- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Boston — Today, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton, on behalf of the Baker-Polito Administration, announced $40,000 in federal grant funds to help the Town of Mattapoisett protect important riverfront land containing critical habitat and drinking water resources in the Buzzards Bay watershed. The grant is being matched by $60,000 in municipal and private contributions.
“This land protection grant to the Town of Mattapoisett exemplifies how federal and state agencies can successfully partner with Massachusetts communities to help them achieve their environmental protection goals,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Through the administration of this grant program, the Baker-Polito Administration continues to demonstrate its commitment to not only working with municipalities, but also conserving open space and improving water quality.”
“This grant to Mattapoisett will directly protect an important municipal water supply, while also protecting riverfront land and habitat for endangered species,” said EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton. “We are pleased to be able to work with the federal government and local communities to ensure the health of Massachusetts’ citizens and the survival of our native species.”
The Town of Mattapoisett will use the funding to purchase and permanently protect 21.9 acres in the Mattapoisett River aquifer. The entire property lies within a state drinking-water protection zone that provides drinking water to the towns of Mattapoisett, Marion and Fairhaven and the property abuts an existing drinking water well site.
“Through this grant program, our Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program channels resources to support important on-the-ground projects at the local level,” said CZM Director Bruce Carlisle. “We thank the EPA for their continued financial support and would like to praise Mattapoisett for their efforts to meet their local goals to conserve land to protect water quality and habitat and enhance outdoor recreational opportunities for their residents.”
The property also contains Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program critical natural landscapes and habitat for rare endangered species, as well as 3,710 feet of direct frontage on the Mattapoisett River that includes important wetland and forest habitat. In addition, the Mattapoisett River also has the second largest river herring population in Buzzards Bay.
This funding is provided through the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program’s Municipal Mini-Grant Program. Created in 1985, the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program (NEP) is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and administered by the state’s Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). It provides grants and technical assistance to South Coast and Cape Cod communities to protect and restore water quality and natural resources in Buzzards Bay and its surrounding watershed.
“I'm pleased to hear these federal funds are going to Mattapoisett River Aquifer to protect our natural habit as well as our drinking water,” said United States Congressman William R. Keating (MA9). “This is exactly what the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program was designed to do. This federal grant, coupled with the additional contributions, is a huge win for Buzzards Bay communities.”
“Collaborative efforts among federal, state, and local authorities are critical to preserve important watersheds and drinking water resources,” said State Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford). “This grant will provide the funds necessary to protect Buzzard’s Bay and its neighboring ecosystems.”
“I’d like to thank Secretary Beaton for his continued efforts in working with the local communities to protect the water supply in the Commonwealth,” said State Representative Bill Straus (D-Mattapoisett). “I’m proud to have been involved in a number of protection efforts for the Mattapoisett Valley aquifer. Land protection projects like this one also help to protect the public health by ensuring a safe drinking water supply.”
“We applaud the continuing efforts by the four towns that manage and protect the Mattapoisett River Valley aquifer,” said Joe Costa, Executive Director of the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program. “This grant to the Town of Mattapoisett builds upon the previous work to not only protect drinking water, but also protect environmentally important habitat and wetlands.”