- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards Funding to Assist Local Water Quality Management Efforts
Edmund Coletta, MassDEP – Director of Public Affairs
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $220,000 in funding to five projects to assess watershed pollution and plan for work to address water quality impairments. The projects, selected each year by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), are located in Bourne, Buckland, Milford, Wareham, and in the Connecticut River Valley.
“The preservation of the Commonwealth’s waterways is crucial to environmental protection and natural resource preservation,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The work supported by these grants will ensure important water testing and build upon partnerships with local cities and towns across the Commonwealth to protect water resources.”
The grants are funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through Section 604b of the federal Clean Water Act. Since 2007, MassDEP has funded 67 projects under the 604b water quality management program, totaling more than $3 million to address non-point source pollution problems.
“The grants awarded today ensure the ability to improve aquatic habitat and water quality over the long term, which will translate into everyday benefits for the people of our Commonwealth for years to come,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew A. Beaton. “The efforts of local partners continue the work that communities have already done to help preserve Massachusetts’ precious environmental resources.”
“Stormwater runoff pollutes our sensitive water resources, so it’s important to find the source of this contamination and eliminate it,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “This funding will help local officials find the source and implement green infrastructure, such as low-impact development, that will help address the problem and preserve these important resources.”
The term “non-point source pollution” refers to contaminants that are carried to a waterway as a result of precipitation and stormwater runoff from the land or infiltration into the soil. Common types of non-point source pollution include phosphorus and nitrogen from lawn and garden fertilizers, bacteria from pet waste and waterfowl, oil and grease from parking lots and roadways and sediment from construction activities and soil erosion.
Projects selected by the Baker-Polito Administration to receive funding are:
Sub-watershed Restoration Planning – $25,000
Town of Milford
- Funding will be used for a sub-watershed restoration plan for the Charles River headwaters, including an assessment of existing conditions, site-specific restoration goals, and conceptual stormwater best management practice designs will be developed by the Town of Milford.
Green Streets Roadmap to Improve Water Quality – $32,000
Franklin Regional Council of Governments
- Funding will be used to conduct an assessment of stormwater pollutant loads and evaluate site suitability for Green Infrastructure projects in the Town of Buckland. An outreach program to disseminate the assessment protocols will be conducted in adjoining towns in the Deerfield River watershed.
Nutrient Sampling in the Connecticut River Watershed – $66,618
Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
- Funding will allow the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission will join with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Connecticut River Conservancy to conduct a water quality monitoring program on the Connecticut River to characterize non-point source pollution loading.
Assessing Nutrient Reduction Scenarios in the Wareham River Watershed – $46,882
Southeast Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission
- Funding will allow the Southeast Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission to examine how different cranberry bog restoration scenarios in the Wareham River watershed could reduce nitrogen loading.
Red Brook Harbor Monitoring to Support TMDL Development – $49,500
Town of Bourne
- Funding will allow the water quality and health of the benthic habitat of Red Brook Harbor to be assessed to provide additional data required for the development of a Total Maximum Daily Load determination.
“I was pleased that the legislature was able to work with the executive branch to make these critical funds available for reducing non-point source pollution in the Commonwealth,” said State Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton). “What we learn from these studies will help us identify ways we can improve our water quality and better protect our public health.”
“I am delighted that MassDEP has selected the Wareham River Watershed as part of this federal grant funding,” said State Representative Susan Gifford (R-Wareham). “Cranberry bog restoration is an important aspect of agriculture in our region, but we need to take every step possible to ensure that the quality of our water, our most valuable resource, is protected.”
“With the head of the Charles River essentially located in the greater Milford area, these funds will greatly assist the town in preserving this environmentally sensitive resource while maximizing its benefits to the communities it serves,” said State Representative Brian Murray (D-Milford). “The town is deeply appreciative to be a recipient of this grant.”
To find out more information about grants and financial assistance related to water quality and watersheds, turn here.