For Immediate Release - May 02, 2011

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Federal Grants to Protect Coastal Water Quality and Habitats of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays

BOSTON - May 2, 2011 - Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. today announced $200,000 in federal funding awards through the Massachusetts Bays Program Research and Planning Grants. The grants will be used to fund projects aimed at identifying causes of coastal habitat degradation, developing plans to address coastal water quality pollution issues, and/or building local capacity to protect coastal resources.

"The range of projects funded by this program is representative of the challenges facing our coastal and estuarine resources," said Secretary Sullivan. "I applaud the commitment of coastal communities and local organizations for their efforts in the ongoing stewardship and preservation of the natural resources within Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays."

The awards, offered for the first time, will be awarded to the following municipalities, non-profits and academic institutions:

  • The town of Kingston to identify and address sources of polluted storm water runoff to Kingston Bay - $14,795
  • The Jones River Watershed Association to develop a restoration plan for the Stony Brook/Tussock Brook Salt Marsh complex - $12,510
  • The town of Ipswich to develop a Resource Management Plan for the Great Marsh Area of Critical Environmental Concern - $16,284
  • The Massachusetts Audubon Society for its ongoing work to restore oyster reef habitat in the town of Wellfleet - $19,529
  • The town of Salisbury to develop improved local storm water policies - $40,000
  • A partnership between The Nature Conservancy and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries to develop guidelines for shellfish bed restoration initiatives - $40,000
  • The Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen Association to create a River Herring Warden Network for Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts - $15,000
  • The University of New Hampshire for research into the cause of the accelerated invasion of the Great Marsh on Massachusetts' North Shore by the Common Reed ( Phragmites australis) - $39,922

The above projects will help the EEA Coastal Zone Management Office's Massachusetts Bays Program implement its Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, a blueprint for protecting the environmental health of Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay. Financial support for the program is provided through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

"These grants will make meaningful progress in community-based coastal management in the Commonwealth," said Acting CZM Director Bruce Carlisle. "We are thankful for the support from EPA and are looking forward to the results of these important projects."

"This grant program has been a great success in bringing local natural resource protection issues to light," said Jay Baker, Director of the Massachusetts Bays Program. "The Massachusetts Bays Program is built on these partnerships and is proud to support these local initiatives."