Completed last December, the Nasketucket Bay Land Conservation Project was an extraordinary four-year, $6 million initiative to permanently protect 416 acres on Nasketucket Bay in Fairhaven and Mattapoisett. This project – the largest land conservation effort completed on Buzzards Bay in 25 years – resulted in the expansion of Nasketucket Bay State Reservation, the protection of 190 acres of active farmland, and the preservation of 226 acres for public recreational use.
“Few of Massachusetts’ coastal bays have such rich natural resources as Nasketucket Bay, and that’s due in large part to protecting the forests, salt marshes, and beaches that surround it,” said Coalition President Mark Rasmussen. “By conserving this land and creating a new public trail, we are protecting clean water in Nasketucket Bay and improving the community’s access and connection with the shore.”
As part of the land conservation project, the Coalition opened a new public trail that connects the bike path through Fairhaven and Mattapoisett with the state reservation and Nasketucket Bay. This trail, called Shaw Farm Trail, offers beautiful views of active farm fields as it crosses through forests, streams, and meadows. Local residents can access Shaw Farm Trail from the state reservation and from the bike path between Shaw Road and Brandt Island Road.
“I’m thrilled to see the completion of the Nasketucket Bay Land Conservation project after four years of dedicated conservation efforts,” said Congressman Keating, who represents the 9th District of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives. “Nasketucket Bay is a local treasure. From its stunning scenery to its rich natural resources, Nasketucket has so much to offer to our community. That is why I am so proud that so many individuals and organizations came together in order to preserve and protect this unique natural resource.”
“Acquiring this parcel represents the culmination of over 20 years of funding by the state to preserve a number of critical land parcels surrounding Nasketucket Bay, extending as far back as 1988 and the preservation of the undeveloped land on West Island in Fairhaven,” said Rep. Straus, who represents the 10th Bristol District in the Massachusetts Legislature. “Locally, the residents of Mattapoisett and Fairhaven have pledged needed monies as well to this extraordinary preservation effort which the public can now fully enjoy.”
Funding to complete this project came from many sources, including the Massachusetts Dept. of Conservation and Recreation and the Division of Conservation Services. Federal government support came from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The project also received funding from the Bouchard B-120 Oil Spill Trustee Council, composed of the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Additional support included the towns of Fairhaven and Mattapoisett, The Nature Conservancy, the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program, the Mattapoisett Land Trust, and several private foundations and donors.