The Weweantic is the largest freshwater river that flows to Buzzards Bay. Rich populations of fish, plants, and wildlife call the Weweantic River home. At the spot on the river where fresh and salt water meet, a myriad of migratory fish visit each spring to spawn, including eels, white perch, river herring, and rainbow smelt. It’s the most diverse community of migratory fish that remains anywhere in Buzzards Bay.
Ecological diversity is one of the reasons why the Coalition protected the land surrounding this important stretch of the Weweantic River in 2012. The property, called Horseshoe Mill, is open as a public conservation area that connects with trails at other protected conservation lands.
However, the Weweantic River at Horseshoe Mill needs to be restored. When migrating fish reach this stretch of the river, they’re met with a big obstacle: the deteriorating remnants of a former mill and dam. This blockage prevents many fish from reaching their spawning areas, a problem that poses a big threat to the long-term health of these fish and the entire river.
The Coalition is proposing to restore the Weweantic River by modifying or removing this decaying structure, which will open up three more miles of the river to migratory fish and improve important habitat for many different species. Restoring the Weweantic will also allow more people to enjoy the river for paddling, fishing, and other recreational activities and help this area better adapt to future sea level rise.
With the $45,000 Massachusetts Environmental Trust grant, the Coalition will conduct a study to determine the best alternative to the current structure. Once this is complete next winter, the Coalition will move forward on a project to restore the property for fish, wildlife, and people.
Every Massachusetts driver can help protect our water resources and environment by purchasing a Massachusetts Environmental Trust specialty “Preserve the Trust” license plate. The “Preserve the Trust” license plates are the only specialty plates sold in Massachusetts that exclusively fund environmental programs. For less than $2 per month, your “Preserve the Trust” plate will support the Massachusetts Environmental Trust and organizations all over the Commonwealth working to protect our waterways and coastal ecosystems.