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Cape Cod Coastal Restoration Projects Receive $10M in Federal Funds

Filed in Environment, NEWS HEADLINES by on October 4, 2017 0 Comments • views: 737

WEST YARMOUTH, MA (October 4, 2017) — Coastal restoration on Cape Cod is getting a big boost from the federal government. Today, the Cape Cod Conservation District announced that its application for federal funds to undertake priority coastal restoration projects on Cape Cod was approved by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

The $10 million will be used for Phase II of the Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project (CCWRP) which assists Cape communities with the planning, design, and construction of numerous coastal restoration projects across Cape Cod.

“The future of the Cape’s environment and economy depends on clean water, and the approval of our application is great news for all Cape cod towns. We thank the NRCS for their strong support. This unique coastal restoration partnership between the Conservation District, Barnstable County, the Commonwealth and Cape towns is a national model,” says Conservation District Chairman Mark Forest.

“A lot of individuals and organizations helped us get to this point.  We thank Senators Warren and Markey and Congressman Keating for their support of the District’s application.  We also appreciate the support of our legislators, local selectmen, the Commonwealth, the County Commissioners and the Association to Preserve Cape Cod.  Their enthusiastic support has been critical to our success,” Forest added.

The agency made the announcement today in Washington, D.C.  Earlier this year, Leonard Jordan, Acting Chief of the NRCS, told the Conservation District that he called the Cape project a “national model for watershed-scale restoration”.

For the past four years, the CCCD has ben urging Congressional leaders to add more funding to the NRCS’s conservation and restoration programs. Today’s news means that these efforts have finally paid off.   In August, the District submitted a proposal for $7.5 million in funding, along with a list of potential Phase II projects.

Barnstable County Administrator Jack Units said this is “great news for Cape Cod, and will boost our ongoing efforts at the County to help our towns protect the Cape’s water resources.  Barnstable County is proud to be a partner in this initiative and we look forward to continued success working with the Conservation District, the NRCS, and Cape towns.”

The CCWRRP is a joint initiative with the goal of protecting the Cape’s watersheds and coastal resources. The Conservation District and the NRCS began working on the CCWRRP in 2003, and by 2006 the plan was finished and identified over 70 projects, including the restoration of 26 tidally restricted salt marshes, 24 impaired fish runs and over 24 stormwater discharges impacting shellfish beds. The plan’s cost exceeded $30 million and required Congressional approval.

Shortly after Congressional endorsement in 2009, the NRCS was able to provide $6.5 million in funding for Phase I.  The work was completed in 2013 and provided significant benefits, including the restoration of more than three thousand acres of shellfish habitat and 44 acres of salt marsh. Stormwater runoff treatment systems were built to treat runoff on more than 30 acres of impervious road surfaces. The projects protected water quality near critical fishers habitat and numerous shellfish grants.

The District’s Phase II funding proposal identifies over sixteen CCWRPP priority projects:

  • Brewster: Crosby Lane, storm-water runoff and salt marsh restoration project
  • Mashpee: Shoestring Bay, storm-water runoff project
  • Mashpee: Santuit River, fish passage and storm-water remediation project
  • Mashpee: Johns Pond, fish passage improvementsSandwich: Sandwich Harbor, five storm-water projects
  • Falmouth: Magansett Harbor, storm-water project
  • Falmouth: Coonamessett River, fish passage Restoration
  • Orleans: Barley Neck Rd, storm-water remediation project
  • Orleans: Pilgrim lake, fish passage improvements
  • Yarmouth: Parkers River, Bridge replacement, tidal restoration
  • Yarmouth: Baxter Grist Mill dam, fish passage improvements
  • Truro: Eagle Neck Creek, salt marsh restoration project
  • Harwich: Cold Brook, obstruction removal for fish passage and tidal restoration
  • Barnstable: Upper Marstons Mills River, improve fish passage and habitat
  • Eastham: Depot Pond fish passage improvements
  • Bourne: Monument River, fish passage improvements

“These CCWRP projects are locally driven initiatives that enjoy a significant level of local grassroots support,” added Forest.  “This enthusiasm has generated an unprecedented level of help and cooperation from dozens of local, county, state, and federal agencies.  This initiative is alive today because all these organizations and individuals share a passion to restore the health and vitality of Cape Cod’s coastal waters.”




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