Such a place exists along the lower Weweantic River in Wareham. The Buzzards Bay Coalition has acquired for conservation 10 acres of valuable waterfront land spanning both sides of the river. This action permanently safeguards the land from development, which supports crucial wildlife habitat and natural areas that filter pollution and protect Buzzards Bay.
The property includes streamside forests and a rare stretch of tidal fresh water that rises and falls with the force of ocean tides downriver. The property also holds great potential for future fisheries restoration that could improve the river for herring, eels, smelt, and other migrating fish species.
This conservation action is part of the Weweantic River Corridor Project, a Bay-focused strategy to protect important land along the lower Weweantic River. The Coalition is advancing this strategy on the Weweantic River along with the Wareham Land Trust, the town of Wareham, and other partners. In addition to already-conserved land upriver, this land acquisition connects a gap between the Wareham Conservation Commission’s 20-acre Birch Island Conservation Area and the Wildlands Trust’s 23-acre Conant Hill Conservation Area.
Linking these protected areas of land will also create new opportunities for community access to the river and forests for hiking, fishing, birding, and other outdoor activities.
“This is a significant milestone in conservation for the Buzzards Bay watershed that will benefit a unique group of fish and other river and Bay resources,” said Brendan Annett, Vice-President of Watershed Protection for the Buzzards Bay Coalition. “It is also a very interesting part of the Bay to visit and learn how a bay estuary works. This project will help open this unique spot to the community for both recreation and educational opportunities.”
This project was funded with grants from federal and state agencies and the Sheehan Family Foundation.