3 projects, 6 towns, a cleaner Buzzards Bay: $575K in grants will reduce pollution from wastewater

Three Coalition-sponsored projects have received over $575,000 in federal grant money to seek new ways to solve Buzzards Bay’s nitrogen pollution crisis in six different towns, from Mattapoisett to Falmouth.

Wareham Water Pollution Control Facility outfall on the Agawam River

The Coalition is evaluating a plan to move the Wareham Water Pollution Control Facility’s discharge pipe from the Agawam River to a less sensitive location.

These projects were the top grants awarded by the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program with funding from the U.S. EPA’s Southeast New England Program.

All three of these projects center around reducing pollution from wastewater: Buzzards Bay’s biggest source of harmful nitrogen. Because traditional septic systems don’t treat for nitrogen, they’re a major offender against clean water in our coves, harbors, and rivers.

Two of the projects aim to connect more homes on septic systems to municipal sewer plants, which do a better job of removing nitrogen. For example, the Coalition is evaluating a plan to move the Wareham Water Pollution Control Facility’s discharge pipe from the Agawam River to Taylor Point. By moving the discharge to a less sensitive location at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, the towns of Wareham, Bourne, and Plymouth could expand sewer lines to homes that now use septic systems and cesspools.

The third grant, awarded to the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), will help the Coalition keep working to clean up West Falmouth Harbor. Through this project, the Coalition will work with MBL and the Barnstable County Department of Health and the Environment to measure pollution from traditional septic systems versus innovative alternative systems that remove nitrogen.

Head over to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs website for the full grant announcement

Category: On the Bay

Current Issues

Nitrogen Pollution

Nitrogen pollution is the greatest long-term threat to the health of Buzzards Bay. We all contribute nitrogen pollution to our local waterways. Fortunately, we can all do our part to stop it.

Read More ›

Related Stories

Decision Makers Workshops demonstrate real-world solutions to nitrogen pollution from septic systems

Local decision makers from around the region came together at two free workshops in April to learn about the results of the Coalition’s on-the-ground pilot projects to reduce nitrogen pollution from septic systems.

Full Story ›
2 ways you can take action to protect clean water this spring

The Massachusetts state legislature is considering two issues that would advance efforts to protect clean water in Buzzards Bay. You can take action today by calling or emailing your elected officials today and voicing your support.

Full Story ›
Nitrogen pollution cleanup plans released for four Falmouth waterways

The U.S. EPA has issued long-awaited nitrogen pollution cleanup plans called Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for four Buzzards Bay waterways in Falmouth: Quissett Harbor, Wild Harbor, and Rands Harbor/Fiddlers Cove.

Full Story ›

Working to Save Buzzards Bay

The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a membership-supported organization dedicated to improving the health of the Buzzards Bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research, and advocacy.

We work to protect clean water on the Bay and on the land: