It’s been years in the making and now it is official. The 248 acre “West End” of Cuttyhunk – comprising nearly half of the entire island – was protected forever through permanent conservation restrictions gifted to the Buzzards Bay Coalition by the Spaulding Family.
This project will restore approximately 11 acres of salt marsh along New Bedford Harbor in Fairhaven, lost since the late 1930’s, and once fully complete, the restored marsh will be opened to the public with a perimeter loop trail that has three overlooks, a pedestrian bridge over the restored creek and a small parking area at the end of Taber Street.
Over ten years ago, The Buzzards Bay Coalition began keeping careful watch on the nearly 60 acres of fields along Doggett Brook on the south side of Route 105 entering Rochester. In May 2021, Buzzards Bay Coalition moved quickly to purchase and permanently protect the Doggett Brook Farm property from development. This May, the property was sold to Ken and Dee Elliot, a brother and sister who currently farm with their family in Lakeville and will continue their family’s farming legacy at this Rochester property. As part of the sale, the Buzzards Bay Coalition stipulated two conservation restrictions on the property that limit development, protect the farmland and water resources, and will allow for a public hiking trail down to the brook.
Water quality and structural issues in Buttonwood Brook and Apponagansett Bay have serious implications for local communities that affect public health, climate adaptation, and important economic drivers like tourism and local fisheries. Water sampling in the brook is one component of the Buttonwood-to-Bay project, and contributes to a broader scientific foundation that will ultimately guide the restoration of Buttonwood Brook and Apponagansett Bay.
Could one wartime decision have caused a cascade of negative impacts that are still affecting the health of more than a quarter of the Buzzards Bay watershed today? The Buzzards Bay Coalition, local government officials, and leading oceanographic scientists believe it is beyond time to answer these pressing questions.