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25 Years of Saving Buzzards Bay

Credit: Marian Howell

For twenty-five years, a Coalition of community members has worked together towards a common goal: A healthy, vibrant Buzzards Bay that all can enjoy, both now and in future generations. Over the years, the Buzzards Bay Coalition has only become stronger and as the organization turns 25, we want to celebrate with you.

25 Years of Achievements

Following the 1985 Congressional designation of Buzzards Bay as an 'Estuary of National Significance,' a group of local residents began to meet to guide government officials charged with drafting a management plan for the Bay.

This group of scientists, fishermen, concerned citizens and educators quickly realized that what the Bay needed most was a community-based organization to speak for the interests of everyone who lived near, worked on and enjoyed the natural bounty of Buzzards Bay and its watershed.

They founded the Buzzards Bay Coalition to be that independent voice for the Bay. 2012 marks our 25th anniversary and provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the success of the organization they created. In the past twenty-five years, we have:

  • Worked with towns and state agencies to clean-up sewer and runoff pollution. The results of this work can be seen in cleaner waters in every bay town.
  • Permanently preserved nearly 5,000 acres of watershed lands and established the support services needed to aid towns and other organizations in the protection of many thousands of additional acres.
  • Worked with towns and developers to reduce the impact of new growth on the health of the Bay, and rivers and wetlands.
  • Created the most comprehensive volunteer-based water quality monitoring program in New England to guide Bay protection and restoration efforts.
  • Collecting data every year since 1992, the Baywatchers program has documented the serious and growing threat posed to our Bay from nitrogen pollution.
  • Responded to the 2003 Bouchard Oil Spill by pushing for a thorough cleanup and channeling our region's frustration into new meaningful regulations for oil transport in the Bay.
  • Gone to court when necessary to defend the Bay and succeeded in halting the largest source of pollution to the Westport River, securing development setbacks to all of the bay's tidal rivers, and forcing the federal government to adopt new oil spill prevention rules.
  • Succeeded in passing bans on dumping waste in the Bay such as the permanent banning of dredge spoil disposal on the Bay bottom.
  • Educated thousands of residents of all ages about what they can do to help protect and restore the Bay and helped the entire community discover Buzzards Bay.

The next 25 years, however, will present more difficult challenges as we grapple with the most serious threat the Bay has ever faced – the expanding nitrogen pollution that is suffocating our harbors and coves and is rooted in the poorly-planned development currently consuming our region. Our success going forward will require that we invest more deeply in all aspects of our work. The Bay needs stronger advocacy at all levels of government, more land conservation, a continuing commitment to science, and much more public education.

With your support and our 8,500 members, the Bay Coalition is up to the challenge.

Celebrate 25 Years

To celebrate 25 Years of Saving Buzzards Bay we want to help connect you with Buzzards Bay. We have great activities all throughout the year. To celebrate you can:

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