito Administration’s continued commitment to safeguarding our coasts and preserving the natural beauty for which America’s Hometown is known.”
“The coastal water quality grant will go a long way in helping Plymouth further develop methods to protect water quality in our rivers and ponds,” said State Representative Mathew Muratore (R-Plymouth). “The grant will build on a previous one to enhance water quality and will protect local river species from pollutants in storm water runoff.”
“This is an important grant that will help continue the effort by our local communities to keep our coastal water clean,” said State Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett). “I want to thank the Administration and CZM for their partnership in this endeavor and it will have a significant positive impact my community of Everett.”
“The Malden and Mystic Rivers are becoming very important to us today and also important for the future of our children,” said State Representative Joseph McGonagle (D-Everett). “This grant certainly helps Everett continue to keep these waters clean”
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.