For Immediate Release - March 31, 2011

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Seven Grants to Protect Coastal Water Quality

BOSTON - Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Richard K. Sullivan, Jr. today announced $375,500 in grants, through the Coastal Pollution Remediation (CPR) Grant Program, for projects to protect coastal waters in Massachusetts. The winning projects include programs to design and implement stormwater pollution controls from roadways and parking areas and for installation of a commercial boat pumpout facility.

Recipients of CPR funding awards include the communities of Plymouth, Brewster, New Bedford, Hull, Newburyport, Dartmouth and Lawrence. The grants are being matched by $142,167 from municipal sources-further extending the power of the grant program.

"It is wonderful to see so many coastal communities committed to ensuring their coastal waters are cleaner for recreational and commercial fishing, boating and swimming," said Secretary Sullivan. "I applaud their efforts to address runoff pollution issues at the source."

Funding for this grant program, which is administered by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), aims to improve coastal water quality by reducing or eliminating nonpoint sources (NPS) of pollution, the leading cause of water quality impairment in the nation. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground, and as it moves it picks up and carries natural and human-made pollutants, depositing them into coastal waters. The grant also complements the Commonwealth's current effort to designate all of Massachusetts state waters as a No Discharge Area, prohibiting the discharge of both treated and untreated boat sewage waste.

"This is exciting news for Plymouth," Senate President Therese Murray said. "I would like to thank the EEA for their ongoing commitment to coastal water quality. Protecting our environment is a great responsibility and this grant will help make a difference for Great Herring Pond, our local residents and the extended environmental habitat."

"For 17 years, CZM has administered this program to help communities improve their coastal water quality," said CZM Acting Director Bruce Carlisle. "We look forward to working with them to ensure these projects will translate into cleaner water for healthier coastal habitats."

The following projects were funded through the CPR program are listed below.

Town of Plymouth

Pond Road Stormwater Management Project, $45,980.00

Match: $15,430

This project will assess management options and design best management practices to address stormwater that currently flows untreated into Great Herring Pond from roads and residential areas. Great Herring Pond has a direct connection to the Cape Cod Canal and provides important habitat for herring ( Alosa spp.), listed as a species of concern by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Town of Brewster

Paines Creek and Stony Brook Watershed Stormwater Mitigation Project, $118,400.00

Match: $39,500

Under this project, the town of Brewster will construct stormwater best management practices at the Paines Creek Road site to treat stormwater and reduce the amount of contaminants flowing into Paines Creek. Paines Creek drains into Stony Brook, an area where shellfishing has been prohibited by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries for a number of years due to poor water quality. Installation of stormwater BMPs at the site will improve water quality, open shellfish beds, and support anadromous fish habitat. Final design for the project was supported through a CPR 2010 grant.

City of New Bedford

New Bedford Waterfront Commercial Boat Pumpout Facility, $21,325.00

Match Amount: $9,167

Through this grant the city of New Bedford will design and permit a commercial pumpout facility to service approximately 500 vessels in New Bedford Harbor. The pumpout is estimated to collect up to 300 gallons of boat sewage a day, supporting the Buzzards Bay No Discharge Area (NDA) designation and ongoing work to improve water quality within the harbor. Assessment and conceptual design work for the project was supported through a grant from CZM in 2010.

Town of Hull

Straits Pond Stormwater Pollution Engineering Design and Improvements, $44,475.00

Match: $14,825

This project will design an upgrade to the antiquated storm drain system along Atlantic Avenue to treat stormwater that currently flows into Straits Pond and the Weir River Estuary. Both Straits Pond and the Weir River Estuary are designated as outstanding resource waters and encompass part of the Weir River Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The ultimate goal of this project is to reduce the amount of pathogens flowing into Straits Pond and the Weir River, improving water quality and leading to the re-opening shellfish beds.

City of Newburyport

LID Retrofits in the City of Newburyport, $60,831.00

Match: $20,318

The city of Newburyport will design retrofit low impact development (LID) stormwater BMPs at select Newburyport Streets to reduce the amount of pathogens and contaminants being discharged into the Merrimack River by 30-50% and to support the goals of the City's Stormwater Management Plan. The Merrimack River in Newburyport is identified on the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection integrated list of waters as impaired for pathogens. Once the best management practices are constructed, interpretive signage will be used to educate the public about stormwater and best management practices technologies.

Town of Dartmouth

Rogers Street Outfall Remediation Design, $31,000.00

Match: $8,340

The town of Dartmouth, in cooperation with the city of New Bedford, will conduct a feasibility analysis and design BMPs to reduce stormwater contamination to Clarks Cove. Currently stormwater flows untreated through outfalls directly into Clarks Cove, leading to high bacteria levels. The installation of stormwater best management practices will reduce bacterial contamination and will support efforts to upgrade and open shellfish beds in the vicinity.

City of Lawrence

Spicket River Coastal Pollutant Remediation Project, $53,489.00

Match: $34,587

This project will support the design and implementation of stormwater BMPs at a municipal parking lot and adjacent street in the city of Lawrence. Currently untreated stormwater from this area flows directly into the Spicket River, resulting in bacterial contamination. The Spicket River was granted priority restoration status by the Division of Ecological Restoration in 2009. Stormwater BMPs, once installed, will reduce bacterial loads and other contaminants, improving water quality and habitat for diadromous fish. The best management practices will also be incorporated into an education and outreach program.