- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards Drinking Water Supply Protection Grants
Boston — The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded more than $1.1 million in grants to five Massachusetts water suppliers through the Drinking Water Supply Protection (DWSP) Grant Program. The funding, announced during Earth Week, will enable water suppliers to protect existing or new wells, as well as surface drinking water supply systems, such as reservoirs.
“Clean drinking water is vital to the health of all Massachusetts residents, and these grants help protect land around the wells and reservoirs that provide water to thousands of people, ensuring safe, healthy water resources for generations to come,” said Governor Charlie Baker.
“The Baker-Polito Administration is pleased to partner with Municipalities and Water Districts to jointly fund initiatives which will ensure the protection of public water supplies for Massachusetts residents,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.
The Drinking Water Supply Protection (DWSP) Grant Program, overseen by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, has provided grants to municipal and public water systems and fire districts for the acquisition of land in fee, a conservation restriction, or a watershed preservation restriction for water supply protection and land conservation purposes since 2004. Land acquired must be located in existing Department of Environmental Protection-approved drinking water supply areas, or in estimated protection areas for new sources, or in an area identified through an appropriate planning process as suitable for groundwater recharge to an aquifer.
“The Drinking Water Supply Protection Grant Program ensures that Massachusetts residents have access to safe, clean drinking water, said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The grants awarded by the Baker-Polito Administration will enable municipalities to permanently protect their water drinking sources.”
The Fiscal Year 2016 DWSP grant awards are:
- Amherst Department of Public Works - $175,625 to preserve 141 acres of land that contain Amethyst Brook, which is located approximately 150 feet from the Hills Reservoir (part of Amherst’s Pelham Reservoirs that provide almost a quarter of Amherst’s drinking water).
- Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills Fire District - $197,000 to protect 11 acres of land to help create a wildlife corridor and protect the municipal water supply for 12,500 households.
- Marshfield Department of Public Works – $274,125 to protect almost six acres of land to prevent the contamination of the Furnace Brook Wells. This project also consists of open fields, forest, and wetlands that connect to other protected parcels and contain Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program-mapped habitat of rare wildlife.
- Mattapoisett Water and Sewer Department – $ 327,063 to protect 114 acres of land within the Mattapoisett River watershed, which is a drinking water supply source for five surrounding municipalities.
- Westfield Water Resource Department –$203,000 to acquire 80 acres of watershed land located on high ground between two major tributaries that feed the Granville Reservoir.
“I am quite pleased with the Administration’s decision to award the Mattapoisett Water and Sewer Department a Drinking Water Supply Protection Grant,” said State Representative William Straus (D-Mattapoisett). “This important grant program is vital to ensuring that all residents of the Commonwealth have clean and safe drinking water for generations to come.”
“This grant will help Amherst preserve and protect the area around Amethyst Brook and the Hills Reservoir, which supplies us with fresh, clean drinking water,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “I thank the Administration, and in particular Secretary Beaton, for their continued recognition of the importance of conservation and watershed protection.”
“The Mattapoisett River watershed provides drinking water for tens of thousands of local residents across five South Coast communities,” said State Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford). “These funds will protect adjoining lands of this vital natural resource, and I would like to thank Governor Baker and Secretary Beaton for their commitment to ensuring access to clean, safe water supplies.”
“I am so pleased Marshfield won this competitive grant to enhance protections for our local water supply,” said State Representative James Cantwell (D-Marshfield). “I commend local officials, like Marshfield DPW Director Tom Reynolds and Karen O’Donnell from the Open Space Committee, for submitting an outstanding proposal. Along with protecting the local water supply, this grant will conserve open space critical to the character of our town and the well-being of rare wildlife. I want to thank Governor Baker and Secretary Beaton for their continued attention to public health and water quality.”