For Immediate Release - July 20, 2009

Patrick Administration Applauds $1.3 million in Federal Stimulus Funds to Complete Stony Brook Salt Marsh and Fish Passage Restoration Project in Brewster

BOSTON - As part of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state's economic future, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Ian Bowles today announced that the town of Brewster has received a $1.3 million American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grant to complete the Stony Brook Salt Marsh and Fish Passage Restoration Project in Brewster. The habitat restoration project is estimated to maintain or create 46 jobs.

"I am pleased that the town of Brewster will receive this federal stimulus funding to work with our Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and other partners to restore these important coastal wetland and fisheries habitats," Secretary Bowles said. "The town of Brewster continues to demonstrate vision and leadership through its actions to protect and restore the natural habitats that play such a vital role in sustaining the economy and treasured way of life on Cape Cod."

The grant, which is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will restore natural tidal flow to a 20-acre degraded salt marsh, and enhance fish access to 3,000 feet of coastal stream and 386 acres of ponds used by herring and American eels. The project is a collaborative effort between the town of Brewster, NOAA, DFG's Wetlands Restoration Program, the Massachusetts Bays Program, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, and the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.

To achieve the project's restoration goals, the town will replace an undersized culvert beneath Route 6A with a larger one that will allow the full range of tidal water to once again flow freely into the salt marsh and other wetlands adjacent to the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. By enlarging the road culvert, the project will enhance the ability of fish and other organisms to pass beneath route 6A, making their way to important habitats in the upper reaches of the watershed. The project will also improve the Museum's walking trail that crosses the marsh, keeping it above the new high tide elevation while making it easier for tidal water to flow across the marsh from one side of the trail to the other.

"It is vital that we do we all we can to preserve our Commonwealth's natural habitats and protect its wildlife. Completion of the Stony Brook Salt Marsh and Fish Passage Restoration Project will restore natural tidal flow to many acres of salt marshes and ponds crucial to sustaining native water life, and will also create dozens of jobs for our citizens," said Sen. Ted Kennedy.

"This investment is a win-win-win that will restore our state's most important natural habitats, protect the region from storm surge and flooding, and create or sustain dozens of jobs on the Cape," said Sen. John Kerry.

"Using federal stimulus dollars to repair our fragile coastal ecosystems will be a huge benefit to the Cape now and for generations to come," said Senator Robert O'Leary. "Protecting the Cape and the Commonwealth's natural habitats and waterways is hugely important and I am pleased with the Secretary and the Governor's decision to invest in the Stony Brook Salt Marsh and Fish Passage Restoration Project."

"We on the Cape know better than most the importance of maintaining and rehabilitating degraded salt marshes. This restoration project, coupled with a similar project in Dennis last year demonstrates the commitment the towns, county, state and federal governments and agencies have in these areas. Our quality of life depends on it," said Representative Cleon H. Turner.

"The town of Brewster is thrilled to receive this NOAA stimulus grant to restore the Stony Brook habitats, and we could not have done it without our key project partners. The town would particularly like to thank Governor Patrick and our United Sates and Massachusetts legislative delegations for their letters of support. We would also like to acknowledge the contributions of the MA Wetlands Restoration Program, The Association to Preserve Cape Cod, and the Massachusetts Bays Program for their help in developing the project and co-writing the grant application, as well as the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History for their cooperation as the owners of the marsh."

"The Stony Brook Salt Marsh and Fish Passage Restoration Project present a win-win situation by restoring a natural system so vital to Brewster and Cape Cod from both an environmental and economic perspective. Not only will the project directly create regional jobs, but the improvements to this popular herring run will likely mean increased tourism into the future."

DFG's Wetlands Restoration Program has funded $54,000 in technical services over the past year to help the town develop the project in preparation for federal grant opportunities. Staff also provided significant assistance in writing the NOAA grant application and will play a central role in project implementation through the remaining phases of design, permitting, construction, and monitoring. The Wetlands Restoration Program mission is to help people voluntarily restore the state's degraded and former coastal wetlands and the invaluable services they provide.

Investments in environmental protection and restoration are critical components of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, which combines state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:

  • Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;
  • Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future, and support clean energy, broadband, and technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and
  • Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.